The Vocational Teachers' Road Towards Pedagogical Competence Development

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Kathrine Poulsen
  • Anne-Britt Andersen
  • Jane Franzen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis is based on the vocational educational (eud) reform of the vocational education and training (VET) schools of 2015, and the demands which are made for the development of technical teaching of pedagogical competence. The aim of this research is to investigate vocational teachers’ prerequisites for the development of competences, and how the development of pedagogical competence gives meaning to the vocational teachers.
The area of vocational education is confronted by great challenges. There are fewer students applying for entry, whilst at the same time there is a high drop-out rate during the course of the educational period. The aim of the reform is therefore to make vocational education more attractive, so as to increase the number of students applying for and completing their education.
The focus and interest of this thesis is, therefore, on the role which the vocational teachers have in relation to an initiative for “More and better teaching” from the vocational education (eud) reform. Within this, there is a demand for a lift in pedagogical competence in the form of a vocational pedagogical diploma education in which the vocational teachers seen overall have to gain qualifications in pedagogics and didactics in their teaching.
This thesis is based on a qualitative investigation with a hermeneutic approach, which took place in a department for auto mechanics in a selected vocational school in Denmark. Here, amongst other things, empirical data was gathered on the subject matter of the diploma education, material from the vocational school on the process of competence development, together with interviews of four vocational teachers who have completed a vocational pedagogical diploma education.

The research showed that vocational teachers had different prerequisites which either promoted or impeded the development of their pedagogical competences. The prior qualifications include both personal qualities, such as the technical teachers’ engagement, together with external circumstances, such as organisational conditions. Moreover, the research showed that there are situations where the technical teachers find meaning in the pedagogical competence development, but also situations where they find it meaningless. But by and large the pedagogical competence development was meaningful for the vocational teachers in relation to their practice.
Furthermore, it became apparent that the vocational teachers’ starting points for competence development, and how it gives meaning to the vocational teachers to develop their pedagogical competence, are closely bound up with each other. The vocational teachers’ potential for pedagogical competence development was not fully realised, because the vocational teachers have not developed their pedagogical competence to as high a degree as they could have done with the right prerequisites. We found out that meaning is a reinforcing element in the vocational teachers’ development of pedagogical competence, but it is not enough in itself, that it gives meaning, if it would be deeply rooted in practice and acquire the character of competence development.


On the basis of Ellströms’ two types of logic of organisation: production- and development- logic, we eventually found out that the department for auto mechanics is chiefly dominated by the logic of production, which mainly focuses on the daily running of education. This is problematic because the vocational education (eud) reform demands that the technical teachers have to develop their pedagogical competence, which mainly takes place within the logic of development.
LanguageDanish
Publication date2 Jun 2020
Number of pages115
External collaboratorAnonym
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ID: 333377097