How is vocational knowledge recontextualised?

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This paper sets out to examine how vocational knowledge is recontextualised in curricula, pedagogy and workplaces, by learners, and to ensure the availability of valuable and relevant knowledge for vocational practice. Starting from Bernstein's notion of recontextualisation, and with reference to literature in the sociology of educational knowledge, studies of workplace learning and learning theory, recontextualisation is understood here as a socio-epistemic process which is influenced by the interrelation between the distinct structures of different knowledge types and the social dynamics of vocational education infrastructure. Various aspects of recontextualisation are considered, including whether the overall process can be disaggregated to reveal a series of separate elements, how knowledge is transformed and concepts are developed, and influences on the character of recontextualisation. Potential tensions that may affect recontextualisation in vocational environments are identified, and some conditions for reconciling these are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • vocational education and training
  • curriculum
  • workplace learning
  • pedagogy
  • knowledge
  • recontextualisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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