02 SES 16 B, VET, Socialization and Critical Thinking
This is an impossible question given the institutional and disciplinary diversity of HIVE. There is also the question of what constitutes the vocational in higher education. We are all aware of the reiterated claims that HE provides a route to employability. This is often more rhetorical than real, with graduate under- and un-employment being a feature of contemporary life (Autor 2006). How then should we think through what constitutes critical vocational education in current conditions (Avis, 2018)? There are arguments that seemingly invert one another. For example, the discourse of flexibility sits alongside both the construction of a neoliberal subject and, albeit fleetingly, anticipates forms of criticality. Such criticality anticipates the development of collective intelligence, with critical educators as co-constructors of the curriculum providing access to powerful knowledge allied to really useful knowledge (Wheelahan, 2010). However, the preceding is unspecified. Vocational further education (VET) educators refer to professional/occupational formation, whereby pedagogic processes not only address, but should go beyond the putative needs of employers. These formations are to consider the civic responsibilities of professional/occupational groups (Winch, 2012). However the curriculum is partly shaped by standards framed by the particular vocational group. The critical educator’s practice occupies the fissures within the curriculum attempting with students to work on the affordances offered. Whilst I have raised a number of questions that address HIVE there are other pertinent issues that need to be explored. These include HIVE’s relationship to the labour market, the frequent absence of paid employment and what this means for the development of critical educational practices (Flemming, 2017). Much the same point could be made about vocational education and the curriculum in relation to its decolonisation i.e. its embeddedness in ‘white supremacy’ (Leonardo 2009). In addition, how can we think through HIVE in relation to fractions of capital that implicitly support its re-vitalisation? The paper is based on a critical engagement with the literature, aiming to generate a discussion about vocational education and the development of emancipatory practices. How would such a practice go beyond what already exists? What would a critical emancipatory and transformative practice look like in the current conjuncture in which worklessness is a feature of many peoples’ lives? How would this impact on the way in which we conceive and move beyond the notion of a ‘triple’ professionalism (i.e., as experts in occupational specialisms, in pedagogy, and in links with stakeholders) in vocational contexts?
Autor, D., L. Katz, and M. Kearney. 2006. “The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market, the American.” Economic Review 96 (2): 189–194. doi:10.1257/000282806777212620 Avis, J. (2018) Socio-technical imaginary of the fourth industrial revolution and its implication for vocational education and training: a literature review, Journal of Vocational Education and Training 70(3) 337-363 doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2018.1498907 Fleming, P. 2017. The Death of Homo Economicus. London: Pluto. Frey, C. B., and M. A. Osborne. 2013. The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation? Published by the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment. https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/1314 Goos, M., and A. Manning. 2007. “Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 89 (1): 118–133. doi:10.1162/rest.89.1.118. Leonardo, Z. 2009. Race, whiteness and education, London Routledge Sassen, S. 2014. Expulsions. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Srnicek, N., and A. Williams. 2015. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World without Work. London: Verso Tett, L., Hamilton, M. 2019. Resisting Neoliberalism in Education: Local, National and Transnational Perspectives. Bristol, Policy Press Wheelahan, L. 2010. Why Knowledge Matters in Curriculum. London: Routledge. Winch, C. 2012. Dimensions of Expertise. London: Continuum.
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