02 SES 11 B, VET: Linking with the World of Work
Educational success for all children highly concerns educational researchers and policy makers today. Most often, this is associated with school improvement. The arguments are still the same as in Howard Becker’s (1972) classic article, which compares the structural characteristics of schools and of on-the-job learning. Notwithstanding the résumé that, due to inherent structural defects, schools are ‘a lousy place to learn anything in’, Becker argues that on-the-job-learning has still worse structural defects, as it provides, in its extreme form, only narrow skills (‘If a person can get a job doing one of the tasks of the bundle, he knows enough to be an acceptable member of the trade’ (Becker 1972, p. 102), whereas a school would teach the whole bundle). Moreover, on-the-job-learning depends ‘on contingencies unrelated to education or training’ (Becker 1972, p.99), such as ‘the press to do more important business’ (Becker 1972, p. 97). This presentation inquires into the modalities of organisation of on-the-job-learning and the effects they can give rise to, not by the example of Becker’s theoretical extreme case, but by the living example of the ‘dual system’ of vocational education and training (VET) in Germany with its focus on legally regulated in-company learning and with imaginary learners who value another than the deductive thinking transmitted in scholastic learning (cf. Höhns 2013, 2016). With concepts and models developed by the British sociologist Basil Bernstein and on the basis of empirical research, the presentation systematises interrelations between influences from the world of work and training in a company and so makes a contribution to a better understanding of in-company transmission.
The research presented here is part of a project to find out possible interrelations between experiences in German in-company VET and later career developments (Dorau, Höhns et al. 2009). Some of the structural defects Becker identified about on-the-job-training, such as narrowness of skills transmission, the ‘dual system’ tries to avoid by establishing in legal provisions a strong macro-social discourse (cf. Höhns 2016). Yet,as Bernstein points out, this macro-social discourse may well become distorted at the micro-level of transmission, in view of the permeable boundary between the transmission site ‘training-company’ and the world of work, so that Becker’s arguments against in-company learning would remain valid. When external constraints prevent in-company teaching and learning, this may well lead to instable career developments after graduation. Therefore, researchers developed an instrument for the typification of phenomena emanating from the external world and interfering with in-company learning, which shall be presented here.
In Bernstein’s (1977, 1990, 2000) terms, the locus of control over these phenomena is called ‘external framing’. Bernstein’s structuralist-inspired theories usefully complement Becker’s reflexions about the structural assets and defects of transmission. Both authors use the same central concepts, such as transmitters/teachers, acquirers/learners, time and space of transmission, and Bernstein points to their interrelatedness. For example, pedagogic discourse for Bernstein is a specific interrelation of time, space and discourse, going along with particular assumptions about who transmitters and acquirers are and who they should become. Pedagogic discourse, in turn, for Bernstein is related, in a non-determinative way, to pedagogic practice, which, through the ‘code’, positions transmitters and acquirers, that is, it establishes a specific relation to other subjects and creates specific relationships within subjects (cf. Bernstein 1990, p. 10). ‘Framing’, alongside with ‘classification’, is part of Bernstein’s definition of ‘code’ and so contributes to learners’ positioning. ‘External framing’, referring to the control over influences from outside on the learning situation, here, from the world of work on the in-company transmission, also contributes to learners’ positioning. The presentation shows typologies of external framing of in-company transmission.
Becker, H. (1972). A School is a Lousy Place To Learn Anything in. The American Behavioral Scientist, 16(1), 21. Bernstein, B. (1977). Class, Codes and Control, Vol. III - Towards a Theory of Educational Transmission (Revised ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan. Bernstein, B. (1990). Class, Codes and Control, Vol. IV - The structuring of pedagogic discourse. London, New York: Routledge. Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity (Revised ed.). Boston: Rowman & Littlefield. Blumer, H. (1954). What is wrong with social theory? American Sociological Review, 19(1), 3-10. Dorau, R., Feller, G., & Höhns, G. (2009). Berufliche Entwicklungen junger Fachkräfte nach Abschluss der Ausbildung - final report. Available from Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, http://www2.bibb.de/tools/fodb/pdf/eb_21201.pdf Gamble, J. (2004). Tacit Knowledge in Craft Pedagogy: A Sociological Analysis. unpublished PhD. University of Cape Town. Höhns, G. (2013). Ordnung und Steuerung der betrieblichen Berufsbildung in Deutschland im Prisma der Konzepte Basil Bernsteins. bwp@ Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik – online, 25, 1-19. Retrieved from http://www.bwpat.de/ausgabe25/hoehns_bwpat25.pdf Höhns, G. (2015). Principles of Pedagogic Practice in Regulated In-Company VET that Stay – even when Labourmarket Transitions are not Smooth Paper presented at the European Conference for Educational Research (ECER), Budapest. Höhns, G. (2016). Recontextualisation in In-company Vocational Education in the Dual System in Germany. In P. Vitale & B. Exley (Eds.), Pedagogic Rights and Democratic Education: Bernsteinian explorations of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. London: Routledge. Höhns, G. (submitted). The relevance of discourse for the pedagogic practice. Journal of vocational education and training. Morais, A., & Neves, I. (2001). Pedagogic social contexts: Studies for a sociology of learning. In A. Morais, I. Neves, B. Davies & H. Daniels (Eds.), Towards a Sociology of Pedagogy - The contribution of Basil Bernstein to Research (pp. 185-221). New York: Peter Lang. Neves, I., & Morais, A. (2001). Texts and Contexts in Educational Systems: Studies of Recontextualising Spaces. In A. Morais, I. Neves, B. Davies & H. Daniels (Eds.), Towards a Sociology of Pedagogy (pp. 223-250). New York: Lang. Neves, I., Morais, A., & Afonso, M. (2004). Teacher training contexts: Study of specific sociological characteristics. In J. Muller, B. Davies & A. Morais (Eds.), Reading Bernstein, researching Bernstein (pp. 168-186). London: Routledge & Falmer. Witzel, A. (1982). Verfahren der qualitativen Sozialforschung - Überblick und Alternativen. Frankfurt/New York: Campus. Witzel, A. (2000). The problem-centered interview. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1. Witzel, A., & Reiter, H. (2012). The problem-centered interview. London: Sage.
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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