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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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Shaping the Futures of VET: Introduction

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“Shaping the futures of vocational education and training (VET)” points to complex interrelations of research and practice in the field of work and education. While the self-understanding of VET both as a discipline and as pedagogical knowledge involves questions of upgrading professional knowledge, improving training and learning and democratising the educational system in the vocational sector, the futures of VET are open. Evidently, VET is directly related to work, working life, its culture and ideologies in different historical, national, socio-political, institutional and organisational contexts.

These complexities and the relations between working societies and dynamic changes of work and education both in regional and global labour markets are crucial in discussing possible futures of VET. Therefore the following three topics are embedded in this publication:

These issues are closely connected to programmatic respectively ideological, structural, organisational and political demands on improving VET which are to be thought of as occurring along a continuum of time. These subjects were also discussed during an international workshop on the futures of (vocational) education and work that took place at the University of Wuppertal in 2012. The workshop was embedded in the tradition of transnational conferences and workshops that have been conducted by the VET & Culture – Research Network since 1993.

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