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Back on the Blog – Why?

February 11th, 2009 by Pekka Kamarainen

Here I am again, after a long period of silence. Last spring I posted a series of blog entries.  I tried to analyse the change of the cooperation climate in European educational programmes and the implications for researchers. As we know, research in vocational education and training (or VET reserch)as we call it) has profited of the creative phases of European cooperation in the late 1990s. However in the recent years there has been a loss of interest in European or trans-national cooperation.

I started to look at the big picture with observer’s questions, such as:

“What has happened to the ‘European dimension’?”

“What has happened to interdiscplinarity?”

“What hs happened to European innovations?”

Without noticing it myself I had lifted myself off the ground and put myself into helicopter or space ship. I may still agree with what I wrote on these topics. Yet, I couldn’t continue with the topics I had planned to be the next ones. Why?

The trivial reason is that I was caught by urgencies in my day-to-day work. This happens from time to time.

The socio-cultural reason is that I felt myself caught in a historian’s work that has no relevance for present-date VET research. There was a threat that I would be presenting memories for celebrating the glorious pioneering years. Yet, my intention was to produce memories for the future – for facing the challenge of open futures.

The conceptual/methodological reason is that was trying to produce comprehensive analyses on the’ change of climate’ in VET research (in few blog entries). Then, I was trying to outline alternative approaches or  change gendas. This, however, started to look like wrapping up a big bag in which I myself and my peer communities would have to fit in.

What I have learned during my period of silence is that I have to step down from the helicopter or space ship in which I had positioned myself. I don’t need to give up the intention of working with a big picture (that is needed from time to time). However, I have to nurture my thinking on the developments in European VET reseach with news, reports and impressions from field activities.

Luckily enough I have recently participated in such European projects and reviewing activities that promote a new discussion climate (such as the TTplus project and the consultation workshops on VET teachers and trainers). I am not saying that these would directly open new highways to brave new R&D agendas. Yet, they give anchor points for further consideration. In particular the current European activities on the professonal future of  VET teachers and trainers raise several issues.

Therefore, I am pleased to let my historian’s views on trans-nationality, networking and web-supported knowledge sharing mature for some  time. In the meantime I should try to catch, what is hot and what is moving in the present-date European cooperation.

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