23 SES 14 B, Work Practice and Vocational Perspectives in Public Education
DenmarkThe ’world of work’ has a shadowy presence in modern school education. Schools are expected to provide young people with knowledge, skills and motivation relevant (in more or less general ways) to the labour market and prepare them to choose appropriate education and work careers. In the Danish school system, like in many others, the teaching and the everyday life of schools have become more and more shaped by a policy focus on academic outcomes and test scores. At the upper secondary level students can choose vocational schools with a strong element of workplace training; but in ordinary schooling there is little room for relating teaching and learning to work. Students’ perception of work is shaped instead by what they hear from family and the media. The importance of work for human development and quality of life is debated (Gorz, 1999), but there is no doubt that work is a fundamental condition in modern societies, not just for income but also for citizenship and identity. This clearly indicates a need for more explicit links between schooling and the world of work, links through which students may gain and reflect on direct experience. These issues were confronted by one of the early theorists of modern society, Karl Marx. He criticized separation of schools from social life and argued that the optimal form of education combines institutionalised teaching and learning with paid productive labour (Small, 2017). Marx’s approach and his concept of ‘Polytechnical training’ still hold inspiration for rethinking the relationship between schooling and work, even though today’s workplaces and labour markets are very different from early capitalism. One difference is that the economic role of knowledge and learning, in individual firms as well as in national economies has become much more evident (Lundvall, 2017). In this contribution we will discuss the possible forms and functions of such links between work, learning and schooling, focusing on public school systems at primary and secondary levels. Theoretically we will draw on critical social theory, not least on Oskar Negt (Negt, 2001), who has focused on the character and role of experience in modern societies and related this to both trade union education and progressive schooling. We will also draw on empirical studies of Danish education, especially of the so-called ‘Production schools’ (Rasmussen & Rasmussen, 2009) where young people can receive work-based training as preparation for later education or work.
Alfeldt, C. et al (2013). Work-based Learning Opportunities for High School Students. Louisville: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education. Cedefop (2017). The changing nature and role of vocational education and training in Europe. Volume 1: conceptions of vocational education and training: an analytical framework. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Cedefop research paper; No 63. Gorz, A. (1999). Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society. Cambridge: Policy Press. Lundvall, B.-Å. (2017). The Learning Economy and the Economics of Hope. London: Anthem Press. Negt, O. (2001). Arbeit und Menschliche Würde [Work and Human Dignity]. Göttingen: Steidl. Small, R. (2017). Marx and Education. London: Routledge. Rasmussen, A. & Rasmussen, P. (2009). En indsats for produktionsskoleelever med særlige vanskeligheder [Supporting Production School Students with Special Difficulties]. Aalborg: Department of Learning and Philosophy.
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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