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Two Rival Conceptions of Vocational Education: Adam Smith and Friedrich List
Oxford Review of Education
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 365-378
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1050985
Page Count: 14
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Two different versions of capitalist political economy are explained. The first is the classical model of Adam Smith. The second is the social capitalist model associated with Friedrich List. Smith's views on education and training are clearly articulated in The Wealth of Nations while List's National System of Political Economy, although it does not deal explicitly at any great length with education and training, is pregnant with implications for vocational education. Two different varieties of vocational education emerge from a comparison of these two political economists. Smith proposes a market-led low skill model of training, while List proposes a high-skill model sustained by the state and institutions of civil society, such as craft guilds. The two models follow directly from the overall contrasting conceptions of political economy and are directly relevant to the study of vocational education and training systems in the different varieties of capitalist economy extant in the contemporary world.
Oxford Review of Education © 1998 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.