you for the very interesting presentation. You showed there are various
dimensions and different situations, and that vocational education of course
in those systems plays various roles. But I would be very much interested
in suggestions from you for the VET research professional. What do you
think, from your perspective, would be interesting directions for VET researchers?
What should they do, let's say the next five years?
should you do otherwise? I know what I'd like! I think VET research is
perhaps further than other areas of social research in trying to get a
broader understanding of knowledge and learning. I think that is the major
intellectual contribution that has come out of this community, which goes
much wider than that, and of course the appreciation of those forms of
learning has immediate policy implications. For me, the research issue,
which is also of course a policy issue, is about how dependent those forms
of learning are on particular forms of organisational concepts and labour
market concepts and other things as well. How concept bound are particular
forms of learning? That's what I would really like to know about. And I
would like to see some really good, careful empirical research, preferably
with lots of numbers in it, about that. So that is the only way of really
matching what is happening and what isn't happening.
you confront the European dream with the American mirage I think that we
would all agree that we rather be in the European dream than in the American
mirage. But at the same time I think we are all aware that in fact all
these dimensions of the European dream have their own problems, making
it for some a European nightmare, for example organised interest groups
also are responsible for lack of flexibility and dynamism. And broad qualifications
- it could be debated if they enhance positions on the labour market or
in certain other respects make them weaker than for example skills. Non-utilitarian
elements, citizenship, the work as citizen is interesting, but at the same
time you see this twist that in a way you have to be a worker nowadays
to be counted as a citizen. And leaning - in many cases there is also experience
that learning is an obligation, so what do you think about this tension?
course you are right that there are tensions. I think, however, that there
is an awful lot of room to manoeuvre, if you like, within this normative
framework. For example, if you look at changes within the German apprenticeship
- the system has become, as I understand it, a lot more flexible, the speed
at which things can be done has increased quite dramatically, and so on
and so forth.
course we live and will always live in an imperfect world, but I think
the that idea that vocational education involves organised input is something
that is terribly important. We can then have a lot of often very heated
debate about how that happens, and so we should, but I think that just
casually abandoning into the market, which is the instantaneous response
of people who raise those problems, is ridiculous.
this very inspiring idea of a European dream, could you just simply explain
the two dimensions of the social model you gave us - the dimensions between
egoism and cohesion and inclusion and exclusion, because I'm not sure whether
I properly understood that.
think of societies as being equal or unequal. In other words, there are
some societies where the income distribution is quite close together, where
most people are in the middle, and a few rich people and a few poor people.
Or, alternatively societies with some rich people and some poor people.
That's one dimension, half-way. You could also think of societies where
people trust each other, where people are concerned about people whom they
don't know, where they take responsibility for people who they don't know,
or you can image societies where the best thing to do to a stranger is
to avoid contact with them and if necessary shoot them. Those are different
dimensions, and my argument was that the European social model is relatively
inclusive and relatively cohesive.