23 SES 08 C, Education Policies and Development (Part 2)
Paper Session continued from 23 SES 07 C
The post-compulsory educational systems in countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria have faced criticism regarding the educational schism between vocational and academic education (Baethge 2006). It hinders access to higher education, lifelong learning and social mobility and is not appropriate to meet the needs of a knowledge-based and democratic society (Ebner et al. 2013). To dissolve the institutional divide between vocational education and training (VET) and general/academic education, hybrid qualification systems are of special interest for educational policy and research in Europe (Deissinger et al. 2013).
The aim of our paper is to present first results of a study that investigates the process of institutionalisation of such a hybrid educational track on upper secondary level in Switzerland – the specialised school – that links vocational and academic training. In the late 1980ies different cantonal schools – founded in the 19th century for young women and preparing for professions like nursing, kindergarten teacher or social work – had been merged into the specialised school with national regulations and recognition of diploma.
During the 1990ies in the context of ongoing transformation on upper secondary and tertiary level, the specialised school attempted to position itself as a distinct educational track and to raise its own profile besides the well-established tracks of VET and general baccalaureate school. Regarding the number of students today and the grade of institutionalisation we have to state that its position has remained rather weak. Only 4% of all students on upper secondary level attend a specialised school. Moreover, actors in administration and politics repeatedly have claimed to abolish it.
In our paper we are going to present first results of our analyses that reconstruct the hesitant process of institutionalisation of this school.
We examine two questions:
- What are the means and strategies taken by the representatives of the specialised school to establish, ensure and legitimize its status, identity and profile?
- Which institutional conditions and beliefs of relevant actors and stakeholders hinder a successful establishment of the specialised school?
With regard to the second question the current state of research points to several problems (ED Bern 2012, Capaul, Keller 2014, Kiener 2004). Actors of the VET track criticise that the specialised school has a vocational orientation and is preparing for professions, what conflicts with the division of tasks in the qualification system and leads to undesirable competition. Compared to the general baccalaureate school the specialised school is to some extent devaluated by students and parents, is of second choice and a solution for students who fail in general baccalaureate school.
To analyse the endeavours of establishing the specialised school besides VET and general baccalaureate school we refer to the theoretical framework of the sociology of conventions (respectively economics of conventions), a pragmatic and transdisciplinary institutional approach (Boltanski, Thévenot 1999, Diaz-Bone 2011, 2015). Conventions are collectively and culturally established principles of orientation and action (orders of worth and justification) on the basis of which actors evaluate and coordinate in social situations and justify their actions and decisions.
By investing in forms (objects, standards, symbolic representations, and cognitive schemata) conventions reach temporal, social and spatial stability as well as general validity (Thévenot 1984). However these orders of worth are contradictory. In situations where established routines and other taken-for-granted assumptions are questioned and actors have to renegotiate, discussions and disputes are evolving on the valid order of worth (Knoll 2013). In order to come to an agreement, compromises between different orders of worth are made, in which case two or more measures of worth may stand side by side in a relation of equivalence (Boltanski, Thévenot 1999, 374).
Baethge, Martin. 2006. Das deutsche Bildungs-Schisma: Welche Probleme ein vorindustrielles Bildungssystem in einer nachindustriellen Gesellschaft hat. SOFI-Mitteilungen (34):13–27. Berner, Esther, Philipp Gonon, Christian Imdorf (2016). The genesis of the vocational education in Switzerland from the perspective of justification theory: On the development of a dual vocational education model in the cantons of Geneva and Lucerne. In: Esther Berner, Philipp Gonon (eds.). History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe - Concepts, Cases and Challenges. Berne: (in print). Boltanski, Luc, Laurent Thévenot. 1999. The Sociology of Critical Capacity. European Journal of Social Theory 2(3):359–377. Capaul, Roman, Martin Keller. 2014. Evaluation des Lehrgangs Fachmittelschule im Kanton St. Gallen. Universität St. Gallen Institut für Wirtschaftspädagogik. Derouet, Jean-Louis. 1989. L'établissement scolaire comme entreprise composite. Programme pour une sociologie des établissements scolaires. In: Luc Boltanski, Laurent Thévenot (Eds.). Justesse et Justice dans le travail. Noisy-le-Grand: 11–42. Diaz-Bone, Rainer. 2011. Einführung in die Soziologie der Konventionen. In: Rainer Diaz-Bone (ed.). Soziologie der Konventionen. Grundlagen einer pragmatischen Anthropologie. Frankfurt/M., New York: Campus: 9–41. Diaz-Bone, Rainer. 2015. Die „Economie des conventions”. Grundlagen und Entwicklungen der neuen französischen Wirtschaftssoziologie. Wiesbaden. Ebner, Christian, Lukas Graf, Rita Nikolai. 2013. New Institutional Linkages Between Dual Vocational Training and Higher Education: A Comparative Analysis of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Michael Windzio (Ed.). Integration and Inequality in Educational Institutions. Dordrecht: 281–298. ED Bern (Erziehungsdirektion des Kantons Bern). 2012. Fachmittelschulbericht. Die Fachmittelschulen im Kanton Bern. Evaluationsergebnisse, Analyse und Handlungsempfehlungen. ED Bern. Deissinger, Thomas, Josef Aff, Alison Fuller, Christian Helms Jørgensen (Eds.). 2013a. Hybrid Qualifications: Structures and Problems in the Context of European VET Policy. Bern. Kiener, Urs. 2004. Vier Fallstudien schweizerischer Berufsbildungspolitik. Kiener Sozialforschung. Knoll, Lisa. 2013. Resolving evaluative ambiguity: the ordering of orders of worth as an interactive achievement. Paper presented at: Explorations of French conventionalism in bringing society back into organizational analysis, April 11-12 2013, University of Innsbruck/Austria. Leemann, Regula Julia, Christian Imdorf. 2015. Cooperative VET in Training Networks: Analysing the Free-Rider Problem in a Sociology-of-Conventions Perspective. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) 2(4):184–207. Thévenot, Laurent. 1984. Rules and implements: investment in forms. Social Science Information 23(1):1–45.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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