The Road Less Travelled: The Decline of Vocational Pathways and Variety of Hybridization Across Four Countries, 1995-2016
Peterson, Amelia Konstanze Margetts
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CitationPeterson, Amelia Konstanze Margetts. 2020. The Road Less Travelled: The Decline of Vocational Pathways and Variety of Hybridization Across Four Countries, 1995-2016. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractEducation scholars have long debated the relative merits of vocational pathways in high school, weighing apparent employment benefits against the risk of foreclosing academic opportunities. Yet scholars are no closer to a consensus and the literature on vocational education has fragmented: economics, comparative political economy, sociology and education have given rise to diverse ways of understanding vocational pathways, what they entail and why students choose them. This study integrates these perspectives as a basis for comparative analysis of contemporary vocational pathways in four countries: two representing traditionally strong vocational provision and uptake (Germany and Austria) and two in which we would expect to find weaker provision and lower uptake (Australia and New Zealand).
This study finds that across these diverse contexts, vocational pathways have dramatically declined and been replaced by hybrid pathways that combine elements of vocational and academic education. In only one context, however, does the hybrid amount to the addition of vocational and academic qualification pathways. In the other three cases, hybrid paths are better characterized as the substitution of vocational learning for academic curriculum, or vice versa. These substitutive pathways have low rates of transitions to industry-recognized credential paths or higher education. Separate chapters set out the factors which explain this variation, including the way in which school policies concerning school choice and assessment design shape the variation in hybrid pathways.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365787
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