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Vocationalism - Essay Example

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Vocationalism, sometimes identified as "the over-promotion of the work-related aims of secondary and tertiary education at the expenses of the civic, aesthetic, and moral purposes"1, has been an important part of the British educational policy for over 20 years…
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Download file to see previous pages For example, perceiving vocational education as a way to provide population with jobs and thus supply skilled workers to industry would be logically coherent with the definition of vocationalism given above. However, such scope of the research would be useless, because the main question becomes pointless: UK had lower unemployment rate under 25 year-olds than Germany in 2004 (12.1% against 15.1% correspondingly2).
Another view is applied in this essay: integration of vocational education into the social life of the country. Vocational education cannot be measured by sole employment rates, as it is only one of many factors determining employment. One may argue that detachment of vocational system from the workplace in the UK is not a weakness but a peculiarity developed within a historical process. Indeed, one system of vocational education cannot be compared to another without assessing them in contexts of their countries. Three main differences between German and British vocational education are identified, and observed one after another: socialisation, companies' participation, and the structure of education. Regardless of the term referred to them it is argued that gaps found within those differences would have increased the quality of vocational education in the UK if minimised. ...
Germany is a more industrialised country than Britain, therefore its demand in vocational students is higher. German vocational school has more than a century of training experience, it provides apprentices with a rich training content and theoretical education well connected to a practice in companies. The successes of industrialisation achieved without any serious input from education in England have served as a base for the belief that formal education is not helpful in providing preparation for future work3.
The delay of development of vocational education in England had its consequences. For example, following the 1944 Education Act only half the local authorities required to set up technical schools actually did so, with the result that at their peak only 3-5% of the school population attended technical secondary schools4.

Social Perception

Historical distinctions of vocational education in the UK and Germany have led to different social perception of apprenticeship in these two countries. English vocational education has significant difficulties in retaining learners as they age, and, additionally, it appears to be ineffective in attracting the least well qualified5. Particularly, in-company training appears to be almost completely forgotten, while the school-based vocational courses at colleges and university courses are in much higher demand than non-academic in-company training. This contrasts with the situation in Germany6. German society has a positive experience of cooperation between schooling institutions and business companies supported with a long history. British students attracted by comprehensive secondary system, low interest of companies for participation in vocational education on-site, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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