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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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From Arvidsjaur to Torino – Mobilising research(ers) onvocational education and culture in an expanding. European knowledge society. A personal network story - Beatrix Niemeyer


51 From Arvidsjaur to Torino – Mobilising research(ers) on vocational education and culture in an expanding European knowledge society. A personal network story Beatrix Niemeyer 1. Setting the scene I will focus my network story around the idea of travelling. On my flight home from last years’ VET & Culture Network’s conference in Torino I realised that the number of flights I had done between January and August 2011 equalled the total number of those I had done before my 35th birthday. This prompted some reflections about travelling, how the frequency of travelling impacts on social relations and biographical stories, and how dependent the building of the post- modern knowledge society is on rapid means of transport and mobile and flexi- ble individuals. Research and travelling have always been close relatives. We know about the scholars who travelled the republic of letters in 17th century Europe to share the emerging knowledge in natural sciences as well as the philosophic discourse about the individuals’ place in the changing world, with Latin as the lingua fran- ca. Another familiar figure from the vocational context is the journeyman, who wandered through Europe to broaden his (or sometimes her) vocational expertise and skills. During the 18th century the educational journey became a fashionable habit to broaden the horizons of the sons of the emerging bourgeoisie, demon- strating wealth, educational aspirations and cosmopolitanism and serving the individual desire for discovering new shores or simply being somewhere else. Meanwhile we know about a considerable number of daughters...

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