This article offers a critical discursive analysis of the Israeli Ministry of Education’s renewed interest in vocational education. This analysis reveals three discursive practices for promoting vocational education among key participants in the field: the rhetorical transition from ‘vocational education’ to ‘technological education’; the disregard for the tracking involved in vocational education; the government’s refusal to collect or publish statistics on the ethnic and class composition of vocational schools; and a dual discourse that refers to vocational education students as ‘at-risk youth’ whose needs are minimal, to guarantee them a ‘routine’ life (‘being a person’) based on the morality of low expectations. Technological education, is described as populated by students who are the elite of excellence, promising them a rich life, an open future, and the acquisition of ‘tomorrow’s professions.’ Against this background, we proffer the term ‘separatist biopolitics’ to characterise the contemporary vocational education policy in Israel. Separatist biopolitics, offering divergent positive results (‘the good life’) to disadvantaged students (vocational education students) and elitist students (technological education students), is a tool for population management. The concept of separatist biopolitics also proposes adopting a critical reading of the vocational education policy to promote the consideration of alternative educational solutions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation, Grant Number: 1253/17.
© 2020, © 2020 The Vocational Aspect of Education Ltd.
- Vocational education
- educational policy
ASJC Scopus subject areas