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ERIC Number: EJ1102577
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1874-785X
Contextualising Vocational Knowledge: A Theoretical Framework and Illustrations from Culinary Education
Heusdens, W. T.; Bakker, A.; Baartman, L. K. J.; De Bruijn, E.
Vocations and Learning, v9 n2 p151-165 Jul 2016
The nature of knowledge in vocational education is often described in dichotomies such as theory versus practice or general versus specific. Although different scholars now acknowledge that vocational knowledge is more than putting bits of theoretical and practical knowledge together, it is still unclear how vocational knowledge should be theorised instead. In this article we theorise the idea of contextualising vocational knowledge to understand the nature of vocational knowledge and illustrate this process of contextualising with empirical examples from culinary education. We adopt an activity-theoretical focus on contextualising that involves both particularising and providing coherence. We posit a cognitive process of meaning making where meaning derives from seeing the relationships of parts to the whole. The aspects of the nature of coherence and the relation between concepts and actions seem rather underdeveloped in vocational education theory. To characterise this process at a micro-level, we enhance the activity-theory approach with an inferentialist one. Inferentialism offers a way to focus on reasons and inferential relations between concepts and actions that provides coherence in vocational knowledge. To characterise the broad spectrum of processes relevant for vocational knowledge, we propose the terms "conceptualising" and "concretising." Conceptualising involves inferring what follows from understanding a concept in a particular situation in relation to the meaning of other concepts. Concretising involves inferring what follows from understanding an aspect of the occupational practice in which students are participating. We argue that this way of framing vocational knowledge helps to better understand its nature and development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A