‘Literacy for labour’ in the competency-based VET in Finland

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


In Finland, the vocational education and training (VET) qualifications lead into work. Also, active citizenship is one of its aims, and qualification enables application to tertiary study. In terms of these aims, literacies are central. In the context of competency-based VET, we analyse how a curriculum of literacy is realized during literacy lessons. The theoretical background lies on sociocultural understanding of literacies as social practices, and this article discusses the school subject of literacy representing theoretical knowledge in competency-based education. Methodologically, the paper draws from feminist ethnography, and the analysis focuses on examining language use in recurring classroom events. We analyse ethnographic data from the literacy lessons for the car mechanics and building construction programmes (2018–2020). These are programmes with an overrepresentation of male and working-class-based youth. The analysis highlights that during the lessons, the value of literacy manifested as market-oriented and work-relevant ‘usefulness’, and the literacy curriculum was realized as delimited to labour contexts and topics. There was an imperative of motivation for conducting literacy schoolwork which draws on stereotyped notions of students who are seen as not interested in literacy but in longing to labour. Based on this analysis, the literacy curriculum was realized as ‘literacy for labour’.
LehtiJournal of Curriculum Studies
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 10 toukok. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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