02 SES 01, VETNET Opening Session: Reflections on VET from Local and European Perspectives
VETNET during its inception time in the early 1990s was searching for an identity and acknowledgement of vocational education and training research in Europe. For that a professional VET research community was needed. Related to this the first VETNET programs were rather incoherent. There was a wide variety of themes which were included in the program, ranging from initial VET issues such as the NVQs in the UK to human resource development in organizations, and the research which was presented was dominated by reports of EU projects.
From a scientific point of view the conference presentations were not always embedded in theoretical frameworks nor were they based on elaborate data analysis methods. This has changed dramatically. Currently, the focus of VETNET is much more specifically on issues regarding vocational education research, including vocational teacher professional development, work-based learning, new apprenticeships and competence in VET.
There are many theoretical achievements made in these fields. More advanced research methods are being used. Furthermore, the scientific quality and reputation of VET research is much improved. To summarize the current state: much has been done, there is a vibrant community of VET research practice, with its own nascent scientific journal, but there still remains a lot to be done.
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