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Vocational Education beyond Skill Formation

VET between Civic, Industrial and Market Tensions


Edited By Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá

Vocational education and training has played an important role in the struggles between Work and Capital along history and today; there are examples of such tensions worldwide. The first section of this book provides illustrations of different countries from the 18th to the early 20th century. The authors explain and exemplify the education of the workforce and its political engagement, contributing to the formation of the working class. The chapters provide relevant approaches to how young apprentices and adult workers developed a class consciousness through vocational education. The second section illustrates practices of resistance and transformation within policies and practices of vocational education nowadays in Central and Southern Europe and South America, addressing the needs of people with disabilities and dispossessed populations. The final section analyses how theories and policies intertwine resulting in the idiosyncrasy of vocational education practices across the world, through tensions between logics and institutional actors. The book addresses the political dimensions of Vocational Education and problematizes its mere consideration as an instrumental tool in skill formation.

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Vocational Education, Labor and Citizenship: The Working Class, the Workforce and the Provision of Qualifications from Early to Contemporary Capitalism (Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá)


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Vocational Education, Labor and Citizenship: The Working Class, the Workforce and the Provision of Qualifications from Early to Contemporary Capitalism1

1.  Conflicting roles of vocational education and training (VET), past and present

This book is part of the Peter Lang Series on Studies in Vocational and Continuing Education and it intends to contribute to the dialogue initiated in some of the previous volumes. Like previous books, this one compiles a variety of contributions from academics across the world, namely America (South and North), Africa and Europe.

In doing so, the book takes into account historical and comparative research with the focus set upon the contribution of VET policies and practices to the development of citizenship in at least three different domains: The first dimension is national identity, given that VET policies were developed, as part of educational policies, to contribute to the establishment of the nation-state; the second dimension is working class identity in a different way, because VET was considered originally, and it remains so to a large extent still, as the education provided for the lower classes; while academic secondary education, particularly at the post-compulsory level, was reserved for the elites; the third dimension is again working class identity, yet with an empowering meaning, as the ← 9 | 10 → education of the working class by the working class members themselves, therefore as the raising of a class consciousness proud of itself, with its own set...

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