Work-based learning: expansive learning and social justice

Conference Presentation


Avis, R. 2023. Work-based learning: expansive learning and social justice. JVET biannual conference 2023, Keble College Oxford, 13-15 July .
AuthorsAvis, R.
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

The paper starts with a reprise and critique of earlier arguments that address work-based learning (WBL) (Billett, 2016). This is followed by an analysis of the current conjuncture, one shaped by the experience of Covid and the response of capital to the pandemic as well as current crises. This context has been described as an interregnum in which ‘the old is dying and the new cannot be born’ (Gramsci 1971, 276; Fraser, 2019; Streeck, 2016), raising important questions about the relationship between VET, WBL and social justice. The paper adopts an analysis that moves beyond conceptualisations that seek to validate WBL as an acknowledgement of the dignity of labour (Billett, 2005). It seeks go beyond analyses that mobilise a limited understanding of expansive learning (Fuller & Unwin, 2003). How then can we develop a broader understanding of WBL and VET? Such an understanding needs to acknowledge socio-economic contexts are marked by a fluidity and surplus labour and for many worklessness - what some have described as désoeuvrement (Pfannebecker & Smith, 2020). For Marx (1988) labour can be an expression of our species being and can be found in unwaged work and the activities we engage in to express our humanity. Such labour is external to the oppressions and exploitation that are a feature of much waged labour. Is it then possible to conceive of an expansive notion of VET that goes beyond wage based cultures of expansive learning towards a position that has embedded within it a commitment towards collective well-being, social justice and an understanding of the vocational that moves beyond a focus on waged labour and the interests of capital

KeywordsWork placed learning; désoeuvrement; social justice
Year2023
ConferenceJVET biannual conference 2023, Keble College Oxford, 13-15 July
Web address (URL)https://www.jvet.uk/conference-2023
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Oct 2023
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