Educating self-governing learners and employees: Studying, learning and pedagogical practices in the context of vocational education and its reform

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The present article considers pedagogical practices and learning, students' assumed self-governing, and the need for educational support in relation to students' wish to receive proper teaching and guidance and to become well educated. The analysis is based on an ethnographic study in one vocational school in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The research interest is in how the narratives of the students and the episodes documented in the field recount the ethos of the current vocational education reform. We ask: (1) How are pedagogical practices organised and how do the students recount their studies, teaching and support for learning?; (2) How do the narratives on both education and working life practices relate to the discourse on self-governing? The research data consists of the fieldnotes on 27 school days and transcribed interviews and group interviews with the students, teachers and other educators. This study shows that in the school's practices, the education policy objectives of ideal student as self-governing and autonomous are in conflict with the lack of teachers' time and attention for the students. The analysis makes evident the significance of educational support and the school's social aspect. It also suggests that emphasising self-governing does not meet the everyday life of young people and educators, and it actually produces resistance in the school and workplace contexts.

TidskriftJournal of youth studies
Sidor (från-till)1143-1160
Antal sidor18
StatusPublicerad - 20 okt 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 516 Pedagogik

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