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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Coming to college or getting out of school? The experience of vocational learning of 14- to 16-year-olds in a further education college
Author(s): Davies, John
Biesta, G J J
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Keywords: age
further education
young people
Issue Date: Mar-2007
Citation: Davies J & Biesta GJJ (2007) Coming to college or getting out of school? The experience of vocational learning of 14- to 16-year-olds in a further education college, Research Papers in Education, 22 (1), pp. 23-41.
Abstract: There has been renewed emphasis on the vocational in recent policy documents concerning provision for the 14-19 age group. More open acknowledgement of the vocational/academic divide within English education has appeared alongside the creation of increased vocational opportunities for young people. Research undertaken for the Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education project has, however, raised questions concerning the provision of vocational options for 14- to 16-year-olds that are not being fully addressed by policy-makers. This article aims to provide an answer to two linked questions: why might it be important to offer vocational options to students of this age in a further education college? And, under what conditions might students benefit most from such provision? Our research revealed that students can value highly such vocational experiences, but that the extent to which young people actually benefit from the opportunity to engage in vocational learning depends crucially upon the way in which such opportunities are experienced as different from 'normal' schooling. It has also revealed that the opportunities for such experiences are potentially fragile, vulnerable to the effects of change within the institution.
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