Principal Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Development
University of Huddersfield
West Yorks, United Kingdom
China's transition from a planned to a market economy, with the resultant shift towards an 'enterprise' culture, has meant an increased emphasis on different types of vocational education at both secondary and tertiary levels.This paper suggests that the location of vocational education within a market economy creates a degree of strategic and methodological convergence that can transcend differing political and cultural contexts. It suggests that vocational teachers in the UK and China face many similar tensions and challenges in working to produce the workforce required by government and enterprise. Drawing on experience of training vocational teachers in both the UK and China, the author seeks to identify the extent to which the demands on vocational teachers in both these countries have converged.The concept of 'market professionalism' is introduced as a definition of the consumerised professional identities being created as a result.
The author has worked in vocational education in the UK for over twenty years. In the last ten years has worked at the University of Huddersfield, where part of her role has been to train vocational teachers across a range of disciplines and sectors. For the last six years she has been involved in projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Schenzhen and Guangzhou. The first project involved collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and the second project, still ongoing, with the Department of Education in Guangdong Province.
ABSTRACTS: NINTH INTERNATIONAL LEARNING CONFERENCE, BEIJING, CHINA, 16-20 JULY 2002