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UNESCO-UNEVOC has compiled a short selection of academic or professional articles that might help to clarify the signification and the use of the term "Entrepreneurship education". It goes thus beyond the definitions stored in TVETipedia while not pretending to offer an exhaustive bibliography on the topic.
“Permeability” is frequently mentioned in the European Union’s statements and treaties (see p.e the Bruges Communiqué). The term is therefore widely used and analysed within the European context. This “briefing note” provides a concise overview of the issues revolving around permeability, according to the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP).
In the selected quotes, the concept is defined and some key challenges coming alongside – formal access, recognition of prior learning, social barriers leading to self-censorship behaviors– are highlighted.
Enabling and encouraging formal access to education or training, at any level, is important, but it is only a first step. Real permeability must enable learners to transfer and build on all types of their prior learning – formal, non-formal or informal – wherever that learning took place, at school, work or during leisure. …
The blurring borderline between VET and higher education is increasing permeability. To enable individuals to move vertically and horizontally through education and training systems entails providing relevant training at all levels. This requires strengthening vocational and professional elements of tertiary education and taking full account of the role played by general knowledge and transversal skills and competences at all levels of VET. Reducing initial VET to narrow technical skills would seriously limit individuals’ ability to pursue lifelong and lifewide learning and so make permeability impossible. …
Permeability is not only about institutional and bureaucratic barriers. Family background is a major factor influencing education and training choices and careers. Cedefop’s recent study on labour market outcomes (5), shows that learners’ education and training preferences are still strongly influenced by their parents’ educational backgrounds. This includes choosing between general education and VET and deciding whether or not to go on to tertiary education. …
An education and training system’s permeability should be judged by its ability to encourage individual learning and offer various learning pathways. Learners need opportunities to continue learning throughout their lives to avoid being caught between a rock and a hard place." Extracts from pp.1-4
According to the previous reference, permeability goes through “strengthening vocational and professional elements of tertiary education". The following chapter –part of UNEVOC’s last publication on global trends in TVET- makes the point on the mutual influences and bridges between VET and Higher education with examples from all over the world.
In the selected quotes, the authors explain how VET and higher education have long been opposed and how this opposition could be overcome.
Historically, vocational education and higher education emerged from opposing traditions, with universities producing systematic scientific knowledge, and vocational education providing training for specific occupations. As a result, university outputs were evaluated on the basis of their contributions to scientific disciplines (Klüver, 1995) while vocational education outputs were concerned with the ability to undertake useful work. Those relationships have been established over time, with socio-economic development influencing the process. Mass higher education, elite higher education, polytechnics and different levels of vocational institutions, including higher vocational education establishments to train doctors, teachers and lawyers, have been developing complex relationships in countries around the globe. Even countries in the European Union, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, with market economies, have different approaches to higher and vocational education.
Due to the changing nature of the state, the role of the university in the current economic situation is the topic of wide-ranging discussions, particularly in terms of the usefulness of the model that can be characterized as ‘humanitarian university education’. The major point of criticism of this model is that it does not serve the demand for instrumental knowledge and specialization, formulated by the so-called ‘knowledge society’. …
Some of the dichotomies presented in this discourse, such as the universal versus the particular, formal versus experience-based, the search for truth versus utilitarianism, context-free versus context-dependent, position university knowledge much closer to the individual than the discipline, depending on a person’s subjectivity, needs and experiences. Additionally, TVET is seen as ‘a knowledge-based industry, where knowledge is its core business’ (Staron et al., 2006, p. 24). Recent research on TVET (Staron et al., 2006, p. 24) argues that life-based learning is required for vocational education focusing on capability development and considering the learner as a whole person. ‘The emphasis is on personal responsibility for learning through the provision of rich learning environments with the learning benefits both the individual and the organisation’ (Staron et al., 2006, p. 49). This model suggests using methods that are diverse, adaptive, self-facilitated, and based on reflexive practice strategies to achieve the goals and aspirations of the individual. This broad interpretation of TVET training positions it closer to higher education. Thus, on the epistemological level there is the basis for developing close relationships between higher and vocational education." Extracts from p. 43 (Part 2. Vocationalization of secondary schooling and higher education) and from pp.69-72 (Part 5. Vocationalization of higher education)
Both previous references highlighted how permeability depends of the relationship between VET and ‘academic education’ at the national scale. This book illustrates that principle well by analysing 3 countries with similar (and praised) VET system: Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The author try to understand why those countries face an “institutional divide” between their VET and HE systems, and how they deal with it.
The selected quotes aim at giving an overview of this “educational schism” and the possible reasons behind it.
"I describe in more detail possible accounts of a power, a legitimation, and a functional explanation of the institutional divide between VET and HE linked to lines of argument (A),(B), and (C), respectively. The three accounts do not reflect the only possible interpretations of these three broad explanations for institutional dynamics, but more generally serve to better illustrate the embeddedness of the institutional divide between VET and HE in the DACH countries. ...
Status Groups and Stratification (Power explanation)…
“vocational principle” refers, for example, to the high degree to which curricula prepare people for specific occupations and predetermine career paths. In the DACH countries the vocational principle plays a pivotal role in structuring the transitions within the education system and labor market (see, e.g., Deißinger, 1994, 2001b; Kraus, 2007). That is, in these countries the existence of a great number of well-defined occupations and occupational fields accounts for a highly segmented labor market. …
The German education system is an example of a qualificational space, as young people usually leave the system with specific skills and a well-defined occupational identity. In other words, the German space is segmented by vocational qualifications. France, on the other hand, is presented as an example of an organizational space, as education in France is rather academic or general, whereby specific skills are usually developed on the job
A key message from the studies presented in this section is that the education systems in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland provide individuals with a well-defined occupational identity and are stratified along status group lines.
Education as a Legitimation System (Legitimation Explanation)
…Following neo-institutional terminology, the divide between VET and HE can be regarded as highly institutionalized in the sense that most actors in the DACH countries take it for granted (see, e.g., Walgenbach, 1995: 271 on the concept of institutionalization). …
Varieties of Capitalism and Institutional Complementarities (Functional Explanation)
The US and the UK are discussed as ideal types of a liberal market economy (LME), largely based on coordination through competitive markets. In contrast, Germany is considered to be an ideal type of a coordinated market economy (CME), relying more on strategic interactions. In both cases, the mode of coordination is expected to stretch across all of the institutional spheres of the economy, including the VET system.
LMEs, actors primarily coordinate through demand and supply conditions in competitive markets (Gingerich and Hall, 2001: 3; Hall and Soskice, 2001: 8). Furthermore, in LMEs equilibrium outcomes are primarily determined by relative prices, market signals, and familiar marginal considerations (Gingerich and Hall, 2001: 3–4).
In CMEs, on the other hand, there is more institutional support for nonmarket forms of coordination. Such support is, for example, provided through business or employer associations, trade unions, networks of crossshareholding, and legal or regulatory systems facilitating information sharing and collaboration.
Thus, Hall and Soskice (2001) and colleagues lay out a framework for analyzing the institutional variations underlying skill systems based on the distinction it draws between (1) LMEs with institutions that discourage firms from investing in skill formation and in which workers tend to acquire general skills that are portable across industries and firms, and (2) CMEs with institutions that provide incentives for employers to collaborate in providing training and for workers to acquire industry- and firm-specific skills. Moreover, CMEs often “share a strong emphasis on initial vocational training” (Gallie, 2007: 93)." Extracts from p.13 (Introduction) and pp. 33-40 (Part 3.2 Exploring the Rigidity of the Institutional Divide between Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE)
This article is an element of the TVETipedia Glossary.