The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently published a digital volume of essays encompassing a broad swath of current practices, trends, debates, and ideas in the field of technical and vocational education and training (TVET). At its core TVET is the global terminology used to describe much of what the United States labels as CTE. According to UNESCO TVET is concerned primarily with, “the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the world of work.”
Titled Revisiting Global Trends in TVET: Reflections on Theory and Practice, this e-publication was produced by UNESCO’s International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC) at a time when global policymakers and stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and value of TVET programs around the world. This global appreciation culminated with the 3rd International Congress on TVET which took place in Shanghai in May of last year. At its core TVET is the global terminology used to describe much of what the United States labels as CTE. According to UNESCO TVET is concerned primarily with, “the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the world of work.”
This international meeting provided a forum for discussion about the future trajectory of TVET and the challenges UNESCO member states and TVET stakeholders face. What resulted from this forum was a set of policy recommendations, known as the Shanghai Consensus, which put forward seven overarching principles for how to promote and better implement TVET programs worldwide. They were:
- Enhancing the relevance of TVET
- Expanding access and improving quality and equity
- Adapting qualifications and developing pathways
- Improving the evidence base
- Strengthening governance and expanding partnerships
- Increasing investment in TVET and diversifying financing
- Advocating for TVET
These broad-based recommendations echo many of the core principles found in NASDCTEc’s vision paper Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education and put them into a larger global context. To that end, the set of essays contained in the UNESCO publication seeks to further develop, explain, and more fully realize the doctrine set forth in the Shanghai Consensus.
Please check our blog over the next few weeks as we examine in further detail specific chapters within this e-publication.
Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate