chapter  6
21 Pages

Leisure and vocational education

Introduction In the total or anthropological conception of culture (Cl), the activities and artefacts of both work and leisure are obviously cultural phenomena. However, educational theorists have frequently taken the view that vocational or technical knowledge and skills are not the proper concern of the educational system: to speak, as we commonly do, of technical or vocational education seems to many a contradiction in terms. Implicitly, culture, when conceived normatively (C1n), cannot include work, and all its attributes, much as crime, drug addiction, political corruption and so on, must also be excluded. But leisure seems a different matter. Indeed, it has been argued that leisure is the basis of culture. An alternative view, however, is that vocation should be a central educational concern, a conclusion which requires resolution of some of the conceptual ambiguities in notions like 'technical', 'vocational', 'training', 'liberal'. In particular, it is arguable that technical, vocational, liberal and general education are related, not exclusive or dichotomous terms, [1] and much the same is true of

the relationship between education and training. And it is evident that some of the connections between education and social stratification can only be understood when the vocational relevance of education is underlined and some of the myths about the future of leisure are subjected to critical examination.