STRATEGIES - Finding new strategies for post-16 education by networking
vocational and academic/general education and working life to improve the
parity of esteem for initial vocational training (initial project)
- Sharpening the post-16 educational strategies by horizontal and vertical
networking (multiplier project)
initial project POST-16 STRATEGIES aimed to examine and compare [national]
strategies of integrating vocational and general education and training
(Lasonen, 1996, p. V).
the partnership gradually adopted comparative elements while reaching
understanding through mutual learning (Lasonen 1998a, p. 22; 1998). The
major method was a structured collaborative writing
process where an interdisciplinary international team of experts
generates the results of its analysis in and through writing. The project
also applied joint seminars (workshop) of
the partners and cross-national study visits.
Study visits to (pilot) schools were used to promote collaboration between
research institutes, educational agencies and schools, thereby reinforcing
existing networks between teachers, administrators and researchers, and
giving an impetus to create new ones. (Lasonen, 1996, pp. VI; 1996a, p.7;
1998a, pp. 16, 22-26)
synthesis of country studies (case studies) resulted in a conceptual
framework, describing four strategies (Raffe 1996, pp. 273-278); the
reports were reconstructed according to common themes, and the strategies
were analysed once more against a common conceptual map, the inter-strategy
was combined with intra-strategy comparison in country pairs, the focus
of this collaborative process was on the lessons and questions received
from the other partners' experience (Lasonen, 1998a, pp. 26-31).
project SPES-NET, picking up on the collaborative approach including
workshops, evaluated the strategies in an enlarged partnership and
created a typology of strategies and substrategies. The partners
disseminated the findings (dissemination)
in a process of shared learning, involving national and transnational networks
(networking) (Stenström, 2000, pp.
15-28; 2000a; Young, 2000).
research approach is described in detail, referring both to the interplay
of methodological elements and their evolution in the process of project
work (Lasonen, 1998a, pp. 15-33). Particular attention is paid to the results
of shared learning, including an overview of the questions that team members
asked one another, and a table assembling the lessons and critique that
team members gave each other (Lasonen, 1998b, pp. 169-185).
(1996, pp. 273-278) presents a conceptual framework, including a grid showing
typical contexts of the four strategies, and offers hypotheses for further
study. Young (1998, pp. 147-162) takes the comparative analysis further
by developing a framework of substrategies. Outlines of a common framework
of comparison, related to the four strategies and the relationship between
general and vocational education, are elaborated by Kämäräinen
(1996, pp. 21-26).
reflection on the approach to comparative and collaborative analysis, related
to these two projects and to INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL, is provided in a joint
study (Lasonen et al., 2000a, pp. 316-325; 2001). For a discussion on the
complementary relations between research issues, modes of work and experiences
on collaboration and mutual learning in the projects INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
and POST-16 STRATEGIES/ SPES-NET see Kämäräinen (1999a,