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Shaping the Futures of (Vocational) Education and Work

Commitment of VET and VET Research

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Edited By Gabriele Molzberger and Manfred Wahle

Education and work are moving towards an open, but uncertain future. Research on vocational and continuing education constantly needs to reassure the conditions of educational systems, current concepts of VET and work, educational policies, and its own assumptions in ascertaining theory of VET. In this context, modernisation is a significant paradigm. It refers to new ideological, socio-economic, structural and institutional qualities.
This volume analyses interdependencies and complexities of research, politics and practice of vocational, further and continuing education. With contributions from European VET researchers it assembles critical reflective, empirical, cross-cultural and historical perspectives. The volume discusses the dynamic changes of work and education both in regional and global labour markets. Central issues are transformations of vocational education and work, the impacts of gender, ethnicity, culture and globalization as well as the anticipation of possible futures of vocational education and work.
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Culture, Cultural Differences and Cultural Education – Analysing Learning and Educational Processes of German-Speaking Expatriates in Transnational Enterprises in China

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This contribution discusses selected basic theoretical principles and empirical results from my post-doctoral thesis (Robak 2011), which investigates the learning and educational processes of German-speaking expatriates in global enterprises in China. I start by showing that no adequately developed concepts for an integrated learning culture framework exist for transnational businesses. Next, I develop theoretic premises for accessing knowledge, culture and cultural differences, which form the input for an empirical analysis model. Examples of empirical results based on a typical analysed type, the “classical expatriate”, are used to substantiate cultural hybrid forming processes (hybridisation), which influence working and learning processes and require support by transnational learning cultures.

1.  The Inadequate Cross-Linking of Knowledge Resources in Learning Cultures

Professional knowledge structures, competence and (inter)cultural knowledge have become important globalisation factors. The theory and what actually happens in practice, which should be a reflection of each other in effectively integrated learning cultures, as indicated by the available analyses and evaluations (Robak 2011), do not however prepare adequately for the above. Not only has professional knowledge proved itself to be unconsolidated, cultural knowledge is also not communicated sufficiently adequately to be effective in learning cultures, ← 57 | 58 → structure decisions and working processes. Pedagogical perspectives have not as yet been worked out in detail for the different professional groups and sectors of the population that are affected, even though multiple and significant economic links exist (Faulstich 2009). This is particularly evident when we look at the globalisation process...

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