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Paderborn University in February 2023 Show image information

Paderborn University in February 2023

Photo: Paderborn University, Hannah Brauckhoff

Fields of research

The research deals with current and prospective problems of vocational education research to provide new insights for science. At the same time, the specific connection of research problems and current and prospective challenges leads not only to a high actuality but also to practical relevance. Accordingly, the research activities and fields of research are as dynamic as the vocational education itself. Current research activities rely on the following priorities:

  • Professional orientation and employability (pathways to worksite) 
    The identification and specification of didactic-instructional, didactic-organisational and didactic-curricular challenges and the development and testing of courses of actions are targets of this focus.
  • Professionalisation of human beings (professionalisation²) 
    Due to an understanding of professionalisation, that takes into consideration not only the individual but also its contextual frameworks (institutions within the meaning of structures, resources, activities, instruments etc.), central challenges for the professionalisation are identified from research perspective. This includes the vocational education and training of current and prospective teachers and the development of educational subjects (students etc.) in various vocational education institutions.
  • Arrangement of institutions of the vocational education practice (VET-Change Management) 
    In order to achieve a professionalisation or rather a development of competence of people and further aims of vocational education practice, the institutional frameworks on different design levels are often seen as success factors. Accordingly, multiple questions are pursued in research projects. Where does a pressure to act come from and how does it look like exactly? Which action requirements and action options can be derived and how can they be realised practically and conceptually? This includes keywords like megatrends, lifelong learning, European Education Area, networks, educating area, E-Learning, structures of professionalisation, practice phases etc.
  • Tools to support vocational education practice 
    Which tools are necessary? How do they have to be arranged and in which didactic and organisational framework can they be used? How can the instruments be developed? How can they be implemented? Who can organise the necessary processes? If necessary, how can the process and the tools be evaluated?
  • Pilot scheme research / Transfer research 
    In the context of model tests, problems of the vocational education practice can be taken up and based on that, solution approaches can be developed and experienced. Accordingly, the questions arise, whether and how these solutions can be applied to other stakeholders, who are not involved in the model tests. Furthermore diverse questions concerning the transfer arise.

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