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What Would Humboldt Say: A Case of General Bildung in Vocational Education?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)In: International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, ISSN 2197-8646, Vol. 3, no 3, 230-249 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A classic philosopher in the Bildung-tradition, Humboldt, argued that general Bildung was the opposite of specialist training (vocational education). This has been a matter of contention and the aim here is to revisit the issue through an empirical case study. In the vocational education biography of craft master Wolfgang B. he speaks about aspects of his education that have much in common with Humboldt‘s ideal of general Bildung but transposed into the context of vocational education and training (VET). The concept of vocationalism (Beruflichkeit) provides context to the present argument which is that the contrast Humboldt made is relevant but not in the sense of there being two categories of education (general and vocational) but rather two expressions of pedagogy: one expansive and one exclusive. Furthermore, there are two versions of general or expansive Bildung present in the case. The conclusions are that empirical studies of vocational Bildung expand on the concept of Bildung, increase our understanding of how VET contains affordances of Bildung and of the curriculum-patterns related to this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 3, no 3, 230-249 p.
Keyword [en]
Vocational School, Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, Case Study, Educational Innovation, Vocational Education and Training
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137294DOI: 10.13152/IJRVET.3.3.4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-137294DiVA: diva2:1061526
Available from: 2017-01-02 Created: 2017-01-02 Last updated: 2017-02-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Rough Ground: Narrative explorations of vocational Bildung and wisdom in practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Rough Ground: Narrative explorations of vocational Bildung and wisdom in practice
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This compilation thesis, consisting of five articles, focuses on narrative explorations of vocational Bildung and wisdom in practice. It is an explicitly practical and empirical approach to what, for the most part, tends to be limited to philosophical discussions. This is motivated by the relative lack of systematic knowledge about how to enact wisdom in practice and afford vocational Bildung to those engaged in vocational education and training (VET). The absence of such knowledge makes it more difficult to develop VET practice and curricula and also leads to significant parts of the internal goods of practice to remain tacit, personal and local when they need to become articulated and shared. The aim of the five articles has been to explore how Bildung and practical wisdom can enrich our understanding of vocational practice and didactics on a theoretical, methodological and practical level. Conceptually the thesis draws extensively from narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly 1995, 2000), reflective practice (Schön 1983, 1987), Aristotelian philosophy regarding practical wisdom (Aristotle 2009, Nussbaum 1990), MacIntyre’s concept of a practice (2011) and the Bildung-tradition (Rittelmeyer 2012) to create a coherent framework for the inquiry termed vocational Bildung didactics (VBD). It is located in the phronetic social science paradigm articulated by Flyvbjerg (2001) where the main aim for research is to enrich practice rather than generate theory. The methodology for this kind of inquiry is the collection of narrative cases focusing on unusually rich/successful/wise cases of a practice, what Flyvbjerg (2001) terms extreme and paradigmatic cases. On a conceptual level the inquiry has resulted in the framework of VBD that provides the structure for engaging in this kind of research. It has also resulted in some further conceptualizations driven by the interpretation of cases, in particular a differentiation between vocational and cultural practices. On a methodological level it has resulted in a kind of double didactical method: the case narratives function as articulations of practical knowledge regarding vocational Bildung and practical wisdom but also as the didactical tools for teaching this. On a practical level the inquiry has resulted in suggestions for curriculum-development as well as ways in which the case narratives can be used to enrich the understanding of practitioners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University, 2017. 149 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 47
Keyword
Vocational education, Bildung, Practical wisdom, Narrative, Practice, Didactics
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137676 (URN)978-91-7649-640-4 (ISBN)978-91-7649-641-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-06, Lilla hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-02-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-02-10Bibliographically approved

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