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Divergence and Convergence in Education and Work


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 3 - Divergence and Convergence of Vocational Identities and Biographies


Section 3 Divergence and Convergence of Vocational Identities and Biographies HEATHER HODKINSON Divergent Perspectives on Learning at for and through Work In this paper I use three case studies from a research project to illustrate the contrasting ways in which individuals prepare for and learn to do their jobs. The data show how learning for and in the workplace relates to individual disposi- tions, and to previous and ongoing experience inside and outside the workplace. The three people described have divergent views of the relative bene ts of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ ways of learning for work. In understanding workplace learning we need to appreciate the signi cance of such individual learner perspectives. Attempts by policy makers to converge VET systems, creating rigid uniform or universal approaches, are unlikely to be satisfactory for all. Introduction This book is primarily concerned with convergence and divergence in Vocational Education and Training (VET) at the level of systems and policy (national and European). In this chapter I am writing about VET at a different scale of view – that of individual work- ers/learners/trainees. My opening concern is for a neglected area within any VET system: the dispositions of individual workers. Currently, VET policy seems to focus on the needs of employers and the labour market. This is a complex relationship, in which the varied needs of occupational sectors and employers interact with educational provision, aimed at different quali cations, different 312 Heather Hodkinson grades of employment and the differing needs of experienced and novice workers....

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