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ERIC Number: EJ977729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-1363-9080
What Makes a Course Vocational? School-Based Work-Related Programmes in Canada in Dialogue with a Community of Practice
Higham, Jeremy; Farnsworth, Valerie
Journal of Education and Work, v25 n4 p443-471 2012
The paper discusses five work-related secondary school courses in Canada, providing an empirical account through which a new way of conceptualising vocational education is developed. Using a case study approach, we identify the mutually reinforcing dimensions of education--from policy to the course experience--that supported the enactment of an education-industry dialogue. We propose that, by constructing a metaphorical bridge between school and work, such a dialogue with a vocational community of practice is what made these courses "vocational". The concept of dialogism allows us to characterise vocational education in a way that accounts for the flexible and dynamic qualities of the enacted curricula which were observed and interpreted across the case studies. In this conceptualisation, the teacher with prior industry experience embodies the dialogue and constructs a dialogic curriculum. The analysis builds on existing research which highlights the importance of teacher identity and background by situating the mediational role of teacher identity within a multi-dimensional framework. The different dimensions of a course, such as pedagogy and assessment are not lost in this conceptualisation, but rather become the "loci" for the dialogue. The potential implications of this conceptualisation for vocational education are discussed in the conclusion. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada