Vocational education and training and the therapeutic turn

Hyland, Terry (2006) Vocational education and training and the therapeutic turn. Educational Studies, 32 (3). pp. 299-306. ISSN 0305-5698


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The concept of 'therapeutic education' is being increasingly used in contemporary education policy studies to identify learning initiatives which are dominated by objectives linked to personal and social skills, emotional intelligence and building self-esteem. Contemporary educational goals connected with such strategies have been criticised for encouraging a 'victim culture' which marginalises learners and replaces the pursuit of knowledge and understanding with the development of personal values relevant to a life of social, cultural and economic risk and uncertainty. In relation to vocational education and training (VET) and post-school policy trends in particular, Hayes has argued that preparation for work has abandoned vocational/occupational knowledge and skills in favour of providing learners with personal skills for emotional labour in low-level service jobs. This paper interrogates such analyses and questions whether the therapeutic role of VET really is incompatible with the traditional objectives of developing knowledge, understanding and values in work environments. Links are made between new emphases on work-based learning and the 'caring' conceptions of learning in post-school education. It is concluded that - although therapy should not dominate VET - an attention to the important values dimension of learning in the field does involve a therapeutic dimension of some kind.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published as Hyland, T. Vocational education and training and the therapeutic turn. Educational studies, 2006, Vol. 32,(3) pp. 299-306. Educational studies is available online at Taylor & Francis Online http://www.tandfonline.com/action/aboutThisJournal?journalCode=ceds20
Uncontrolled Keywords: VET, Therapeutic Turn, Vocational Studies, Post-16 Training
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:36
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 11:12
Identification Number: 10.1080/03055690600631234
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182

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