'Feeding the monster': vocational pedagogy and the further education policy present

Donna Drew, Emma Love, Alan Davis, Rob Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter begins by comparing the current model of vocational education in the US with the vocational offer in colleges in England. While policy in the US has traditionally shied away from vocational ?tracking? because of the perception that this entrenches social division, increasingly, community colleges are seen as a way of marrying academic and industry-related education . Drawing on a research project involving teachers of vocational subjects from a number of different colleges in the West Midlands region of England, this chapter explores the reality as experienced by practitioners behind the recent policy anxiety about vocational pedagogy. It reveals how despite political rhetoric, policy initiatives to raise standards in vocational teaching and learning may not be yielding the results intended. It presents FE as a troubled landscape in which interventions under the Coalition government (2010-2015) targeting an improvement in vocational education appear to have diluted practitioners? ability to deliver a rise in the quality of provision. The failure of these policy intervention is indicative of the disconnect between policy makers and practitioners which appears to be a key characteristic of the relationship between government and further education providers. The chapter concludes by focusing on existing accountability systems and how these, in effect, contribute to produce a simulated picture of colleges? activities as dictated by the marketised environment, suggesting that it is this relationship rather than that between vocational teachers, vocational students and their learning that requires some critical attention and improvement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIdentity and resistance in further education
    EditorsPeter Bennett, Rob Smith
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Print)9781351232951
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2 Feb 2018


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