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Challenges and Reforms in Vocational Education

Aspects of Inclusion and Exclusion

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Edited By Stefanie Stolz and Philipp Gonon

In this collected edition, globalization and its consequences on vocational education systems are described and, at the same time, combined with the question of whether new phenomena of inclusion but also of exclusion are produced. Inclusion and exclusion are differentiations that predominate in all kinds of (vocational education) systems, regardless of their national background. These terms base on the requirements of the system itself but also on shortages, particularly when supply and demand are dehiscing. Vocational education developed out of the requirement to integrate large parts of society into a broader or more extended education and, consequently, into an economic and social process. Besides the so-called «social question», gender-, status- and generation-specific characteristics and also the participation in higher education are under discussion. Depending on each country – this volume features contributions of Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Denmark, France, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA – this debate generates a different development which is described by the authors in their different research areas. Collectively, a multifaceted overall picture arises which illustrates the importance of inclusion and exclusion.

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I. Global Trends in Education andVocational Education and Training

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I. Global Trends in Education and Vocational Education and Training GITA STEINER-KHAMSI Education Policy in a Globalized World We are currently witnessing a busy creation of reforms that are initi- ated across national boundaries at all levels of educational systems. Policy transfer in vocational-technical and continuing education is no exception. This has been reflected in relevant scholarly research. An early book on policy transfer, Something Borrowed? Something Learned? (Finegold, McFarland & Richardson, 1993), was published in the field of vocational-technical education. Yet another example is Gonon’s 1998 work on policy reception, which is a seminal treat- ment of why vocational-technical reforms of one country have been emulated by others (Gonon, 1998). The fact that educational reforms were increasingly adopted across national boundaries has been a cause for celebration for some and a source of anxiety for others. The idea that countries are aban- doning efforts to realize local and idiosyncratic conceptions of “good education” or “effective school reforms” in favor of converging around an international model of education has generated a heated academic debate. One of the most frequently offered explanations is the fol- lowing: once the barriers for global trade are eliminated, we will import and export anything, including educational models. Since the trajectory of global trade tends to be unidirectional – transporting educational reforms from high-income to low-income countries, but rarely the other way around – educational systems in different parts of the world are increasingly becoming similar. Whether we label policy borrowing as the transfer of “best practices” (which in...

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