14-16 year olds in further education colleges: lessons for learning and leadership
Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59, (1), . (doi:10.1080/13636820601143031).
Microsoft Word J_Lumby_14-16_year_olds_in_further_education_colleges.doc
The views of 14-16 year olds who have undertaken vocational courses in further education, and those of parents and staff raise issues about the ways in which schools and colleges support learning. Staff differ in how they understand vocational education, reflecting not only conceptual differences, but also differences in the market position and interests of their organisation. Nevertheless, the experience of young people in further education is generally seen as very positive. The article suggests that the success is due to a pedagogy which makes use of experiential and social forms of learning in an environment which allows students to connect more fully to a future adult world. The article concludes by exploring the possibilities of making this successful experience more widely available to 14-16 year olds. Government plans are suggested to be inadequate in addressing the degree to which the competitive environment and different cultures will undermine collaborative arrangements.
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