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Proceedings of ECER 2004 round table on 'action research' and a VET framework of innovation


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Round table

'Action research' and a VET framework of innovation

DISCUSSION  > Concept of action research> Role of the actors > Process of action research >  Final remark

Final remark

Pekka Kämäräinen

With my final remark I would like to raise two points regarding the further development of the debate. Firstly, it is not my intention to promote a scholastic debate on definitions of ‘action research’, ‘accompanying research’ or ‘evaluation research’. In this respect I welcome the change of perspective that was proposed from the audience that the European research community should start developing a common methodological protocol on action-oriented and innovation-oriented research. This would give the main emphasis on criteria of good practice regarding participation, involvement in dialogue, methodological transparency and theoretical explicitness. The work with a common protocol (and with illustrative cases) could possibly provide a real step forward with trans-cultural research dialogue.
    Secondly, however, it is necessary to note that the future of action-oriented and innovation-oriented VET research is not only dependent on the methodological self-understanding of the research community. Regarding the experiences that the VET research communities have made both at the national and European level, we could conclude that we are not experiencing the most flourishing evolutionary phase in the history of European VET research. Therefore, there is a need to stimulate trans-cultural research and development dialogue that could link the progress in innovation-oriented research to the needs of practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders related to VET. The research communities have to find new ways to demonstrate how research-based knowledge development could promote innovations – not only within the field of VET but in a broader context that links VET to its industrial, regional and socio-cultural environment. If the research communities can make their case – both in their national contexts and at the level of European programme development – this would have consequences for funding, for project duration and for transfer-promoting measures. Therefore, we need to develop our internal dialogue, but we need to learn how to address our concerns on broader societal arenas that may link the future of VET to the future of European innovation policies.

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