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Characteristics of dual qualifications
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Combining vocational and general education
Comparison


(0) Introduction
(1) Relation of dual qualifications to skilled work; 
(2) Relation between general and vocational subjects of dual qualifications;
(3) Curricular structure of dual qualifications.
Info unit E 0 of 3

Combining vocational and general education
Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(0) Introduction

A key question raised in this study is the extent to which vocational and general education are integrated. This includes the issue of competence acquired in these schemes. The following comparative analysis starts out from two dimensions which are assumed to be relevant for the qualifications with dual orientation:
(#) the relationship of dual qualifications to skilled work and
(#) the relationship within the schemes between general and vocational subjects.
In conclusion, the schemes are compared in relation to both dimensions.

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit E 1 of 3

Combining vocational and general education
Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(1) Relation of dual qualifications to skilled work> Figure E1

Since dual qualifications are situated in various contexts of education and training (see info units Q2 and Q4), they differ in their relation to the requirements of work. In order to determine the extent and character of their work orientation, two indicators are applied: 
(a) the part played in the schemes by practical training, being characterised by the organisational form (assignment, traineeship and employment) and by the duration within the course; and 
(b) the degree of vocational specialisation within the schemes, measured by the number of primary and secondary divisions (areas, programmes, branches etc.). 
    The analysis according to the two indicators produces different groups of schemes whose work orientation ranges from a low via a medium to a high degree. These are the characteristics of work orientation among the three groups of schemes: 
(#)  Low - Training in broad areas; no compulsory practical assignment (EL, En); 
(#)  Medium - Training in differentiated vocational areas; practical assignments (FI, FR, NO:1, SE); 
(#)  High - Basic vocational training and full specialisation; extensive practical assignments or traineeship (CZ, DE, NL, NO:2); or broad continuing training related to skilled occupations (AT). 

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit E 2 of 3 
Combining vocational and general education


Chart/ Map/ Index
(2) Relation between general and vocational subjectsof dual qualifications > Figure E2

The attempts made in all schemes to link vocational and general/academic components of the curriculum are relevant not only for advanced studies, but also for high-level skilled work. The curricula of the schemes provide for a variety of combinations involving vocational and general subjects. In the comparative analysis, four approaches have been identified, extending from an additive to an integrative focus:
(A) provision of separate general or theoretical subjects within the major curriculum and also as optional units; this additive approach is found in all schemes, mostly as a dominant feature (AT, CZ, EL, FR, NO, PT, SE);
(B) vocational application of general/theoretical subjects or a combination of theoretical and vocational subjects; this approach expresses itself in various initiatives across all schemes, often playing a prominent role (AT, CZ, DE, En, EL, NL);
(C) education and training related to transferable skills, overcoming the division of general and vocational abilities; this approach cannot be traced in all schemes, it tends to be an underlying principle (CZ, DE, En) rather than being applied in practical terms (AT, FI, NO); 
(D) action-orientated education and training based on work-related parts of the curriculum (projects); all schemes include variants of this approach, with particular relevance being attributed to a project-related curriculum in the German case.
    Within each approach, a considerable similarity (groups A, D) or variety (groups B, C) of practice can be observed across all schemes. This evidence suggests that the forms of combining general and vocational subjects are fairly independent of or easily adaptable to different categories of schemes. The relative weight of the different approaches, however, differs between schemes. This is an indication of the degree to which general and vocational subjects are integrated. According to this criterion, the schemes range from a low degree of integration (FR, PT, SE) via a medium degree (CZ, EL, En, FI, NL, NO, PT) to a high degree (AT, DE).

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit E 3 of 3 
Combining vocational and general education

Info structure

Chart/ Map/Index
(3) Curricular structure of dual qualifications > Figure E3

The analysis of schemes according to the dimensions of work orientation (info unit E1) and integration of subjects (info unit E2) has led to different groupings. In a concluding step both dimensions are combined in a matrix with the schemes arranged accordingly. Three clusters of schemes may be distinguished:
(a) The majority of schemes combine medium work orientation with either low integration (FR, PT, SE) or medium integation of subjects (EL, FI, NO:1). Also included in this cluster is one scheme (En) which is characterised by  low work orientation and medium subject integration.

(b) The rest of the schemes form a cluster combining medium and high degrees of both work orientation and integration of subjects (AT, CZ, DE, NL, NO:2). The German pilot projects, in particular, display the potential of work-based education and training in combination with a highly integrated curriculum.
(c) There are no cases of both low work orientation and low integration of subjects.
    If recent developments of and plans for the schemes are considered, little change may be expected with regard to work orientation, but further advance is likely with regard to the integration of subjects (e.g. gradual steps following the reforms in NO, PT, SE). This trend may result in boosting the group of schemes which combine a medium degree of integration with various degrees of work orientation (the central column in the matrix).
 

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning

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  First set up 23/08/1998
Latest update: 03/03/1999
 Contact: Sabine Manning
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