The International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training is a peer-reviewed Journal for VET-related research and provides full open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
IJRVET is the official organ of VETNET European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (European Educational Research Association) and IRNVET International Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (World Education Research Association).
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Current Issue – Table of Content
- Ensuring Curriculum Relevance in Vocational Education and Training: Epistemological Perspectives in a Curriculum Research ProjectThis article addresses challenges regarding relevance in vocational education and training (VET) curricula. Recent research on Norwegian VET shows that the educational content is not sufficiently related to the students' needs for qualification in the actual vocations. I will present a new curriculum research project aimed at investigating and improving the vocational relevance in Norwegian VET. An important part of the project is to investigate epistemological perspectives on how vocational knowledge is constituted and developed, and consequences for the curriculum. The article presents results from these epistemological investigations. I will argue that the relevance problem relates to a one-sided rationalist epistemology in which a main idea is that vocational knowledge consists of theoretical principles and procedures to be applied in practical situations. This idea influences educational traditions and structures, and leads to a separation between theoretical and practical subjects and learning arenas. From a pragmatic epistemological perspective, it can be argued that vocational knowledge is contextual and holistic, and consists of complex wholes of physicality, motor skills, intellectual understandings, values, and verbalized concepts. To ensure curriculum relevance, a curriculum is needed in which authentic practical work is the base, and subjects are integrated with students' practical work experience.Hilde Hiim
- Supporting Vocational Students' Development of Preventive Behaviour at Work: A Phenomenological Analysis of Teachers' ExperiencesStatistics indicate that even if young workers complete vocational training, as a group they are at risk of sustaining injury. It appears that a lack of training in the area of injury prevention may explain some of this effect. Teachers are considered to be key actors in injury-prevention training and in the process of developing students' preventive behaviour at work, but little is known about the reality. The objective of this study was to understand how teachers experience their activities in support of students' development of injury-prevention behaviour at work. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven teachers from four different vocational training programs. The content of the interviews was then examined using phenomenological analysis. Results show representations participants form of occupational health and safety, of injury-prevention behaviour and of their roles as teachers in relation to prevention. A closer look at these roles reveals the daily challenges teachers encounter. Among other things, there seems to be a lack of continuity in the training process, insufficient pedagogical resources and resistance on the students' part. Results offer an insight into teachers' experience with their part in the support of vocational students' development of injury-preventing behaviour. It appears they recognize having to play an active role in the development of injury-preventing behaviour at work among students, but have to face daily challenges affecting their teaching. Results of this study can serve as a starting point to make improvements to the injury-prevention training offered in vocational training centres.Alexandra Lecours, Pierre-Yves Therriault
- Developing Schemas for Assessing Social Competences among Unskilled Young PeopleSocial competences are crucial parts of vocational education and training (VET) competences. As part of a development project preparing unskilled young people for VET, an action research project was conducted with the aim of developing a schema for assessing and grading social competences. The development included defining the social competences as well as three levels for assessing these competences. The schema was developed in cooperation with the assessors, i.e., representatives from workplaces, municipal youth guidance centres, and VET colleges. There were two main findings. First, the definitions of the competences and the levels for assessing the competences are related to the context in which the competences should be developed. Second, even though the definitions should be related to the specific contexts, to be manageable they should not be too elaborate. The aim of the project being to develop a schema that practitioners in general can use for assessing young peoples' social competences in relation to work-based training, the study concludes that further research is needed to clarify whether the schema can be used without instruction or training.Vibe Aarkrog, Bjarne Wahlgren
- Entrepreneurship Education at Indian Industrial Training Institutes – A Case Study of the Prescribed, Adopted and Enacted Curriculum in and around BangaloreOn the one hand, India is a growing economy that needs skilled labour, self-employed entrepreneurs and employees to tackle its economic and social challenges. On the other hand, India faces high unemployment rates, especially among young people. Graduates from industrial training institutes (ITIs) in particular are often facing difficulties in pursuing self-employment. Entrepreneurship education is an essential element in preparing young people for self-employment. This paper analyses how and to what extent entrepreneurship education has been conceived and implemented in vocational schools in and around Bangalore to face these challenges. Methodologically the authors use a three-step approach following the theories of a `prescribed', `adopted' or `enacted' curriculum. Qualitative interviews are used for the analysis of the adopted and enacted curriculum. The authors conclude that whereas the prescribed curriculum includes several elements of entrepreneurship education and teacher's understanding is in line with the prescription, the understanding is seldom translated into input in the day-to-day teaching. The plausible reasons for this gap are discussed in this paper.Lea Zenner, Kumar Kothandaraman, Matthias Pilz