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Reimagining the purpose of VET - expanding the capability to aspire in South African Further Education and Training students

Powell, Lesley

Authors

Lesley Powell ttxlp9@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

This paper applies the capabilities approach to the broader debate of the role of vocational education and training (VET) in poverty alleviation. The capabilities approach provides an approach for conceptualising and evaluating VET which differs in orientation from dominant productivist conceptions. It does so by shifting the focus from economic development to human development. By placing the well-being of VET students at the centre of our concern it shifts the lens from income generation and with it employability to a lens on capability expansion which includes but is not limited to the capability to work. The paper is based on interviews with 20 South African Further Education and Training (FET) college students. The central argument is that VET has an important role to play in poverty alleviation, but only if located in a multi-dimensional view of poverty which understands poverty as capability deprivation across multiple human functionings. In this broader notion of poverty, the role that VET plays includes training for employability, but also includes the expansion of other important capabilities such as, and in the voice of a FET student interviewed in this study, ‘the ability to dream’, or in the language of the capabilities approach, the capability to aspire.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal International Journal of Educational Development
Print ISSN 0738-0593
Electronic ISSN 0738-0593
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 5
APA6 Citation Powell, L. Reimagining the purpose of VET - expanding the capability to aspire in South African Further Education and Training students. International Journal of Educational Development, 32(5), doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2012.01.008
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2012.01.008
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073805931200017X
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Educational Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Educational Development, 32(5),(2012), doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2012.01.008

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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