Uploaded by Phạm Thanh Thu

Reflection on vocational training

Pham Thi Thanh Thu
Reflection piece on edification and vocational training/workplace training
Over the last two day, I have learned new and interesting knowledge. This experience cleared
out much of my confusion. Firstly, edification - the core concept is originated from Germany.
It refers to the ethical ways of behaving toward others. In English, edification means that “the
improvement of the mind and understanding, especially by learning” (Cambridge online
dictionary) or “The moral or intellectual instruction or improvement of someone” (Oxford
online dictionary).
When I did more research, I know that this term is very important in Christianity. It is similar
to spiritual growth, move forward in knowledge of and obedience to God. We have been
declared righteous and are becoming righteous. We should seek to live at peace with others.
Therefore, edification is the formation for popular adult education– conducive to peaceful
societal development. Popular adult education as edification of people.
In practice, we have the concepts of rural edification and worker edification. Rural edification
indicates not only the spirituality but also the cultivation methods which is sustainable with
long term vision for future generations. This is also the value that I cherish. We are within the
ecosystem of this universe, not on the top of everything. We use our intelligence to manipulate
both humans and non-humans. I think intelligence is also the element in driving adult education
toward the economic direction. Worker edification focuses on the process of skill upgrading of
the workers so that they can reach a higher level of achievement. This concept is directly
relevant to vocational training. I have to admit that I am so confused about vocational training
programs. Before going to this master's program, I had a positive attitude toward this form of
education. When I am in the program, I know that there is a more negative perspective to see
it which vocational training is to only keep people at work to benefit the economy. However,
if vocational training is put in the context of nation building, I see the light again. Moreover,
we also need to understand the challenge of vocational training. It does not only about merely
education. It has to deal with the most difficult learners with a holistic approach. The pressure
on vocational training does exits.
However, I think that if we can internalize the core meaning of edification, vocational training
will not necessarily have a pessimistic meaning. In other words, if I understand correctly,
edification exists, then popular education exists. When the idea of edification is rejected by the
leaders and elites in different sectors of social life, then mere vocational training which serves
for the demand of the global market.
Secondly, the position of training in workplace or human resource development (HRD). I
totally agree with your statement that HRD accounted for the bigger share of adult education.
It is also reasonable for us to pose the question of social change effects of this type of learning
when HRD only focuses on enhancing the work quality and in the end benefiting the econmy.
The other form of workplace learning, if it is available, will more about teambuilding or leisure
activities. The accumulated knowedge can then be applied in different workplace but it is not
necessarily creating the posivitive change in the community. However, I would like to consider
an other issues about the type of the corporations from my working experience. I believe that
not all adult education experience in workplace have no benefit to community or social change.
When I was working in a Japanese company, I attended intensive training on international
quality assurance in the factory. This training was hugely beneficial to my job at that time in
the position of production controller in the factory. Nevertheless, when I left this job, my
knowledge about quality assurance had no use. My next jobs were all in international non-forprofit organizations where I also sign up for many training courses. For example, in World
Vision Vietnam, it is compulsory for the staff to take the course in personal security, security
management, first and fire safety. These kinds of knowledge is very practical and not for the
purpose of benefits making. Therefore, we should not merely keep the negative attitude toward
workplace training and learning. In fact, I am associated with you on the fact that the adult
education in the workplace is the most challenging one. If we want to create change in HRD in
companies, we need to revisit their vision and mission to influence the top level. From the
bottom level, change can only be anticipated if they are ready to question the status quo and
determine to chance the industry, the economy. As mentioned in the beginning, HRD has a big
share in adult education, so it is worthy researching more about this field.
In short, in my opinion, edification is an important key to resolve many problems with adult
education. The core is living in harmony with others regardless of human or non-humans.