Individual development in a neoliberal context: Climbing to a ‘glass ceiling’? A plea for liberal pedagogy in upper secondary vocational education

  • Maarten van Houten University of Glasgow
Keywords: higher education, vocational education and training, pedagogy, globalisation and internationalisation, neoliberalism

Abstract

This essay addresses the issue that a neoliberal focus might have an adverse effect on a secondary vocational education student’s personal development and opportunities in higher education. Originating from neoliberal conditions, in upper secondary vocational education there is a strong focus on marketable skills with limited space for acquiring critical thinking and analytical skills, resulting in impediments concerning admittance to higher education as well as low success rates of those admitted. Also, talent development and differentiation are contested under these neoliberal conditions. It is argued that liberal pedagogy is necessary as a means to scaffold especially critical thinking skills and to foster talent development in upper secondary vocational education to cope with this issue and to create more equal opportunities for vocational students from various levels. In the concluding thoughts those involved are encouraged to reconsider preparation for post-secondary education related to admittance and study success.

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Published
2020-05-12
How to Cite
van Houten, M. (2020). Individual development in a neoliberal context: Climbing to a ‘glass ceiling’? A plea for liberal pedagogy in upper secondary vocational education. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 10(2), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.201021
Section
Magazine articles