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Skiing, cheese fondue and Swiss watches : Analogical discourse in vocational training interactions

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Published in Vocations and Learning. 2010, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 117-140
Abstract When trainers or teachers in the field of initial vocational education explain abstract notions, refer to technical objects or emphasize the specificities of technical skills, they often call forth concepts and practices different from those that are directly salient in the training situations in which they engage. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the empirical realities associated with such phenomena by promoting a discursive and interactional approach of what we propose to term “analogical discourse”. Considering that analogies are performed and shared trough language and speech, we propose that concepts and methodological tools borrowed from the field of linguistics can be profitably applied to the analysis of analogical discourse. Not only can they reveal the dynamic and collective nature of analogies as they are performed, disseminated and sometimes negotiated amongst participants, but they can also help reflect about the complexities of vocational learning as it takes place in specific material, practical and socio-cultural environments. From that standpoint, the paper proposes to see analogies not only as related to conceptual development and cognitive dimensions of learning, but as a substantial contribution to the social, cultural and relational dimensions of it.
Keywords AnalogiesApprenticeshipSituated learningConceptual developmentIdentityLanguage
Stable URL http://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:14456
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Research group Interaction et formation

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Deposited on : 2011-02-15

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