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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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A School for the Many but Attended by the Few: Industrial and Artistic Industrial Schools in Regional and National Data (Chiara Martinelli)


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A School for the Many but Attended by the Few: Industrial and Artistic Industrial Schools in Regional and National Data

1.  The evolution of Industrial and Artistic Industrial Schools: from the “engine of progress” to the cauldron of good citizens

Until 1907 industrial and artistic industrial schools were not ruled by the State and they were considered as a sort of low-quality kind of schools (Conti 2000, unp. PhD thesis and Morcaldi 2004). They were not assessed by the Law Casati in 1859, even though few of them were already established. Furthermore, they were not managed by the Minister of Public Education as the other kinds of schools, but by the Minister of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce (hereafter MAIC) (Soldani 1981 and Fumi 2015). The official letter with whom the Ministry Benedetto Cairoli in 1878 established these institutes gave them an ancillary role.

The role Casati formerly gave to technical education can explain the eventual marginalization industrial and artistic industrial schools suffered. In Casati and his officials’ minds technical education should have trained pupils to factory works: however, after five reforms in barely fifteen years, technical education became a modern lyceum without Latin. The scant demands of vocational training were not fulfilled until 1869, when the Paris Exposition highlighted the close relationship between workers’ education and industrialization (Colombo 1984, Bolchini 1986 and Misiti 1996). Before the Exposition, liberalist common thought that industrialization was reserved only to...

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