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Just a Process

Views on the Relations between Research, Practice and Politics in the Sector of VET- Festschrift for Anja Heikkinen- Edited by Philipp Gonon, Lorenz Lassnigg and Manfred Wahle

Edited By Philipp Gonon, Lorenz Lassnig and Manfred Wahle

This book is dedicated as a Festschrift to Anja Heikkinen by her friends and colleagues from the VET & Culture Network hosted at Tampere University ( The chapters describe and reflect various aspects of this big endeavour in the field of European and international research in vocational education and training (VET), and shows the many facets of developing a wide and diverse research community that spans national borders. Renowned researchers discuss important issues of the history and future of VET, dealing with politics and institutions, gender and vocationalism, history and comparisons, and transitions. Very much can be read between the lines about how this community of research in VET has evolved during the decades, and how it struggles to proceed.


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This book is dedicated to Anja Heikkinen by some of her international friends and colleagues. The call to contribute was issued in November 2011, with the ambitious goal to be published in February 2012. Indeed, a preliminary version was presented to her at a seminar in Tampere around her Birthday with the title “The personal and the political”. Once asked about her expectation concerning an anniversary publication celebrating her 60th birthday, Anja answered: “My colleagues and friends shall write what they have always wanted to tell me.” The idea was to focus on the VET & Culture Network (, one of Anja’s “life-projects” that celebrated its 20th anniversary in Tampere in June 2013. It was not so much meant to be a traditional scientific publication and it should include essays on the contributors’ personal relationship with Anja in academic life respectively in the context of the VET & Culture Network. The book should focus on the following topics: • Reflecting and remembering common activities with Anja in the context of the network • Stories of network members as a personal perspective on the network’s iden- tity • Relations between research, practice, and politics. We think that the volume has achieved its goals by giving a lively account of the development and the activities of the network, and also of some of the topics its members have always been struggling with. Somehow the personal chapters also provide views about the informal processes behind the forming and evolvement of such a network of researchers, which has...

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