In the VET field the challenges for didactic are various and complex considering that learning is organized and takes place in very different contexts, that is, classroom and workshop. Research questions adressed at the round table are: How does context of learning influences the didactical organization of the learning process? What didactical specificities are associated to the role of the teacher and instructor respectively?Significant challenges are also posed by the aims of the learning process; whether it concerns understanding whole production process or specific technological devices and operations. Equally, questions for didacticians in the VET field emerge from the form of the learning process, whether it will be tutoring/mentoring or group teaching. Are we then in need to develop a specific didactics to deal with challenges of vocational knowing?; if so, what should be its main features?
Example Denmark: Students at Danish VET are diverse, many are challenged academically and socially. In terms of resolving high drop-out rates, problems with students’ academic progress and reducing negative effects of social background in general, teachers’ pedagogic competencies and didactical skills are important, specifically their competencies in differentiated teaching. That is emphasised in recent reforms concerning the national educational programme for new teachers at VET in 2010, describing that teachers must acquire skills in “planning, organising, implementing and evaluating” “differentiated teaching" (National Study Programme 2011, 2015). Drawing on Bernstein´s theory about framing and recontextualisation (1996, 1997, 2003), the contribution analyses how these demands are interpreted and practiced at the VET teacher program, and with which consequences. The analysis is based on results from an ethnographic inspired research project including fieldwork, interviews and different kinds of documentary in four different educational contexts.
Example Germany: During the 1980s, school-based education within the german dual system of vocational education and training saw heavy criticisms. The industry's representatives particularly criticised that the school-based education was far from reality, not contributing towards tackling the challenges of working life in the companies. In other words: the schools were not oriented towards the customer. In response to this critique the concept areas of learning (German = Lernfeld-Konzept) was introduced in 1996 as a structural principle for the framework curricula. The reform had wide-ranging consequences not only on the course and lesson design, but also on the organisational framework conditions of the schools, the cooperation between schools and companies and the required qualification profile of the teachers. The classic distinctions of "theory equals school-based learning" and "practical experience equals work-based learning in companies" are to be removed through the orientation of school-based content to the practical requirements of the vocational and professional work. In this framework a new diadctic approach was needed: The school-based curriculum is no longer structured in subjects, but constructed into work-oriented and process-related areas of learning. Areas of learnings are didactically-founded equivalents of vocational spheres of activity that are handled at school. They are made up of complex tasks, which are then handled pedagogically using action-oriented learning situations. The strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of the didactics occured in the last 10 years will be focused.
Two more perspective will be present: Norway and Sweden. In Norway the dual principle is sequentialized: Two years theory are followed by two years practice. This system division is followed by a segmentation of didactics and a fraction in teaching and learning. In Sweden the system is homogenous but the school-based system is widely self-referential and the linkage to the adjacent systems (higher education and labour market) opens two differnt options of orientation with consequences to the didactics.
The common question of the presented cases is "Didactics: Breakup or Awakening?"