This paper is related to a study on Swedish upper secondary vocational education in carpentry, part of a broader study financed by the Swedish Research Council. The issue is related to vocational knowing, for this particular paper the questions that will be illuminated are what emerges as vocational knowing for carpenters during sequential interviews with teachers and in video-recorded observations in workshops? The data used for this part of the study are firstly sequential group interviews, inspired by previous work on collective remembering (Konkola 2002; Middleton & Brown 2005; Middleton & Edwards 1990); secondly video-recorded sequences of teaching/learning in a school workshop for carpenters, and thirdly texts and documents related to vocational education. While the initial group interviews were narrative in their character and focusing changes in the local education over time related to teachers, equipment and external demands, the final interview was formed as a presentation of the workshop, tools, material and machines but also introducing the students´educational path through the workshop focusing on questions like: What is the first assignment given to students? What machines and tools do they use? What is the final assignment of the program?
For the analysis of the interviews cultural historical activity theory has been used as follows: the content of the interviews was organised in relation to a time-arrow, starting with the employment date of the teacher who had been employed for the longest period at the school and ending at the date of the interview. Then teachers’ narratives related to assignments, spaces, tools, materials and rules were used in relation to the time-arrow, which made changes in these visible. In a second step of analysis the findings from the first step in relation to digital photos and video-recorded observations from the workshop were related to vocational knowing for carpentry.
Preliminary results show that although assignments may remain the same for a long period of time – for some there is evidence that can be traces to the 1920s – the content of vocational knowing has changed due to new tools, technology and material but also in relation to societal demands, related to for instance security and environmental issues.
Second National & International Workshop "The Professional Pedagogy and its Influence on the Socioeconomic Development". University of Pedagogical Sciences Rafael María de Mendive, Pinar del Río, Cuba