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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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Education and Work in the Libertarian Thinking of 19th and Early 20th Century Spain (Germán Gil Rodríguez)


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Education and Work in the Libertarian Thinking of 19th and Early 20th Century Spain

“There is no greater despot than the ignoramus”Anselmo Lorenzo

1.  The proletarianisation of society and workers

Since the dawn of humanity, work has been the medium used to create a dialectical relationship between human beings and nature. By working, human beings have been able to use the limited resources provided by nature, and then transform them and produce goods and services to meet human needs. This relationship has not always been the same, it has changed over the course of history. “Work in order to eat and survive” had always been the basic approach of workers, but since the onset of the industrial age the vast majority of employees and workers came to believe that they should “work in order to live and be happy” (Tezanos, 2001, p. 12).

Work in the form of manual labour in which workers handle objects, gave rise to tools that made this activity easier. The close relationship between the object, manipulation by hand and brain development, led Engels to declare about work that, “It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself” (Engels (1974, p. 59).

In Spain, the socialist movement and particularly libertarian socialism originated in enlightened...

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