Knowing ‘now’, learning futures. The politics and knowledge practices of vocational education and training
This paper locates vocational knowledges and institutions (of the state) within the broader context of contemporary discourses of ‘risk society’, while paying attention to the history and politics of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and work-related learning in Australia VET is interrogated as institutional space(s) in and through which the projects of governance and regulation and that of knowledge management co-exist in a symbiotic relationship. Rather than position VET as an objectified site of unified knowledge, this paper attempts to map epistemological ontological terrains that shape knowledge practices inherent in VET. Although challenging and re-mapping familiar terrain may involve discomfort and anxiety, it is argued that, through such a shared endeavour, knowledge practitioners within VET – learners, teachers, researchers and policy makers – will be better situated to make sense of the epistemological ontological challenges inherent in these ‘new’ times and so continually make the case for policies and practices that have the capacity to contribute more equitable and sustainable futures.