Citizenship, Agency and Difference in Upper Secondary Education - With Special Focus on Vocational Institutions

    Project Details


    The aim of the research project is to analyse how citizenship and differences are constructed in vocational upper secondary education and how teachers and students are positioned and position themselves as agents in this field. The empirical findings that mainly draw from ethnographical studies in vocational education will be reflected and contrasted with data concerning general (academically oriented) upper secondary education and other post-compulsory options. Also young people’s transitions to secondary education and forward are explored, with some reflections from the earlier decades, drawn from life historical studies. Current changes in Finnish and European educational and labour policies provide the context for the analysis. Policy documents, institutional practices, cultural processes and experiences and interpretations of teachers and students are studied. Focus is on the dimensions of difference, such as gender, social background, ethnicity, sexuality, background in special education, locality, age, and their interlinking. In dialog with actors in the field, more inclusive pedagogies and educational practices are searched.

    The project is supported by the Academy of Finland 2010-2013
    Effective start/end date01/01/201031/12/2013


    • Unknown funder: €500,000.00

    Fields of Science

    • 516 Educational sciences
    • upper secondary education, vocational education, citizenship, agency, difference, ethnographic research

    Research Output

    Bodies of Latent Potential: Abled Imaginary and National Belonging in Finnish Cultural Texts about Swimming

    Vaahtera, T. & Lappalainen, S., 2018, In : Pedagogy, Culture and Society. 26, 4, p. 593-607 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Open Access

    Educating ‘Euro-citizens’: A Study of a Vocational Uppers Secondary Programme in Health Care and Social Services in a Finnish (Sub)Urban Setting

    Lappalainen, S., 2017, Second International Handbook of Urban Education. Pink, W. T., Noblit, G. W., Öhrn, E. & Weiner, G. (eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, p. 719-734 16 p. (Springer International Handbooks of Education).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

    Staying in the comfort zones – Low expectations in vocational education and training mathematics teaching in Sweden and Finland

    Rosvall, P-Å., Hjelmér, C. & Lappalainen, S., 2017, In : European Educational Research Journal. 16, 4, p. 425-439 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review