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ERIC Number: EJ971084
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1448-0220
Aspects of Vocational Pedagogy as Practice: Decolonizing Minds and Negotiating Local Knowledge
Mjelde, Liv; Daly, Richard
International Journal of Training Research, v10 n1 p43-57 Apr 2012
This work is based on the experience of the authors' involvement in the development of a Masters of Vocational Pedagogy program in Uganda and Southern Sudan between 2007 and 2011. This is also grounded in work with Vocational Education and Culture (VET) over many years. The terms VET and Culture are interdependent; both terms are highly contested in our class-divided world. Vocational, associated closely with the manual labour market, which is often stigmatized as a poor cousin of general education. Culture, on the other hand, from colere (Latin: to cultivate) has to do with patterns of human activity and symbolic systems that lend them meaning in both phylo- and ontogenetic senses. Implicitly or explicitly, VET studies focus on comparative policy content and standardization in the face of an ever-changing labour market. We argue that, given the sectional interests in society, epistemological honesty demands a clear exposition of the researcher's standpoint of knowing. Where does the VET analyst stand in society and in relation to comparative studies? What is demanded of the eyes and ears of researcher from the North working in the South? How about the colleagues in the South? Long ago Ngugi wa Thiong'o entitled one of his books "Decolonizing the Mind" (1981), which remains a useful descriptive endeavour for both North and South. The authors are both concerned with learning and teaching in communities of practice. Liv Mjelde has spent her working life learning/teaching in the working class culture of VET, and the other with learning and teaching in "multicultural" under-class settings. A source of inspiration for this work has been critical voices from indigenous people and empirical work in VET done both in "North and South". The work discussed here draws on activity theory, or learning activity as a social relationship as discussed by Vygotsky, Leont'ev and Luria and using Dorothy Smith's "standpoint of knowing" in relation to the social organization of knowledge. (Contains 15 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Norway; Sudan; Uganda