In February 2015 we received the sad news that professor David Raffe, a prominent educational sociologist and key actor in European vocational education and training (VET) research had passed away. At that time I wrote a blog in which I remembered his contribution to European projects and to the VETNET network of the European Educational Research Association (EERA). Shortly afterwards David's closest colleagues contacted my with the idea to prepare a special issue of a journal to highlight David's work and the legacy he has left.
Now, after some time has passed since that communication, our work has been completed and the results have been published as
The special issue provides insights into David's fields of work and into his contributions to the research communities as well as to dialogue between researchers and policy makers. And the very special way in which David engaged himself in these activities is reflected in the headings of the articles, such as the following:
Bridging divides – social science, educational policy and the improvement of education and training systems: an appreciation the contribution of David Raffe (1950–2015) by Cathy Howieson, Ken Spours and Michael Young
To know ourselves? Research, data and policy-making in the Scottish education system by Cathy Howieson and Linda Croxford
English exceptionalism re-visited: divergent skill strategies across England and Scotland by Ewart Keep
What does it mean to conduct research into qualifications frameworks? by Stephanie Allais
This was not a complete table of contents but a sample of articles with headings that remind me of David's way to tackle issues and problems very deeply - not accepting simple interpretations and seemingly obvious solutions.
My contribution to this special issue had the following title
Learning from Europe and for Europe with David Raffe - insights into early years of European cooperation in vocational education and training research
I hope that this heading speaks for the content and for the memories of David as a fellow colleague and a fellow European in the exercise of learning from each other and contributing to knowledge development at the European level.
I am pleased to see that this piece of work is now available and that we have managed to give insights into David as a person, into his work and into the legacy he has left.
More blogs to come ...