previous research reports have already shown the relatively small incidence
of VET research, as compared to the high proportion of VET in the overall
education and training system in Austria, and also the instability of research
themes and the weak documentation and information base. This year the Austrian
educational research documentation is not available, thus we have to rely
on the ERO Base and the REFER-Publications-Report.
comparison of research areas by ERO descriptors shows big instabilities
over time. Some areas have considerably gained weight (two fifths of publications
are in those areas): Certification/ guidance/ career/ occupation; student/
trainee/ adult learner; vocational education and training (initial and
continuing). Some other previously strong areas have lost weight: economy/labour
market/social partners (which is still the second largest category); information
technology, general/ academic education, and educational institution/ enterprise).
The research products by areas have become more diverse and more evenly
distributed. Interestingly, the distribution of 2005 publications has become
in some important areas more similar to the distribution of the Austrian
educational research documentation of 2003/04 – so the change might also
represent that the publications report has become more representative.
Due to this comparison particularly research about the learners has gained
weight, and research about teachers/trainer/professionals has lost weight.
research areas covered by Austrian projects included in the ERO Base differ
partly from the areas covered in the publications, however, the priority
on issues of certification/ guidance/ career/ occupation is also mirrored
in the project base. The topics of curriculum/ learning/ competences and
skill development and overall VET are more strongly represented in the
the data sources do not give a very clear picture of the priorities in
Austrian VET research. Rather can we observe some topics which are more
or less left out from research in Austria. These are:
and foremost human resource development, so that we can solely speak about
the area of politics/ society/ population is also covered by a low degree;
of teachers/ trainers/ professionals, curriculum/ learning/ competences
and skill development, and educational institution/ enterprise can be less
clearly rated, as there are some differing signals.