02 SES 10 B, Transitions in VET: A European Perspective
The European Union has seen the route to competitiveness as arising from the development of a pan-European knowledge economy. It is in this context that Vocational Education and Training (VET) has an important role to play. To that end a significant body of work has addressed the manner in which European VET systems develop in young people the competences, skills and dispositions required at work. Whilst competence has been a theme in English research concerned with youth transitions a greater emphasis has been directed towards processes of class reproduction. For example, early English studies of FE and the VET experiences of young people illustrated the way these created identities that served to reproduce class relations, albeit mediated by gender and race (Hollands, 1990). Bates (1991) explored the manner in which notions of femininity and domesticity cohered with reproductive processes, whilst Avis (1988) considered race and ethnicity. Much of this work explored the lived experiences of young people on training schemes or vocational programmes (Gleeson and Mardle, 1980) with little work directly addressing youth transitions and the “making” of classed subjects, in particular A-level students. Moos, (1979) discussed the way YTS prepared young people for casualised and intermittent waged labour and key to this understanding was learners’ orientations to mental/manual labour. Early studies focused on underachievement and resistance to schooling which propelled young people towards unskilled work (but note, Avis, 1985). These studies suggested schooling was marginal to these young people’s lives, for whom mental labour was abstract and divorced from the real world. Willis (1977) demonstrated the association of mental labour with effeminacy for boys, and Stafford (1991) illustrated the way trainees actively resisted practices reminiscent of schooling. For vocational students these orientations were reflected in the emphasis placed on waged labour (Avis, 1983). These studies illustrated the association of mental/manual divisions with the reproduction of class and gendered identities. Contemporary research has engaged with these arguments, the work of Högberg (2011) in Sweden and Niemi and Rosval’s (2013) research in Finland and Sweden echo these processes illustrating the continued importance of the mental/manual divisions as well as their articulation with gender and class in youth transitions (and see Schneider and Tieben, 2011, work on German schooling). English FE research, utilising Bourdieu's notions of capital, field and habitus, considers the articulation of structure and agency and the salience of class in education (Colley, 2006). The ESRC’s Transforming Learning Cultures Project (TLC) (James and Biesta, 2007) discusses formative processes in relation to learning cultures, but under-plays the political implications. With notable exceptions, TLC failed to develop a robust political economy of learners’ experiences as a consequence of its case study orientation and focus on transforming learning and teaching cultures (but see Colley, 2006). Recently, following changes in the European labour market, the increased salience of neo-liberalism and precariousness of employment a number of writers have addressed the articulation of VET with the formation of class relations. In Germany this current is reflected in the work of Schmit (2010) and Müller (2014).
Avis, J. (1983) ABC and the New Vocational Consensus. Journal of Further and Higher Education, Spring Avis, J. (1985) The Ambiguities of Conformism, Sociological Review 33(4) Avis, J (1988) White Ethnicity White Racism, Journal of Moral Education 17(1) Bates, I. (1991) Closely Observed Training, International Studies in Sociology of Education 1 Colley, H. (2006) Learning to labour with feeling, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 7(1) Gleeson, D., Mardle, G. (1980) Further education or training? London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Grubb, W. N. (2006) Vocationalism and differentiation of tertiary education, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 30(1) Högberg, R. (2011) , Cheating as subversive and strategic resistance, Ethnography and Education, 6(3) Hollands, R.G. (1990) The long transition: Class, Culture and Youth Traning. London: MacMillan James, D., Biesta, G. (eds) (2007) Improving Learning cultures in Further Education London: Taylor and Francis Kehily, J., Pattman, R. (2006) Middle-class struggle? British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27(1) Moos, M. (1979) Government Youth training policy and its impact on further education, Stencilled paper, CCCS, Birmingham Müller, W. (2014) ‘Everyone is his own boss.’ in Coffield, F., with Costa, C., Müller, W., Webber, J. (Eds) Beyond Bulimic Learning, London: IOE Press Niemi, A-M., Rosval, P-A. (2013) Framing and classifying the theoretical and practical divide, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 65(4) Roberts, S. (2012) ‘I just got on with it’ British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(2) Schmidt, Christian (2010),"Vocational education and training (VET) for youths with low levels of qualification in Germany", Education + Training, 52(5) Silke L. Schneider & Nicole Tieben (2011) A healthy sorting machine? Oxford Review of Education, 37(2) Skeggs, B. (2004) Class, Self, Culture London: PsychologyPress Stafford, A. (1991) Trying work Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Thelen, K., Busemeyer, M. (2011) Institutional change in German vocational training, in Busemeyer, M., Trampusch, C. (Eds) The political economy of collective skill formation Walkerdine, V., Lucey, H., Melody, J. (2001) Growing up girl London: Palgrave Macmillan Willis, P. (1977) Learning to Labour London Saxon House Books
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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