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Back on the blog – Why and how?

April 29th, 2008 by Pekka Kamarainen

Here I am: back again with my blog. The long winter months are over. So, it is time to continue after a period of hibernation. Well, to be honest, the weather has not been the reason for the annoying silence on this blog.

Obviously, when I started this blog I took a more difficult task than I thought. I wanted to write on innovations in the field of vocational education and training (VET) and on related European research. This turned out to be a hard ride. I must confess that I envy the ease with which my fellow blogger Graham Attwell continues his touring round the Wales-Wide-Web. I also welcome our new neighbour Cristina and hope that her learning journeys are easier than mine. Anyway, as there is life in the blog-pool of Pontydysgu, I want give a fresh start on my thoughts on I-Europe and on the future of European VET research.

When I started the blog I looked back at a special moment: the debate on a draft research agenda “I-Europe” in an open meeting of European VET researchers in September 2003. I described how we felt a “momentum” for shaping a joint research agenda – and then lost the momentum by the time the first draft was there. I put this episode into a bigger picture and analysed the change in the European cooperation climate – the loss of the perspective of ‘open future’. Then, I tried to make some points how to get back the perspective towards open futures (and what role the themes of the “I-Europe” agenda could play in this effort). And then: the rest was silence, at least for some time.

So, what was I doing? And – given my aims – what went wrong? Apparently I was trying to open a discussion on future VET reseearch and on related European cooperation initiatives. Yet, I managed to hang the starting points high up in the spheres of no-man’s-land. Also, I seem to have given myself a position like the Oracle of Delphoi or as Cassandra of Troy) – the one who can see the future but can only give a cryptic message what might be expected.

So, what is the cure? Apparently, I have to give up the style of oracle (making visionary statements) and try to adopt the style of Socrates (making questions and comments that could tease out ideas and initiatives).

I think this has been enough for the moment. Let us see what I can produce for my next blog entry – and when I will find time for it.

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