02 SES 01 A, Internationalization of VET
This double symposium will focus on internationalization of vocational education and training (VET) research. The overall purpose of this symposium is not only to promote research on VET but also to initiate a dialogue on ways of conducting research in the field. The questions that we seek to discuss in the symposium include: (1) How do VET practice and VET research differ across countries in Europe and globally?; (2) What are characteristics of VET research in Europe, and does a so-called “core brand” of VET research in Europe exist?; (3) How could the Europeanization or internationalization of VET research contribute to intensifying European and international cooperation in VET and to the orientation or initiation of local reform processes?; and (4) Which questions should European VET-related research community address and with which methods and in which settings?
Those questions will be addressed in light of a funding scheme, one that frames the entire symposium, called “Research for the Internationalization of Vocational Education and Training” developed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The scheme’s aim is threefold: (1) to strengthen the expertise of universities and other research institutions in research on international vocational training projects and the training of academic vocational training staff; (2) to integrate that expertise more closely into the BMBF's international vocational training cooperation; and (3) to make the scheme available to foreign partners in order to support reform processes abroad towards more practice-oriented initial and continuing vocational education and training (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2017).
The proposed symposium will include six papers that extend theory and investigate practices in VET in different countries and regions with a variety of theoretical perspectives, research designs, settings, methodologies and analytical methods. We have designed the symposium to provide rich opportunities to draw parallels across the six presentations, all of which share the internationalization of VET as a unifying theme. By using the symposium format, which encourages audience members to ask questions and make comments between presentations, we hope to generate new insights, foster discussion, and stimulate future research. The session will be the first international event of the abovementioned initiative, which above all aims to strengthen research for the internationalization of VET. In addition to advancing international VET research, the symposium will play an important role in cultivating collaboration and networking opportunities as well as generating a sense of community among researchers interested in the internationalization of VET research.
The proposed symposium is designed as a two-session event consisting of four major parts.
(1) The organizers will start the symposium by briefly introducing the topic, its relevance to the European educational research community, and the rationale and structure of the symposium.
(2) Paper presentations of projects funded by the mentioned scheme will spotlight cases of international VET research from six different countries in two sessions:
Session 1: Internationalization of VET Research (i.e. Germany, Iran and South Africa)
Session 2: Internationalization of VET Research (i.e. Mexico, China and Russia)
(3) A discussant will synthesise the first two parts, describe the state of the discussion in the European context and provide commentary to clarify the discussion’s implications for the audience.
(4) Last, the four abovementioned questions will be discussed openly with audience members.
The Organizers of this symposium are Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Carla Kühling-Thees & Miriam Toepper (JGU Mainz); Sandra Bohlinger, Anne Bieß & Ianina Scheuch (TU Dresden); Michael Gessler & Anja-Christina Greppmair (University of Bremen).
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2017). Announcement. Regulations governing funding for research on the internationalization of vocational education and training (VET). berufsbildung-international.de/files/BEK_IBBF_eng.pdf.
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