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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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Transitions as an educational problem - Philipp Gonon


89 Transitions as an educational problem Philipp Gonon Introduction: The phenomenon of transition in the educational sector The memorandum on lifelong-learning issued by the commission of the Europe- an Union says that “the successful transition to a knowledge-based economy and society needs to be accompanied by an orientation toward lifelong-learning” (European Union 2000, p. 3). Therefore, new basic qualifications such as com- puter literacy, entrepreneurship, foreign languages and social skills are required. Epoch-making turns are characterized as transitions when they apparently change society fundamentally, and they usually concern all members of a socie- ty. This is why learning seems necessary since society changes toward becoming a knowledge-society which is a gradual not a sudden development. Also the OECD talks about transitions: “Making transitions work” is the programmatic subtitle of the study “From Initial Education to Working Life” (2000). “Übergänge”, “transitions” and the French “transitions” deal with the transition from school to the world of work. It is in particular the – said in an old-fashioned way – contrast between school and life which requires a bridging and is therefore called transition. The vocational education sector has well pro- vided for making these transitions easier: “Manual Work” as a school subject, work-based subjects at vocational training schools, and also the “third learning place” besides school and business. This “third learning place” is introductory seminars which allow for the learning of practical skills in a secure and orga- nized school-like environment. One part of educational research has been con- cerned with so-called “Employment-Research...

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