Special Issue "International Vocational Education and Training"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Technology Enhanced Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. In Heok Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Program of Workforce Education, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Interests: secondary and postsecondary career and technical education for special needs; international vocational education and training; career development and vocational behavior
Assist. Prof. Jay Plasman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Program of Workforce Development and Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: education policy; educational statistics and research methods; international and comparative education; vocational education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vocational education and training (VET) remains a core aspect to formal education systems around the world. It provides students with alternative pathways into the workforce, as opposed to traditional academic education. Despite numerous benefits associated with participation in VET, it has recently come under fire in various nations because of the potentially singular training focus involved in this type of education. The global economy calls for ever more adaptability of the workforce, as opposed to having a more specific, and potentially limited, set of skills. The focus of this Special Issue is on VET and its role in preparing students for life after secondary school, whether that leads to postsecondary education or directly into a career. It is becoming increasingly necessary for VET programs to justify their existence. Under this context, this issue will explore how VET participation is beneficial to students, whether that be in immediate entry into the workforce, long-term success, the promotion of broader employability skills, or an in-depth examination of characteristics of VET participants. Scholars are encouraged to explore this overarching idea through a variety of lenses—education, sociological, criminal justice, economic, etc.—in an effort to suggest cross-national recommendations for improving and encouraging VET participation.

Assoc. Prof. In Heok Lee
Assist. Prof. Jay Plasman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Vocational education and training
  • International and comparative education
  • Workforce development
  • Education and career outcomes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Article
Using E-Learning to Deliver In-Service Teacher Training in the Vocational Education Sector: Perception and Acceptance in Poland, Italy and Germany
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10070182 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
For teachers in vocational education and training (VET), lifelong learning and related further training is important to meet the growing demands of the teaching profession. This paper analyses the perception of technology and e-learning of teachers in Poland, Italy and Germany. The innovative [...] Read more.
For teachers in vocational education and training (VET), lifelong learning and related further training is important to meet the growing demands of the teaching profession. This paper analyses the perception of technology and e-learning of teachers in Poland, Italy and Germany. The innovative aspect of this study lies in its combination of general perceptions of online learning and technology on the one hand and findings in relation to a specific online Teacher Training Tool on the other hand. The aims of this study are to show the relevance of e-learning in teacher training and to measure the perception and acceptance of this form of further training by VET teachers. The results should provide support for the further design and development of online education formats for teachers. The evaluation was carried out using a quantitative cross-cutting study using a standardised questionnaire. The results of an online questionnaire show that the approach of online learning as a form of teacher training was met with great interest among VET teachers and that the perception of one’s own benefit from such a training option was positive. The quality of the online learning units is decisive for the acceptance of e-learning opportunities. One limitation of this study is that the diverse country-specific cultural aspects and systems of teacher training could only be taken into account to a limited extent. This paper enables international comparative research on teacher training to be integrated using e-learning formats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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Article
Evaluation of Strengths of Dual Vocational Educational Training in Andalusia (Spain): A Stake on the Future
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120392 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Dual Vocational Training was introduced in Spain in 2012 with the purpose to reinforce training based on employment requirements and to promote youth employment within the labour market. Since its implementation, there has been continuous growth of the presence of this modality across [...] Read more.
Dual Vocational Training was introduced in Spain in 2012 with the purpose to reinforce training based on employment requirements and to promote youth employment within the labour market. Since its implementation, there has been continuous growth of the presence of this modality across every Autonomous Community, with Andalusia being one of the latest regions to dualize the Vocational Educational Training (hereinafter VET) educational scheme. From the outset however, this modality has faced a number of obstacles that question its sustainability. Without losing sight of these obstacles, and with the purpose of providing arguments that justify the suitability of this model in Andalusia, this study aims to identify—from the unique perspective of three Andalusian educational institutions—the strengths of this modality and the opportunities that the Andalusian context offers. To this end, we have used the SWOT technique to analyse the opinion of a group of teachers regarding their thoughts on the Andalusian Dual VET system, from both an internal and external perspective. Workforce insertion and the quality of skills gained through training are some of the strengths that characterize this model, with the greatest opportunities derived from the needs of the Andalusian business and productive sectors. Based on the scenarios drawn, we have suggested a number of guidelines to capitalize on some of the identified strengths and take advantage of the opportunities observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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Article
Best Practices in the Development of Transversal Competences among Youths in Vulnerable Situations
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090230 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of Second Chance Schools (E2Cs) is to provide employment-focused training for young people who left compulsory education without any formal qualifications by encouraging them to pursue initial vocational training. Transversal Competences (TCs) are important for enabling the social inclusion [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of Second Chance Schools (E2Cs) is to provide employment-focused training for young people who left compulsory education without any formal qualifications by encouraging them to pursue initial vocational training. Transversal Competences (TCs) are important for enabling the social inclusion of young people in vulnerable situations by promoting their entry into the labour market. However, TCs are not always systematically developed. The objective of this study is to analyse good practices in inculcating these skills in this group of young people. (2) Methods: In-depth case studies were conducted in six best-practice schools. The following methods were used in the studies: questionnaires to school; a checklist to analyse the teaching materials used: an interview with the people responsible for the programme; an interview with students; and a questionnaire to representatives from the business sector. (3) Results: The six E2Cs attached great importance to TCs, which were taught specifically through a student-centred, active, varied and collaborative methodology that was periodically reviewed and adapted to students’ needs. TCs were evaluated before, during, and after the process was completed. (4) Conclusions: The results identified specific key elements for promoting the development of TCs that could be transferred to other schools and, consequently, could have implications for education policies in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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Article
Comprehensive School and Vocational Training in Spain. A Longitudinal Approach from the Transition from Lower to Upper Secondary Education
by , and
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030101 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Fitting vocational training into the Spanish education system has been challenging and problematic because two objectives are trying to be fulfilled; the first to supply skills for the productive system and the second to be an alternative option for the young people who [...] Read more.
Fitting vocational training into the Spanish education system has been challenging and problematic because two objectives are trying to be fulfilled; the first to supply skills for the productive system and the second to be an alternative option for the young people who do not follow the academic track. Moreover, the political vicissitudes of recent decades have added to the difficulties involved in balancing these requirements. In Spain, both the economic agents and the education system itself with its academic inertia have relegated vocational training to a subordinate position, able to attract mainly young people with lower academic achievement and largely rejected by families with a higher educational level. The assumption was that the introduction of a comprehensive secondary education in the 1990s would provide parity between the academic and the vocational tracks. However, the comprehensive nature of this system was not fully applied, with students in many schools separated by ability levels, and in fact having little impact on the social bias of the students choosing vocational training. The empirical contribution of this study is based on a survey carried out among 2056 students from Barcelona in their last year of compulsory secondary education in 2013–14 and who continued in full-time education, be it baccalaureate or vocational training. The main result shows that comprehensive education improves school success and decreases the vocational orientation of students from low social backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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Article
Program Coherence and Integration of School- and Work-Based Learning in the Icelandic Dual Vocational Education and Training (VET) System
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110314 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 938
Abstract
This study examines how recently graduated journeymen, vocational teachers, and workplace trainers view the integration between learning at school and at work in a dual vocational education and training (VET) system, and how these views might be influenced by the duration and the [...] Read more.
This study examines how recently graduated journeymen, vocational teachers, and workplace trainers view the integration between learning at school and at work in a dual vocational education and training (VET) system, and how these views might be influenced by the duration and the sequencing of school- and work-based learning periods. Research indicates that effective implementation of the dual VET system is contingent upon successful integration of learning experience at the two venues. Recent graduates, workplace trainers, and teachers in all 51 certified trades answered an electronic questionnaire (667 participants, response rate 24%). Factor analysis of responses to 22 statements resulted in the identification of five factors. Findings show that the learning venues were parallel rather than integrated. Communication and collaboration between teachers and workplace trainers were limited and recent graduates, in particular, did not experience the program as a coherent whole. The results also showed important variations in the perspectives of the three groups of participants. The duration of the workplace learning period was not found to be associated with perceptions of program integration. Some limited effects of sequencing were found, but no clear pattern emerged. This study adds to knowledge on learning and integration, and indicates possible ways of improving program coherence and integration in a dual VET system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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Article
Equity in Career Development of High School Students in South Korea: The Role of School Career Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11010020 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Along with the rising concerns of career education in school, the government in South Korea has increased investments for closing the opportunity gap in career education. However, limited studies explored the equity in students’ outcomes of career education. Focusing on career development competencies, [...] Read more.
Along with the rising concerns of career education in school, the government in South Korea has increased investments for closing the opportunity gap in career education. However, limited studies explored the equity in students’ outcomes of career education. Focusing on career development competencies, we examined if school career education could reduce the socio-economic disparities in the career development of high school students. We used the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression applying school-fixed effects with the representative data from the Korean Education and Employment Panel II. Findings showed that parental education level was positively linked to career development competencies of high school students, though household income was not shown as statistically significant. We also found that for students who engaged in career and vocational classes in school, the parental education level was less likely to be related to their career development competencies. Also, students who were more satisfied with school career education showed a weaker relationship between career development competencies and parental education level. Based on these findings, we discussed the role of school-based career education to narrow the gap in students’ career development from socio-economic backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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