Adam Smith on Value-Based Vocational Education and Training

Author(s): Andreas Pawlas

Full Text: PDF

Published: 2024-06-03


Often Adam Smith is associated with value-free economic logic. Consequently, vocational training alone would have the character of a professional investment. On the other hand, there is the concept of value-based vocational training, although its aspects are controversial. With Adam Smith the (religious) commitment to values in professional training is self-evident, which becomes clear, for example, in the emphasis on the sense of duty and the admonition to adhere to the 7th commandment. Even though Smith does not use the word “vocation”, his use of the term “profession” shows how much he is influenced by the Reformation and the belief in the probation of human life in everyday life and in the family. And for Smith it is obviously self-evident too that the moral values that are necessary today to build a prosperous economy and counteract the dangers of the modern division of labor must first be anchored and cultivated there - before it becomes an important task for schools and universities.