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History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe

Cases, Concepts and Challenges


Edited By Esther Berner and Philipp Gonon

Understanding today’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems requires a comprehension of the rise and development, i.e. of the foundations of topical VET. This book provides a comparative view of its development in Europe. The contributions of renowned authors give insight into conceptual questions, cases and challenges in this field.

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There Is No Outside to the System: Paternalism and Protest in Swiss Vocational Education and Training, 1950–1980


Abstract: In the German-speaking world, historical research on vocational education and training has largely ignored the voice of apprentices. While historians of education are mainly interested in the corporatist organisation of vocational education policy, the historiography of social movements sees the protest by apprentices largely as appendages of the youth and student movement. Our paper focuses on how apprentices articulated their needs and aspirations between 1950 and 1980. We assume that the specific paternalistic organization of Swiss vocational education in the form of apprenticeships consistently affected their behaviour. On the one hand, the paternalistic setting of master and apprentice impeded the autonomous articulation of interests by apprentices themselves. As soon as protest flared up, it was immediately absorbed. Because of public attention the system was, on the other hand, in fact able to address and solve urgent problems.

1.  Introduction

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