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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education

Grant reference: L139251025

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Journal article details

TLRP: Doing the Business: paradox and irony in vocational education - GNVQ Business Studues as a case in point
Abstract: Drawing on a single case study in the Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education (TLC-FE) project, discussed in the introduction to this volume, this article explores contrasting perspectives of tutor’s and student’s experiences of a General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ). The ‘case in point’ is an Intermediate level GNVQ in Business Studies. The study juxtaposes the official discourse of GNVQ as a high skill qualification, offering parity of esteem and access to higher education and employment, with the reality as tutors and students experience it. The article explores the often contradictory ways in which these experiences interrelate with one another in shaping the teaching and learning culture of the GNVQ site. The term ‘site’ is used here to denote the context and situation that frames the teaching and learning experience of tutors and students. As the title suggests, the article identifies ambiguities in the way tutors and students make sense of GNVQ Business Studies, in the wider context of vocational education and training (VET) policy. A number of overlapping themes are identified that connect the contrasting biographies and identities of tutors and students with the development of learning cultures in the site. The article deals with each of these in turn to illuminate the complex ways in which the ‘empty shell’ of GNVQ is given meaning in the often paradoxical conditions of further education (FE) practice. It is pertinent to examine this site in such depth at a time when Intermediate GNVQs are being transformed into Vocational General Certificates in Secondary Education (VGCSEs), which form part of the wider reform of 14-19 education and training in England.
Original Document

Primary contributor

Author M Wahlberg

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