• Maria Althoehn Henriksen
  • Cecilie Lærke Olesen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of the study is to identify the characteristics of the individual requisite stu-dents have for participating in the vocational educational system as a community of practice, and what motivates students to finish their vocational education. This quali-tative study is a contribute to a larger project in the region of central Jutland, Den-mark, who wants knowledge about, what can reduce the increasing dropout in voca-tional educations. The empirical data is produced through six focus group interviews with five to seven participants, where project Careerlearning on GF2 has been re-sponsible for the recruitment of the participants as well as the practical organization. The participants were students from three different vocational educations in the re-gion of central Jutland, respectively SOSU and Mercantec. In addition, the partici-pants were segmented after different categories, which were gender, ethnicity and time of started education, which means that some of the groups had just started whereas others had started a few months ago. Some of the groups were however mixed, which made it possible to get a nuanced understanding of the students on the vocational educations. The interview guide was designed prior to the study with in-spiration from Flanagan's Critical Incident Technique as part of the larger project and consisted of open questions about the students’ narrative stories from the educational system from the past, the present and the future. The empirical data was recorded and transcribed as well as analysed with a thematic narrative analysis. The study has con-cluded, that there are many factors, which affect students’ opportunities for feeling academically and socially integrated in the vocational educational system and thus for the motivation for becoming a full member of the education as a community of practice. The students’ backgrounds and earlier experiences were of great importance to their requisites for feeling integrated. Other than that, the students had different experiences of the meeting with the education, and of whether the education chal-lenged them academically, gave them enough responsibility and lived up to their expectations about information and professional competence. In that connection the experience of a positive and supportive relation to the teacher as well as the teacher’s subject knowledge were of great importance. The relation to peers was on the other hand of less importance, because the sense of community seemed to evolve through the mutual profession and professional identity, which some students had. All these factors seemed important for the students’ motivation, and it can be argued, that evolvement of intrinsic motivation is of great importance for becoming a full mem-ber of the education, because the students are passionate about learning the profes-sion to a larger degree, than if they chose the education entirely based on extrinsic motivational factors such as salary and job possibilities. Through the analysis of the empirical data we found three dilemmas, which vocational educations are faced with. As the students had different experiences of dropout due to their different back-grounds, the first dilemma consisted of, whether dropout should be seen as a learning process or as a failure. The second dilemma consisted of, how vocational schools can accommodate all students’ different requisites and experiences. Finally, the third dilemma consisted of, how vocational educations can be considered more attractive by young people and thereby become a motivating community of practice. We found, that it’s a challenge to achieve this, when the students’ different requisites and the already implemented social and academic initiatives are taken into consideration. This study aims to contribute with a qualitative investigation of the development of a course prior to the beginning of the vocational education, which through careerlearn-ing, increased reflection and support for challenged students can secure the retention of students in the vocational educational system.
LanguageDanish
Publication date31 May 2018
Number of pages140
External collaboratorMercantec
Projektleder, Pædagogisk udvikling Eva Møller Jensen emje@mercantec.dk
Client
ID: 280128256