Vocational Learning: Shifting Relationships Between Education and Working Life

  • Erik Kats
  • Jaap van Lakerveld
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 19)


The development of systems of education is strongly connected to the development industrial society. Relationships between education and the vocational practice of people in the companies and organisations where they work are however variable through the times, and there is always some room between both spheres. In this chapter we describe shifts in the way vocational learning is situated in the growing room between formal education and working life in the Netherlands. First, we shortly go into the way vocational learning relates to the traditional broad humanistic approach to adult education. Next, we discuss a number of shifts that have occurred in the field of vocational learning in the course of economic and political developments in the Netherlands. We consider the development of vocational education from a private initiative to a collective arrangement, gradually transformed into a public provision that eventually has to rediscover its connections with private business life. To describe such shifts and transformations in the field of vocational learning, we introduce a number of concepts that might be useful to identify comparable shifts and transformations in other countries. The shifts we discuss are not exclusively tied to specific historical circumstances, and they are neither irreversible. In conclusion we argue that all shifts have an actual meaning for the debate on lifelong learning.


Welfare State Vocational Education Lifelong Learning Knowledge Economy Adult 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research and Development in Education and Lifelong Learning (PLATO)Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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