Special IJRVET Issue about “Vocational Didactics” published

International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training

Table of Content

  • Vocational Didactics: Core Assumptions and Approaches from Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden 15. December 2015 13:26
    The design of vocational didactics has to meet special requirements. Six core assumptions are identified: outcome orientation, cultural-historical embedding, horizontal structure, vertical structure, temporal structure, and the changing nature of work. Different approaches and discussions from school-based systems (Spain and Sweden) and dual systems (Denmark, Germany and Norway) are presented in this special issue. From an inside or national perspective, the solutions show a high cultural-historical dependency. From an outside or cross-national perspective, contingency and alternative possibilities become visible. The combination of both perspectives could enable continuity as well as innovation. This is the basic assumption of the presented collection about vocational didactics.

    Michael Gessler (Germany), Lázaro Moreno Herrera (Sweden)

  • Transitions and Diversity in Didactics: An Exploration Searching for Implications for Vocational Education and Training 15. December 2015 13:26
    Depending on the perspective and even language, the concept of didactics is defined in different ways. The debate about conceptualization, particularly concerning the equivalence in English of what in other languages, specifically Germanic and Latin languages, is termed ‘didactics’, is well documented in the research literature. There is a claim in this article concerning the need to transcend the language discussion; it is indeed necessary, especially for Vocational Education & training (VET), to develop a close linkage between what some authors consider “an empirically based” side of didactics associated with empirical findings and the “non-empirical” side that is associated with theoretical constructs for understanding the teaching-learning process.The main aim of this article is to revisit research in didactics in German, Nordic and French contexts looking for diversity in the various approaches. This is intended to contribute to the discussion about prospects and shortcomings in the development of a didactics for the intricate subject of vocational education and training. Rather than alternative didactical paths, the article intends to suggest lines of development, encourage discussions and the further research needed concerning relationship didactics and vocational education and training.

    Lázaro Moreno Herrera (Sweden)

  • What Sense Can We Make of the Possibility of Vocational Didactics? An Approach from the Spanish School-Based System Complemented by Non-Formal Vocational Training 15. December 2015 13:26
    Our contribution attempts to review the development of the field of didactics in Spain in the past 35 years and its contribution to the development and improvement of vocational education and training. We intend to show that the concern of didactics is an issue of great concern (and dispute) in Southern Europe, for which we will use Spain as an example.We will particularly analyse from a didactical approach (taking didactics as a normative applied discipline well established in academia) the possibilities that a traditionally school-based discipline has to improve the development of vocational education practice in and out of schools, for young and adult people, in terms of pedagogical innovation.

    Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá (Spain), Alicia Ros-Garrido (Spain)

  • Re-Contextualizing Vocational Didactics in Norwegian Vocational Education and Training 15. December 2015 13:26
    This article explores teachers and trainers didactical practices in different contexts in Norwegian VET: schools and workplaces. With the introduction of e-resources and e-portfolios in VET, learners as well as teachers and trainers experience a more hybrid learning-arena, which claims for a recontextualization of vocational didactics as well as re-defining roles and responsibilities of the actors. The article discuss new forms of boundary crossing, dealing with e-portfolios as boundary objects, increasing learner autonomy, transformative learning outcomes, interaction between actors and designinglearning processes in hybrid learning-arenas. Vocational didactics as understood in a teacher-training context are challenged by more actors and new forms of interactivity with technological tools crossing sites. The study is based on a longitudinal study in a national project on quality assessment, interviews with teachers and trainers as well as apprenticeship training offices supported by documentary evidence from three trades: sales, plumbing and industrial mechanics.

    Hæge Nore (Norway)

  • Reforming Vocational Didactics by Implementing a New VET Teacher Education in Denmark: Tensions and Challenges Reflected in Interviews with Vocational College Teachers 15. December 2015 13:26
    A new education program, Diploma of Vocational Pedagogy, has recently been implemented in Denmark to upskill vocational college teachers and improve didactics at VET colleges in general. Among many challenges, vocational college teachers have to adapt their pedagogy to a large number of students from backgrounds with no tradition for education. Despite historical changes, the education as vocational college teacher also struggles with the interplay between theory and practice in the program and great diversity among vocational college teachers. Based on empirical data from focus group interviews with students from the Diploma of Vocational Pedagogy program and concepts developed by Bernstein and Bourdieu, the article analyzes how these aspects might affect the development of new vocational didactics. We know that it is not easy to change theculture of educational institutions, and the analysis uncovers several factors that are expected to hamper the development processes.

    Henriette Duch (Denmark), Karen E. Andreasen (Denmark)

  • From the Reality of Work to Grounded Work-Based Learning in German Vocational Education and Training: Background, Concept and Tools 15. December 2015 13:26
    The “Riga Conclusions” of the European Ministries of Education of 22 June 2015 for the orientation of vocational education and training in Europe are promoting work-based learning as one of five “medium-term deliverables” for the next five years. But: How should and can work-based teaching and learning be designed? Our approach was developed within the German Dual VET System. Therefore it is not surprising that the work reality is for us the major principle for designing curricula and learning settings. As a starting point for developing didactical measures in the field of vocational education and training it is crucial in this approach to identify practices, routines and experiences of skilled workers that are experts for what they are doing. What are those people doing when handling a task, how are they acting, what work objects and tools are they operating with, and what requirements do they have to be aware of? To answer these kinds of questions, the real work in practice must be explored. A useful approach for doing this is a vocational work process analysis. The next step comprises developing a workbased learning project for the classroom. These two steps, vocational work process analysis and work-based learning projects, build the core of the article and enable a grounded work-based learning. Additional the changing priorities of curriculum design in the last century are introduced to reach a better understanding of the background and the actual work-oriented focus in German Dual VET. Our key proposition is: If work-based learning in vocational schools is wanted, the gap between the reality of work and the formal learning settings has to be closed.

    Michael Gessler (Germany), Falk Howe (Germany)

Link to IJRVET

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