Vocational Teachers’ Knowledge, Experiences, and Pedagogy

Reference work entry


This chapter aims to address the two issues of teacher knowledge and pedagogy of VET in the English FE sector. Drawing from a larger research project, it uses the empirical findings from the questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews of seven FE participants, who teach on VET provisions.

In addressing the issue of teacher knowledge, a delineation of teaching knowledge, relevant disciplinary knowledge (Becher. Studies in Higher Education 19:151–161, 1994), and theories of learning (Bernstein. Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. Taylor and Francis Limited, London, 1996) is included. Typologies of teacher knowledge (e.g., Clandinin. Curriculum Inquiry 15(4):361–385, 1985; Shulman. Harvard Educational Review 57(1):1–22, 1987; Loo, International Journal of Lifelong Education 31(6):705–723, 2012) are employed to offer a wider perspective of teacher knowledge. From an occupational perspective, conceptions of theoretical knowledge, knowledge of procedures, skill sets, dispositions, and past work know-how are drawn from researchers such as Bernstein (Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. Taylor and Francis Limited, London, 1996), Eraut (Workplace learning in context, Routledge, London, pp. 201–221, 2004), and Winch (Knowledge, expertise and the professions, Routledge, London, pp. 47–60, 2014). The teacher know-how is used to conceptualize a VET pedagogy framework. Using a Bernsteinian conceptualization of knowledge types, the processes of recontextualization are used. These processes offer insights into how teacher knowledge may be modified through selection, relocation, and refocus for application in a VET pedagogic setting.

Using examples of the empirical data, the types, sources, and application of VET teachers’ know-how are delineated. In this delineation, the theoretical framework draws on concepts such as knowledgeable practice (Evans. Vocationalism in further and higher education: policy, programs and pedagogy, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 117–130, 2016), practice architectures (Kemmis, Green. International Journal of Training Research 11(2):101–121, 2013), and systems 1 and 2 (Kahneman. Thinking, fast and slow, Penguin Books, London, 2012). The concepts offer additional insights into how VET deliverers use their know-how toward the final choice of the relevant teaching strategies in their specific pedagogic settings. This chapter finally offers contributions and implications resulting from this study.


Experiences Knowledge Occupational Pedagogy Teachers Technical and vocational education and training 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Volker Wedekind

There are no affiliations available

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