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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Pre-Vocational Education in Seven European Countries: a comparison of curricular embedding and implementation in schools
Author(s): Pilz, Matthias
Berger, Susanne
Canning, Roy
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Keywords: school-to-work transition
pre-vocational education
curriculum study
international comparison
Issue Date: Feb-2014
Date Deposited: 4-Dec-2014
Citation: Pilz M, Berger S & Canning R (2014) Pre-Vocational Education in Seven European Countries: a comparison of curricular embedding and implementation in schools. European Journal of Educational Research, 3 (1), pp. 25-41. (DOI number is assigned to this article).
Abstract: This paper presents a comparative research project on pre-vocational education in lower secondary schools in seven European countries. The primary aim of the study was to better understand how the formal pre-vocational education curriculum is interpreted and shaped by individual teachers. The countries covered are Austria, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal and Scotland. Two research methods have been used. First, a content analysis of the relevant curricula was carried out, focussing on how, and to what extent, pre-vocational education competencies are embedded in the official curriculum in the seven countries covered by the study. Second, 75 teachers took part in qualitative expert interviews about their implementation of the relevant curriculum. This research builds upon previous studies in education and employment and in particular, on a theoretical framework that explores the differences between the ‘prescribed' curriculum and the ‘enacted' curriculum. This study will argue that, although it is possible to identify a distinct pre-vocational curriculum within each region in the seven countries, this curriculum is, in practice, taught very differently within the schools and that the differences in curriculum implementation can be explained, amongst other factors, by the availability of resources and the initial and further training of teachers.
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Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in European Journal of Educational Research, (02/2014) Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 25-41. The original version is available at: (DOI number is assigned to this article)

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