In this two-part research paper developed by Cedefop, the authors provide an overview of the changing nature and role of vocational education and training (VET) in Europe. This first volume assesses the multiple attempts in academic literature to define or explain vocational education and training and to develop a theoretical model to analyse national definitions or conceptions of VET and how they have changed over time. VET takes many forms and is, perhaps, the least unitary of education sectors. Based on a literature review of previous attempts to characterise VET, the paper suggests using a multi-perspective framework which combines:
- an epistemological and pedagogical perspective;
- a system and institutional perspective;
- a socioeconomic and labour market perspective to analyse VET.
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