Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

 
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Session Overview
Location: Plenary Hall
Date: Wednesday, 02/Feb/2022
11:00am
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11:15am
Welcome & Opening
Location: Plenary Hall

Opening by the director of SFUVET and congress organizers

11:15am
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12:15pm
Keynote 1: Prof Dr Stefan C. Wolter
Location: Plenary Hall
Chair: Juerg SCHWERI

Tradition alone will probably not get us further

Looking back at two decades of research on the economics of VET/PET, we have gained some insights into the functioning of the VET market, the behavior of firms, learners, and the state. Some of these insights will also help us to ensure the functioning of the VET/PET system in the coming years, when technical and economic structural change (keyword digitalization) and socio-political changes will continue to challenge the system. However, the keynote talk will not only take stock of these findings but will also take the opportunity to address those questions to which we have either not yet found a satisfactory answer or those that will only arise in the future, and we are not sure whether the "old" instruments will also help us to solve new problems. These include, for example, the questions of how to reduce cultural resistance to vocational education and training, why certain systems are extremely susceptible to economic cycles and shocks and others are not, how to maintain the willingness of companies to train when real activities shift to the areas of competence of tertiary education, or how the interaction of general education and vocational education and training is to be designed so that the latter does not run the risk of falling into a negative spiral. One thing is certain: relying on the fact that the Swiss system has always mastered previous crises because it is built on a long tradition will not provide sufficient guarantee that it will also master all future crises. However, this opens up new perspectives for a forward-looking research agenda, which dynamic VET research would have to tackle already today.

Date: Thursday, 03/Feb/2022
9:00am
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10:00am
Keynote 2: Prof Dr Lorna Unwin
Location: Plenary Hall
Chair: Christian IMDORF

Re(valuing) VET as a route to expertise in disruptive times

In today’s highly varied world of work, where ‘intangible assets’ (ideas, brands, marketing, networks) and the use of digital technologies play an increasingly central and disruptive role, traditional boundaries between occupational fields and hierarchies are being breached. At the same time, faced with the pressures of daily life, many individuals are finding comfort and satisfaction in (re)learning and practising a craft as well as in buying handmade goods (for which, of course, there is a growing market). As such, VET navigates the shifting sands of change and continuity, of heritage and innovation, and of quality and the marketplace.

Yet, the bounded classifications that still determine to some extent the structure of VET systems, programmes and even pedagogies are rooted in a previous era when occupational categories were presumed to accurately describe the work people do, that young people were novices with nothing to teach their older colleagues, and that expertise was sliced up into clearly demarcated levels beyond which lay the rarified land of the ‘professions’. In this presentation, I will draw on ideas from Communication Studies and Cultural Sociology as well as from social theories of learning to explore how VET might grapple with a more fluid concept of expertise, one that acknowledges the different dynamic ways in which conceptions of its value are formulated beyond the confines of VET systems. I will argue that this could help VET address some of the challenges it faces through expanding the range of capabilities of its students and trainees and, as a result, addressing the demands from employers and politicians.

3:00pm
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4:00pm
Keynote 3: Prof Dr Raija Hämäläinen
Location: Plenary Hall
Chair: Dominik PETKO

Digitalisation in a Rapidly Changing World: Multidisciplinary Methods and Technologies for Strengthening VET

The driving force for research in technology-enhanced learning is a rapidly changing world in which structural change is influencing the entire society and reshaping learning and professional development. The twenty-first century calls for novel, flexible skills and abilities in shared learning and working practices. Therefore, education and lifelong learning must aim not only to nurture the development of specific knowledge and professional competencies but also to support and teach productive learning processes. The preconditions for designing future VET efforts are the analysis and understanding of learning and interaction processes and their contextual adaptations. Specifically, in addition to understanding the effects of technology on learning and professional development, we need to understand how learning and interaction processes occur and unfold over time. Furthermore, the crucial question is how to operationalise our research-based knowledge to provide support for VET and professional development. In this talk, I will discuss the relationship between adults’ skills and their educational needs in these realms, based on large-scale assessment studies. From this perspective, and with empirical examples, I will further elaborate our research progress in learning and professional development, with examples from intervention studies aiming to target technology-enhanced learning as multilayered and situated phenomena and to provide tools for both researching and supporting learning and professional development. For example, I will consider how research can capture interaction processes (with novel methods; eye-tracking, heartrate variability and prosodic analysis of voice) and take the time variable into account to provide valuable insights into how to design, test and refine technologies and approaches for designing and supporting learning and professional development. Finally, the presentation will conclude with the theoretical and practical implications of methods and technologies for enhancing future VET.

Date: Friday, 04/Feb/2022
9:00am
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10:00am
Keynote 4: Prof Dr Lukas Graf
Location: Plenary Hall
Chair: Peter SCHLÖGL

Vocational Education and Training in the Knowledge Economy: Comparing Pathways of Change in Switzerland and Germany

Vocational education and training (VET) systems are challenged by the rise of the knowledge and service economy, related changes in production models and workplaces, and, more generally, the growing popularity of academic forms of education. Moreover, European educational policies call for a greater permeability between VET and higher education. This is especially challenging for countries in which VET and higher education traditionally display a relatively strong institutional separation. However, achieving structural reforms in VET systems is demanding. This applies in particular to collectively governed dual-apprenticeship training that has its base in the industrial and crafts sectors of the economy and builds on a long-standing tradition of decentralised cooperation of multiple public and private stakeholders. As a result, it tends to be path-dependent, which favours gradual over radical forms of change. In view of the rise of the knowledge and service economy and the growing popularity of academic forms of education, this keynote analyses policy responses in Switzerland and Germany. How do these systems react to the challenges related to the rise of the knowledge and service economy? The historical institutionalist analysis finds that in adjusting collective skill formation to the knowledge economy, distinct pathways of gradual change are evolving in otherwise relatively similar systems. The dominant pattern of change tends to be the reinterpretation of institutions (conversion) in Switzerland but the addition of new institutions on top of old ones (layering) in Germany, with different implications for the future viability of collective skill formation. The comparison also shows that Switzerland features a more consensual approach to reform. The analysis indicates that country size – both in terms of geography and population – is a key factor underlying the type of change observed, contributing to the discussion of general scope conditions for educational policy reform. The presentation concludes with a reflection on the broader relevance and practical implications of these findings.

1:00pm
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1:40pm
Best Paper Award
Location: Plenary Hall
3:20pm
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3:30pm
Farewell
Location: Plenary Hall

 
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