Purposes of Vocational Education



This chapter builds upon the previous discussions to delineate and elaborate the purposes of vocational education. In doing so, it advances an understanding of how this sector of education should be organised and enacted to meet these purposes and on what bases vocational education provisions should be appraised. The previous chapters discuss the concepts of vocations and occupations as key premises to consider the purposes, forms, organisation and enactment of vocational education. The development of the sector of education referred to as vocational education has also just been discussed. It has been proposed that there are social and personal dimensions to both vocations and occupations. Personal imperatives are stronger in the former and social imperatives in the latter, and these emphases have implications for both the purposes and processes of vocational education. It has also been advanced that in many countries the formation of dedicated vocational education systems was associated with realising societal (i.e. national) imperatives. Typically, these imperatives were threefold: (i) the need for skilled workers, (ii) a more educated youth and (iii) the engagement of young people with civil society. Consequently, the purposes of vocational education need to take account of and reflect the scope of the personal and social factors that constitute these conceptions and imperatives. It has also been advanced that vocational practitioners have often been denied a voice in the presentation of what constitutes the work they do, its worth and complexity and the kinds and provisions of preparation that might best serve its continuity.


Vocational Education Economic Efficiency Skilled Worker Educational Purpose Liberal Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith University, School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffithAustralia

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