latest edition of the ECER VETNET Proceedings has now been published,
including the papers submitted at the European Conference on Educational
Research in Vienna (Sept. 2009), as part of the programme drawn up by the
European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training:
VETNET Proceedings: http://www.ecer-vetnet.wifo-gate.org/
Proceedings 2009 have been produced in collaboration between VETNET, with
Ludger Deitmer (Convenor VETNET) and Lorenz Lassnigg (Programme Chair Vienna)
as co-editors, and the Research Forum WIFO. They are linked to the conference
resources provided by the new social networking site for VETNET (http://vetnet.mixxt.org/).
year's collection of papers (67) is the largest ever, bringing the total
number of papers included in the ECER VETNET Proceedings since 1998 up
to 390. This data, analysed further below, offers interesting insights
into research activities, even if it is limited in scope, since not all
the papers put forward for the ECER VETNET programme in this period were
actually submitted for inclusion in the Proceedings.
a few thematic aspects are worth noting, based on the index of keywords
which is part of the Proceedings covering all the papers in the 12-year
period (1998 to 2009):
of keywords: http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/p-index3.htm
the large variety of themes addressed in the papers throughout the period,
there is an obvious concentration on a few keywords: 'Learning'
is by far the most popular subject, featuring in every 5th paper as a major
keyword, with an extensive range of themes involved. The thematic clusters,
also centred on keywords such as competence and skills, knowledge,
training and qualification, indicate the intensity of research
on major issues of VET.
themes, identified by keywords addressed in 2009 for the first time, include
* benefits of further training (Schmid - AT)
* CVET and company competitiveness (Figueira et al. - PT)
* complex performance (Eraut - UK)
* European core profiles vs. ECVET-units (Saniter et al. - EU)
* 'evidence' about 'outcome-orientation' (Lassnigg - AT)
* foresight framework in an educational organisation (Saikkonen
et al. - FI)
a number of papers in 2009 are related to the keyword 'profession',
which has only occasionally been addressed in previous years. The themes
involved demonstrate a wide spectrum of research across initial and continuing
vocational education, human resource development and adult education:
* professional growth and learning (Nokelainen et al. - FI)
* professional learning in nursing homes (Trunkenpolz - AT)
* professional responsibility (Englund et al. - NO)
* professionalism of trainers (Fuchs - DE)
* time and profession (Schapfel-Kaiser - DE)
* VET professions (Volmari et al. - EU)
the various themes, a substantial proportion have a cross-national/ European
perspective: nearly a third of all papers submitted in 2009 (as against
an average of 20% in the previous period). Most of these papers have been
put forward by teams of authors related to either European projects or
to transnational organisations (Cedefop, OECD/CERI).
of considerable interest are some national and regional aspects
related to the authors' places of work. New in this edition of the Proceedings
is a set of maps, linked to an index, showing the distribution of papers
by country and region (1998 to 2009). A few observations follow.
of countries: http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/p-index2.htm
of the papers are from Western Europe, closely followed by Northern Europe,
while there are fairly few from Central-Eastern and Southern Europe. Indeed
the proportion of papers from the latter regions has even decreased during
the 12-year period, reaching now only 5% of the total. The continuing disproportion
between North-West and South-East Europe reflected in the ECER Proceedings
perhaps merits more attention.
small or even missing representation of Central-Eastern and Southern countries
in the Proceedings should however not be taken to indicate a lack of research
activity. There is in fact interesting evidence of national research being
carried out in these countries which can be looked up in the Overview of
VET and HRD research across Europe:
breakdown of papers by individual countries shows a group at the top which
includes the UK, Germany and Finland, followed by the Netherlands and France.
Interestingly, this group is fairly heterogeneous, contrasting in both
size of population and use of language. What many authors from these countries
share, however, is a strong involvement in European projects and networks.
those of you interested in participating in next year's ECER VETNET programme,
please don't miss the deadline of 15 January 2010 for submitting your proposal!
See details on the website (http://www.eera-ecer.eu/ecer/ecer-2010-Helsinki/).
of the L&W Newsletter