Revisiting Rancière’s Concept of Intellectual Emancipation in Vocational Educational and Training Practices




Rancière, intellectual emancipation, vocational education and training


The paper discusses the emancipatory potential of Uruguayan Vocational Educational and Training (VET) practices, usually associated with job discourses, skills and training. In doing so, we revisit Rancière’s work concerning intellectual emancipation to provide us with a guide to connect with the phenomena studied, as a lens to look at and to problematize emancipation in concrete practices on a heuristic level.

Thus, the paper is structured as follows. First, we describe the context of Uruguayan VET practices. Second, we discuss Rancière’s key concepts about emancipation in education. Third, we craft a conversation between the empirical and theoretical work, in view of exploring concrete VET practices from the axiom of equality. Last, the text concludes with a reflection on new meanings regarding Rancière’s intellectual emancipation that deserve further attention and allow us to identify other forms of emancipatory potential in VET practices, to move beyond its currently predominant functionalist understanding.


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Author Biographies

Gisselle Tur-Porres, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University School of Education, United Kingdom

Is Lecturer and Programme Director of Early Childhood Studies at Swansea University. She has been Research Associate and Professor at Universidad Nacional de Educación-UNAE and a member of the ‘Research Group on Decolonial Education and Epistemologies of the South’. She has coordinated national and international educational research projects. Her research interests focus on two related areas: teacher training and educational policies, with an emphasis on emancipatory pedagogical/educational practices, in the field of Vocational Education and Training, and at present in Early Childhood Education. 

Danny Wildemeersch , Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Is emeritus professor of Social and Cultural Pedagogy at the KU Leuven and former professor of Social Pedagogy and Andragogy at the Radboud University. He is a member of the ‘Centre for Education, Culture and Society’ (KU Leuven). His research focuses on (adult) education related to issues of interculturality, citizenship, environment, participation, development cooperation. He has coordinated national and international research projects. He has taught subjects on adult education, comparative education, intercultural education, social pedagogy, social work. He currently is editor of the European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults.

Maarten Simons , Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Is professor of educational policy and theory at the Laboratory for Education and Society of the University of Leuven (Belgium). His principal interests are in educational policy, mechanisms of power, and the new global, European and national regimes of governing education. In his recent work, he focuses on current monitoring devices in education, processes of governing through examples, and the shift from disciplinary power and individualization to feedback power and personalization. Moreover, his research addresses explicitly on the challenges posed to education with a major interest in (re-)thinking and (re-)inventing the public role of schools and universities.


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