02 SES 05 A, VET Teachers Continuing Education and Training
Vocational education and training (VET) is a matter of teaching skills and the knowledge needed to perform vocational tasks. However, it is also about educating reflective practitioners (Schön 1983, 1987), supporting moral development and vocational ethics (Tyson 2015a, Corsten & Lempert 1997) and educating for the development of competences or key-qualifications (Rauner & Bremer 2004). These latter issues have been repeatedly argued on a philosophical or policy level and it has been established that the major part of this takes place in conjunction with skill-training and cannot be separated off from it (Rauner and Bremer 2004). There has been less work devoted to examining how such educational processes are encouraged and enacted, ie. their didactical aspects.
In previous research (Tyson 2015a, 2015b), part of which was presented at last years ECER/VET-NET (Didactical narratives as part of educating for vocational excellence: articulating relationships between techne and phronesis),I have argued that these issues can be conceptualized as vocational Bildung and explored empirically as a form of practical didactical knowledge narratively articulated as stories of vocational Bildung-experiences and affordances.
The aim of this presentation is to continue on the same line of inquiry with a presentation of further empirical research. This research is an attempt to take the concept of narratively articulated vocational Bildung didactics and introduce it into two academically based vocational teacher education programs (one focusing on nursing teachers and one encompassing a multitude of different vocational teachers). This is a way of exploring how the conceptual framework developed can be brought back to practitioners and also to examine the ways in which this kind of inquiry changes as it transforms from an extensive single biographical case study into two less elaborate multiple case studies.
The theoretical framework for this is located in the field of phronetic social science (Flyvbjerg 2001, Schram 2012) where the focus is not foremost to produce theory but to contribute to phronesis/practical wisdom in both social practice and social science. The conceptual framework for narratively articulated vocational Bildung didactics consists of the techne/phronesis distinction (Biesta 2013, Dunne 1993, Kinsella & Pitmann 2012), narratives as articulated practice (Clandinin & Connelly 1995, Gallagher 2010, McDrury & Alterio 2002, McEwan & Egan 1995, Moon 2010, Tyson 2015a), didactics (Uljens 1997) as an entwined practice of techne and phronesis, and finally, pedagogical imagination as the central concept in mediating between general ideas and particular practice, drawing on Schön’s (1987) idea that skilled practitioners have a repertoire of previous experiences that they reinterpret to enrich their confrontation with new situations. This can be contextualized as part of a field of research closely related to both Bildungsgangdidaktik (Gessler 1988, Meyer 2009, Trautmann 2004) and reflective practice (Schön 1983, 1987).
The two case studies were designed around slightly different questions relating to vocational Bildung didactics. In the first one connected to students in a vocational teacher program, the task given was to write about a didactically relevant vocational Bildung experience from their own vocational education. In the second one connected to students in a nursing teacher program the task given was to write about a didactically relevant existential vocational Bildung experience from their own practice given that a significant part of care-professions is dealing wisely with the pain and suffering of those under care. Both groups were given a short description of the concepts of narratively articulated vocational Bildung didactics together with some examples of narratives that fit these descriptions.
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