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Trans-nationalization of educational policy making: from European innovation projects in adult education to an emerging European space for lifelong learning: what model for the European vocational education and training policy?

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This article is drawn from broader qualitative research on innovation in the field of professional adult training within the framework of European pilot projects such as the LEONARDO projects. This research aims at contributing to a general understanding of the phenomenon of innovation, in the context of European calls for projects, as an instrument of the European Vocational Education and Training (VET) Policy, which is supposed to transform the national training systems of EU member states according to the Lisbon Strategy. For this article, the author has chosen to present some of the results of the analysis of the European VET Policy and its transition to a lifelong learning policy. The first part of this article describes the conceptual framework and more especially three of the main concepts examined: public policy, social innovation and European space. The second part distinguishes three periods in the European VET policy’s history, identified through a genealogical examination from its first step within the European Coal and Steel Community to the present lifelong learning policy. The third part highlights the specificity of this supranational public policy model and the links between the European VET policy, the LEONARDO programme and the pilot projects. In conclusion, this article supports the idea of antagonistic logics in the evolution of this policy, on at least three levels: decision-making powers, conception of VET systems and conception of learning.
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Keywords: European VET policy; complexity; innovation project; learning process; space; transformation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Rouen, France

Publication date: 04 May 2014

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