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Vocational didactic research on the rise

News: Sep 16, 2015

Recent years have seen a resurgence in research focused on vocational education. This fact was emphasized at the conference that the Centre for Vocational Skills and Knowledge at the University of Gothenburg arranged at Campus Pedagogen in September.

About a hundred vocational instructors and school leaders were on hand at Campus Pedagogen in mid-September to attend the conference entitled Research and development work in the modern vocational training.
One of them was Hillevi Sjöstedt-Lindkvist, one of Bräcke Gymnasiet’s Head Teachers, who brought nearly all of her vocational instructors to the conference.
“I see the conference as a way for us to become better at systematising our everyday activities; we get more tools to get a complete picture of our teaching,” she commented.
Several factors contribute to the fact that the growth of knowledge within the field of vocational didactics is increasing rapidly in Sweden. One such factor is the two national research schools that have started up with the support of the Swedish Res arch Council – the National Research School for the Vocational Education Profession (started in 2011) and the Graduate
Research School in Vocational Didactics (started in 2012). The latter was created specifically to provide vocational training to teachers who return to their jobs so that they have the skills to carry out quality development. Another factor is the development work that the Vocational Teacher Programme’s students have been doing at the conclusion of their education at the University of Gothenburg since the programme was launched in 2011.

Thirty per cent study in vocational educational programmes

In her introduction to the conference, Viveca Lindberg, Associate
Professor of Education at Stockholm University and coordinator for both of the two graduate schools, remarked: “Given that nearly 30 per cent of our young people at upper secondary schools are enrolled in vocational programmes, and almost as many are studying at advanced vocational/technical colleges, it is remarkable that so little research has been devoted to vocational didactics.”
“We now have hundreds of examples of development work of the ‘dig where you stand’ character remarked Ingrid Henning Loeb, senior lecturer at the Department of Education and Special Education and one of the conference organisers.

Case studies and development work

The conference focused on case studies and the development work that has been carried out in recent years. The parallel sessions were based on the following themes: Knowledge Requirements and Assessment, Subject-Specific Vocational Education and Methodology, The Professional Role of the Teacher in Adult Education, and Interactions Between Vocational Teachers and Mentors/Supervisors in the Workplace.
The day concluded with Margaretha Allen from the Swedish National Agency for Education presenting the results of the three-year Nordic development project Learning at the Workplace in which representatives from various different sectors and parties in the Nordic region researched and compiled theirexperiences about the quality of learning in the workplace.

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Originally published on: uf.gu.se

Page Manager: Lisbeth Dahlén|Last update: 8/29/2014
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