Beyond comparative institutional analysis: a workplace turn in English TVET
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractVocational education analyses often compare national patterns seen to favour industry-based training, state schooling or personal investment in skills acquisition: these are increasingly offered as ‘templates’ to new and established industrial economies. Institutionalist scholarship has correspondingly foregrounded skill formation as key to national policy differences; in particular historical institutionalism has focused on the role of labour market and state actors in negotiating and contesting arrangements for skill formation. Whilst paying relatively little direct attention to educational practice, these approaches provide theoretical tools to understand policy differences and to identify possibilities, limitations and strategies for change. This paper draws on their application in England, where apprenticeship and technical education reforms are periodically represented as relocating skills formation to the point of production on the model of collectivist systems: case study data is examined for evidence of institutional change strategies within emerging educational practices. Whilst the absence of engaged labour market actors renders the adoption of a substantially different model improbable, contestation over knowledge, control and educational roles is nevertheless evident, indicating the deployment of strategies for significant change. Their outcomes will determine the availability of transitions, with a layering of selective opportunities threatening to diminish the opportunities available to others.
CitationEsmond, B. (2018). Beyond comparative institutional analysis: a workplace turn in English TVET. In C. Nägele & B.E. Stalder (Eds.), Trends in vocational education and training research.Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET) pp. 148-155. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1319655.
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