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Title: A comparative exploration of the meanings of apprenticeship : convergence or divergence in apprenticeship in England, Finland and France
Author: Mazenod, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 2697
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This EdD thesis compares and contrasts apprenticeships for 16-18 year aids as an element of the vocational education and training system in England, Finland and France. It is an exploratory study that contributes to the debate on the convergence and divergence of education and training systems in Europe in terms of policy, practice and research. The motivation for the study has arisen from the researcher's experience as a policy practitioner with significant experience and exposure to a number of different education systems. England, Finland and France are chosen as the cases for the study based on a typology of European education and training systems. Whilst apprenticeship is not a mainstream pathway for young people in these countries, the respective governments nevertheless continue to renew their commitment to promoting apprenticeships as a mode of initial vocational education and training, as well as a mode of continuing vocational education and training. The thesis draws on published academic research identified through systematic reviews of literature in English, Finnish and French, complemented by interviews with expert researchers on the subject in each of the countries. The research literatures and the interview transcripts are analysed using thematic analysis. The thesis shows that the role and meaning of apprenticeship as a form of initial vocational education and training is different in the three countries. This divergence arises from the differing contexts in which apprenticeship occurs and its place within the wider education systems in the three countries. The differing institutional frameworks for apprenticeship, and variation in the wider societal values placed on education and training also have a role to play. There is some evidence of convergence in terms of the policy rhetoric of apprenticeship, but there are significant differences in the conceptualisation of apprenticeship research in the three countries. The study offers a number of recommendations for policy and practice emphasising that understanding the original context is crucial to successful apprenticeship policy and practice. The thesis also suggests that further research on apprenticeship should seek to extend the boundaries of the field by broadening the choice of countries studied and expanding the concepts of validity that are used in comparative research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available