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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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The Difficulty of Becoming a Successful Learner

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It is obvious that a knowledge-based economy requires new forms of learning. Besides studying at schools, the capability of acquiring relevant competences during work life is crucial. The „learning society“, the learning organisation and the lifelong learner beyond any limits are models for individuals as effective learners who permanently transform their own knowledge, skills and attitudes. Success is an underlying notion, although it is quite reasonable to argue that learning opportunities and the application of acquired knowledge often do not fit to the individual situation. Becoming a successful learner includes intensive participation and long-term commitment. This paper explores three different ways of becoming a competent adult learner: Mimesis, Instruction and Exploration.

1. Introduction

‘For as long as we are alive we are always becoming’, Peter Jarvis writes in the context of his publication Learning to Be a Person in Society (Jarvis 2009, p. 188). The phenomena “learning society”, is connected to certain expectations that professional learning is not just a matter in the school context but also in the course of everyday life and shall therefore be utilizable in a professional career. Learning in a globalised world is increasingly oriented at economic rationality. Thus, learning is not only effective but – as is the implicit expectation – it is also supposed to lead to success.

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