Reclaiming work: education and work in Scotland

Fagan, C. (2002) Reclaiming work: education and work in Scotland. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 3(2), pp. 53-71.

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A prominent feature of education policy in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s has been an emphasis on ‘enterprise education‘ in response to Jim Callaghan’s challenge to a ‘Great Debate‘. This has taken many different forms. Most commonly it has involved the promotion of work-based learning and work-related learning in terms of what have been called ‘education-industry links‘ (EIL). In England and Wales this has involved specific curriculum guidelines and directives. In Scotland, by comparison, the focus has been much softer in that the pragmatic emphasis on employability, lifelong learning and the promotion of EIL is located within a wider context. In November 1997, Brian Wilson, the Minister for Education and Industry at the time, indicated that Scottish schools had a responsibility to help young people make the transition from school to work. Her Majesty’s (HM) Inspectors followed up on this directive with a report titled: Education for work in schools (1999). The report, while evidence-based in the sense that it is based on inspections of ‘best practice’ in 28 schools, is not research-based or related to relevant bodies of literature on the changing nature of work in advanced societies. In this paper, I make the plea for policy makers to begin to recognise philosophical, historical and sociological perspectives on the changing nature of work. First, I briefly examine the immediate background of the Education for work in schools report; second, I provide a brief synopsis of the policy; and third, I review the policy in terms of the work of Andre Gorz, Jeremy Rifkin and Anthony Giddens.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fagan, Dr Catherine
Authors: Fagan, C.
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Journal of Educational Enquiry
ISSN (Online):1444-5530

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