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Divergence and Convergence in Education and Work

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Edited By Vibe Aarkrog and Christian Helms Jørgensen

Are the educational systems in Europe becoming more similar or more different? This book deals with the issue of divergence and convergence in relation to systems, learning environments, and learners in vocational educational training (VET). 18 VET researchers from eight countries contribute to the examination of ‘divergence and convergence’ at three levels: At the national level this volume deals with the following questions: What are the consequences of the European policies that aim at converging the VET systems in Europe? What is the impact of globalization on the national systems? At the level of institutions the central issue concerns the relation between learning environments. What is the coherence between school-based education and learning in the work-place, and how can they connect? Finally at the third level of the learners and their identities the focus is on the role of vocational educational training in the formation of biographies and identities. The book thus covers the central issues on the agenda in relation to future vocational education.

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Section 1 - Divergence and Convergence of National Models of Vocational Education

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Section 1 Divergence and Convergence of National Models of Vocational Education THOMAS DEISSINGER Cultural Patterns Underlying Apprenticeship: Germany and the UK Modernisation of vocational education and training (VET) is an urgent issue in most countries. However, both structural conditions and modernisation issues differ between nations due to cultural patterns underlying VET practices. This article illustrates the rm roots of VET in the UK and Germany by looking at “apprenticeship cultures” which seem solid, although both countries face similar challenges. Challenges and pathways to solutions appear interesting for comparative research, above all in the context of European VET policy focussing Lifelong Learning and the idea of Quali cation Frameworks. Here, the two systems seem to be “prepared” in different ways due to their respective VET traditions. Context and problems Germany has been facing a few challenges in recent years in terms of its education and training systems. In the general education sector, the PISA studies (e.g. OECD 2000) have led to a serious discussion on both the quality of learning and teaching in schools as well as to a new debate around the “selectivity” of the so-called “three-tier system” which is composed of lower, intermediate and higher sec- ondary schools. On the other hand, the vocational education and training (VET) system seemed to be able to ward off any severe criticism as there has always been much praise and even admiration from other countries for the apprenticeship system, the so-called 34 Thomas Deissinger Dual System, from politicians and scholars alike. This...

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