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Conflicting interests, tensions and contradictions in VET and adult education reform: An international perspective

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Product Description

Edited by Ros Brennan Kemmis (AM) and Gun-Britt Wärvik

Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-921980-27-5
Pages: ii+106


This special edition of the International Journal of Training Research brings together contributions from Australian, Swedish and Danish Vocational Education and Training (VET) researchers who have engaged in research projects related to ‘Conflicting interests, tensions and contradictions in VET and adult education reform: An international perspective’. The special issue is based on an ongoing collaboration between researchers from Australia, Denmark and Sweden and addresses recent changes in VET policy and practice in the three countries.

The contributions are part of individual research projects aimed at identifying trends and commonalities in the particular policy frameworks in each country. The collaboration that has resulted in the publication of this special issue first started in 2008 when a number of Australian and Swedish researchers met in Gothenburg. Since then the group has expanded to include other researchers with similar interests. The research was first presented in 2010 at the Australian Association for Research in Education conference in Melbourne in the symposium Shaping new forms of vocational education & training in Sweden and Australia and further developed in 2011 at the meeting with the European Education Research Association in Berlin in the symposium Looking into the mirror: International alignments and differences in Australian, Finnish and Swedish VET.

In each of the participating countries, extensive reforms in VET have been introduced. These reforms are contested and they have had consequences, often unintended, that the authors argue need to be exposed and discussed. The authors in this special issue apply their research skills to interrogate these reforms and the effects of policy changes for teachers, students and the wider society.

To understand implications of educational restructuring it is important not only to study the political intentions and ambitions of those directing the restructuring per se, but also to analyse how these intentions and ambitions materialise in the everyday working life of teachers, especially in their engagement with students (Goodson & Lindblad, 2011). Given the permeating and globalised nature of VET reforms, the researchers who have written for this special issue were interested in exploring reforms within their own countries and juxtaposing the consequences of these reforms besides the experiences of others to gain a deeper and more international perspective on the conflicting interests, tensions and contradictions in VET and Adult Education reform.

Table of Contents

– Ros Brennan Kemmis, Gun-Britt Wärvik

Vocational education and training teachers' conceptions of their pedagogy
– Ros Brennan Kemmis, Annette Green

The reconfiguration of adult education VET teachers: Tensions amongst organisational imperatives, vocational ideals and the needs of students
– Gun-Britt Wärvik

Renaissance or a backward step? Disparities and tensions in two new Swedish pathways in VET
– Ingrid Berglund, Ingrid Henning Loeb

Mathematics in VET programmes: The tensions associated with reforms in Sweden
– Lisbeth Lindberg, Barbro Grevholm

The role and meaning of vocations in the transition from education to work
– Christian Helms Jørgensen

Reflection: Towards a mature provision of vocational education
– Stephen Billett

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