The Limitations of European Comparative Studies in Vocational Education and Training Research and the Development of a Perspective to their Reduction
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Empirical foundation or the current challenges and issues in the European comparative studies. Some challenges were spotted in a recent comparative VET study and questionnaire (by Kaiser, Struck & Frind, 2020) related to the number of respondents and the random distribution of the online questionnaire in the two countries in question. For example, the fact that in Finland or Sweden, the average age of vocational teacher-students is between early and mid-40s was not taken into account. In the extended follow-up study aiming at comparing teachers ́ multiple tasks and innovative potential in a changing world within six European countries, the contexts and variations will better be taken into consideration. The duration of the study program and entry requirements vary: In Germany, the duration of studies usually take five years, whereas in the Scandinavian countries or in Spain, it is usually shorter. There are also differences in the interest in or recruitment of new teachers within the countries. In Spain, many trainers or work- ers from the industry have switched to the state school system since the financial crisis, whereas in Germany and Norway, there is a relevant need for well-trained teachers in VET, also in the industry. In Finland, the demand for VET teacher education is four times higher than the supply. Without understanding or given an explanation regarding context, many comparisons and/or results finally do not make sense.