The Transformation of the Turkish Vocational Training System: Creation of Lifelong Learning, Loyal Technicians
This thesis scrutinizes the current transformation of vocational training system in Turkey. Beginning with the question “Why did the vocational high schools become the problem of the country all of a sudden?” it tries to cover the social and economic dynamics and motives behind this transformation. Establishing the link between Turkey’s integration with the global economy and the general trends in global economy and education, it lays out the motive behind the attempts of capital circles to transform the current system to a modular one, which is based on lifelong learning. Questioning the meaning of concepts such as knowledge economy and lifelong learning, it seeks to decipher what kind of implications this might have regarding the creation of modular, lifelong learning blue collar workers. The thesis aims to challenge the mainstream functional perspective on vocational training system and underlines the political character of education in general and vocational education in particular. With a field work carried out in a district of İstanbul, the thesis seeks to find out what kind of techniques and strategies the capital resorts to in order to train its loyal technicians. In this regard, this study suggests approaching the current integration of private companies and vocational schools within the context of the internationalization of capital, need for qualified labor and flexible markets which certainly require a cultural transformation of the minds of the youth and the normalization of social inequalities in their perception.