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Vocational Education beyond Skill Formation

VET between Civic, Industrial and Market Tensions


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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The Ambiguous Role of Basic VET upon Social Inclusion: A Participatory Perspective on Social Justice (Míriam Abiétar-López / Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá / Almudena A. Navas-Saurin)


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The Ambiguous Role of Basic VET upon Social Inclusion: A Participatory Perspective on Social Justice

The connection between Vocational Education and Training (VET hereafter) and citizenship that we are presenting in this chapter is framed by a dimensional perspective of social justice. We have recently provided and discussed on data of registration in basic VET and related statistics on Early School Leaving in Spain in recent years (Abiétar López, M., Navas Saurin, A. A., and Marhuenda Fluixá, F. 2015; Marhuenda Fluixá, F., Salvà Mut, F., Navas Saurin, A. A., Abiétar López, M. 2015). As a conclusion from those contributions, we strongly believe that it is necessary to analyse connections between social justice and education that can help us understand the pedagogical identities (Bernstein 1998) produced in these programs. To assess education through social justice is particularly necessary if we take Fraser’s (2005, 2008, 2013) approach on social justice. By doing so, our analysis will try to show the effects that the differential production of education at the end of compulsory schooling, and particularly at basic VET, may have in the participation of students in society, that is, in their performance of citizenship. From this standpoint, we aim to link our theoretical positioning of social justice (embedding both a consideration of participation and its contribution to citizenship) to the realm of practice that we specify in the educational...

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