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Pedagogical concerns and market demands in VET. Proceedings of the 3rd Crossing Boundaries in VET conference, Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET).

Marhuenda-Fluixá, Fernando; Chisvert-Tarazona, María José

Marhuenda-Fluixá, Fernando; Chisvert-Tarazona, María José

In an attempt to establish a VETNET publication series of conference proceedings, the 3rd Crossing Boundaries builds upon the tradition started in Bremen 2015 and continued in Rostock 2017 and joins the collection initiated by Nägele and Stalder (2018) by publishing the collection of contributions in an edited book of proceedings, based upon open access publication policies and available online.

This might contribute to make it easier to follow-up upon on-going research produced by the VETNET community and to facilitate discussion and academic cooperation among the members of this community, both in terms of objects of research, theoretical foundations as well as methodological strategies and research methods.

There are 65 contributions in this volume, produced by more than 100 scholars, ranging from well-known and well-established professors to those at the beginning of their academic careers, still under way to their PhDs. They come mainly from Europe, but also from all other continents but Australia, and research produced in 17 countries is presented here. Significantly, there are a few contributions from South America in this edition of the Crossing Boundaries conference, pretty much focused on the conference theme: pedagogical concerns and market demands.

When we launched the call for this conference, we invited contributors to focus on pedagogical ideas, approaches and proposals helpful to contribute to the education of workers and citizens. We are convinced that Vocational Education and Training has to be able to comply with the changing demands set by the productive system in a growing precarization context.  The notion of work and working relations are not what they used to be during the 20th century, and these changes pose new challenges on VET policies and practices.

The papers presented and discussed at the conference offer a good amount of research results and interpretations on issues like careers and vocations nowadays and how they are addressed by VET providers and experienced by VET students, apprentices and teachers and trainers. Another issue strongly present in the conference is that of the reshaping of dual VET in those countries where it was well established in the last century and also in those trying to implement it nowadays. VET teachers and trainers is the third clear axis of contributions to this conference. Of course, there are other issues addressed like systems and agents in VET; assessment, evaluation and quality; VET and social inclusion or Continuing VET.

We want to thank the financial support for the conference provided by the Facultad de Filosofía y Ciencias de la Educación, the Departamento de Didáctica y Organización Escolar; the generous contribution of members of the research group Transicions (GIUV2013-093) all three from the Universitat de València, as well the funding and support provided by Fundación Bankia por la Formación Dual.

We want to also acknowledge the support provided in the organization of the conference and in the preparation of the proceedings by Susann Krugmann and Franz Kaiser from the University of Rostock, Michael Gessler from the University of Bremen, Christof Nägele from University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and Barbara Stalder from Pädagogische Hochschule Bern.

We also want to thank Pilar Cambronero for her work, without which these proceedings would not have been ready before the conference. Of course, authors and co-authors are the most important contributors to this volume and therefore those to be thanked for their effort. Here I would like to point to the work by young colleagues, particularly women, in several universities in Spain, who are building up the VETNET Spanish community and most of whom are determined to continue researching on VET, which has often been left aside of the attention of educational research in this country, with a few exceptions. Having them participating in the conference in Valencia is a joy.

Prof. Dr. Fernando Marhuenda Fluixá, Valencia, 12th April 2019

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