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ERIC Number: EJ896273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Transformation of the Turkish Vocational Training System: Capitalization, Modularization and Learning unto Death
Bulut, Ergin
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v8 n1 p361-388 Aug 2010
This article scrutinizes the transformation of vocational training in Turkey. Entertaining the question, "Why did the vocational high schools become an issue in the country all of a sudden?", it aims to cover the social and economic dynamics behind this transformation. Establishing the link between Turkey's integration with the global economy and the general trends in global economy and education, it lays out the motive behind the attempts of capital to transform the current system towards a modular one, based on lifelong learning. Questioning the meaning of concepts such as "knowledge economy" and "lifelong learning", it seeks to decipher the implications of the creation of modular, lifelong learning blue-collar workers. The article aims to challenge the mainstream functionalist perspective on the vocational training system and underlines the political character of education in general and vocational education in particular. Based also on a field work carried out in Istanbul, the essay also seeks to find out the techniques and strategies used by capital in order to train loyal technicians. In this regard, this research suggests approaching the current integration of corporations and vocational schools within the context of the internationalization of capital, increasing demand for qualified labor and flexible markets which certainly require a cultural transformation of the minds of the youth and the normalization of social inequalities in their perception. Consequently, I argue that the current transformation represents nothing but a political integration of industry with education, driven by the desire of capital to train blue-collar workers in line with a flexible capital accumulation regime. Requiring a flexible and lifelong learning subjectivity, the changes in curriculum and training structure need to be understood as a class act rather than a neutral attempt to increase efficiency and prepare students for life, which already is discriminatory for the working class students under consideration. (Contains 25 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Turkey; Turkey (Istanbul)