Working Out Change

Systemic Innovation in Vocational Education and Training

image of Working Out Change

This book analyses systemic innovation in education by looking at the ways in which educational systems encourage innovation, the knowledge base and processes used, and the procedures and criteria used to assess progress and evaluate outcomes. It draws on findings from 14 case studies in Vocational Education and Training in six OECD countries: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Mexico and Switzerland. The resulting analysis helps us understand how we can support and sustain innovation in educational systems in the VET sector.



The Role of the Knowledge Base

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter deals with the use of knowledge in the process of systemic innovation. The concept of knowledge is defined here in its broadest possible sense and includes knowledge arising from a variety of sources (e.g. academic research, field practice) and of various types, including explicit and tacit knowledge. The chapter draws on the empirical findings of the case studies in order to examine questions such as: to what extent different knowledge sources are used? How are relationships brokered among different stakeholders to facilitate the exchange of knowledge? And how is knowledge accrued during the process of innovation put into action? The issue of the relative shortage of academic research in the area of VET is discussed, as it emerged in one form or another as a challenge in many of the countries participating in the study. The chapter closes with a number of policy implications arising from the findings. These include the importance of appropriate mechanisms that enable the flow of knowledge among stakeholders in the system and the potential role that academic research can have in providing a fresh, “outsider” point of view to the system’s internal actors and stakeholders.


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