Esther Winther

This contribution was developed from the project “Aspects of integrated Development of Competence in Vocational and Educational Training” (Ac35/24-1,2), which is aided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (cf. Winther, 2006). This project’s objective is to detect processes essentially involved in learning. They are of cognitive, emotional, and motivational nature. Within the framework of this project, these processes must be analysed and operationalized. Finally, an instructional concept has to be developed – as module for teacher training. This didactical design is applicable for the subject management economics, including accounting systems and system controls for advanced training in the field of business and commerce.

In evaluating the processes of learning, the study paid particular attention to the following: (1) mutual dependence, (2) separated and integrated promotion possibilities, and (3) the significance of success in school. These elements constitute this project’s special achievement.

Esther Winther

We analysed the effectiveness of learning environments using different instructional supports. In an experimental study, the effects were investigated with two conditions: coaching guidance in different learning settings to compare the specificity of coaching in concrete teaching and learning settings on the one hand; on the other hand the effectiveness of complex learning environments compared to traditional classroom settings was of interest. We found significant differences in the quality of performance, students’ situational perception, and regulation.

VET Boost: Towards a Theory of Professional Competencies

Essays in Honor of Frank Achtenhagen

Edited by Fritz K. Oser, Ursula Renold, Ernst G. John, Esther Winther and Susanne Weber

The themes of the different papers in this book are related to five major areas of research. First, the book presents the work on a large-scale assessment in vocational and occupational education and training. Reason was the work of Frank Achtenhagen and his colleagues on the preparation of a VET-PISA which started in 2004 which has now become more and more a concrete program. The contributions to this part of the book contain a project description and profound presentations and discussions of measurement and evaluation problems. It reflects also the work of Achtenhagen with respect to item response theory, measurement and testing. The second part of this book presents a unique endeavour of promoting VET research: The Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET) initiated a program of Leading Houses of VET which are dedicated to different important research topics. This program might serve as example for comparable approaches in other countries. The third part highlights central issues of research on learning processes, curriculum theory and the use of technology. Here the work of Achtenhagen on competence-profile modelling, competence measurement and instructional and curriculum designing is touched. The fourth part stresses social and emotional learning as important aspects of VET learning. The fifth part considers the political and institutional dimensions of VET research which have to be taken into account when an international large-scale assessment of VET shall be getting started. Achtenhagen’s work on learning at work, leaning in economics and learning under the conditions of institutional modelling are discussed. The whole book is a collection of central issues around a field that is not yet taken enough into consideration in educational research, but pushed and supported by Frank Achtenhagen: VET research. He belongs to the founding fathers of it, and this is why precisely the book reflects new trends and new concepts with respect to the question “What can we, educational psychologists and educational researchers, learn from a rich and central research field.”

Fritz Oser, Ursula Renold, Ernst G. John, Esther Winther and Susanne Weber

Fritz Oser, Ursula Renold, Ernst G. John, Esther Winther and Susanne Weber

Fritz Oser, Ursula Renold, Ernst G. John, Esther Winther and Susanne Weber