The purpose of this paper is to explore how vocational teachers’ everyday practices can constitute innovative learning spaces that help students to experience engagement…
The purpose of this paper is to explore how vocational teachers’ everyday practices can constitute innovative learning spaces that help students to experience engagement and commitment towards education and thus increase their possibilities for completing their studies despite notable difficulties.
Based on two ethnographic field studies, we analyse vocational teaching situations in which teachers and students engage in daily remaking of the vocational educational training practice. It is argued that these everyday situations can be understood as innovative transformation of participation and practice.
The exploration of teachers’ practicing new learning spaces sheds light on innovation potential embedded in everyday educational practices. The paper thus challenges the celebration of radical innovation and argues that innovation emerges from everyday activities in which teachers succeed to balance continuities and discontinuities. Studying innovation as a balance between change and stability thus involves emerging, negotiated processes of learning and participation in everyday practices where people talk, interact and conduct their work and studies.
Based on the analysis, we argue that students’ engagement in education can be enhanced by transforming the educational settings on various parameters such as buildings, artefacts, emotions and experiences. Thus, innovation should be recognised as emerging everyday activities in which frontline workers like vocational teachers are drivers for innovation.
Innovative everyday activities are often invisible; however, we suggest that they can be studied and thus become visible by use of the analytic term: “boundary-pushing“.
Because of high drop‐out rates among the students entering vocational education in Denmark retention of students has become pivotal to Danish educational policy. Thus…
Because of high drop‐out rates among the students entering vocational education in Denmark retention of students has become pivotal to Danish educational policy. Thus vocational educational training (VET) colleges have been asked to work on implementing different kinds of retention initiatives and as a result, most colleges have established extended basic courses aimed at students with personal, social and/or academic difficulties. This paper aims to explore the emotional aspects of vocational educational teachers' work and present a preliminary analysis of the notion of care as socially situated within the vocational educational system.
This paper derives from a study based on fieldwork at a VET college offering extended basic courses. During the fieldwork nine weeks of participating observations and 13 interviews with teachers were conducted.
The paper provides empirical insights into the emotional practices and the management of emotions related to prevention of dropout within an educational setting. It shows how emotional practices can provide both teachers and students with positive identities and make out a productive force that prevents students from dropping out. However the management of emotions also involves a range of dilemmas and ambivalences revealing the difficult limitations related to an institutionalization and professionalization of human care.
Because of the chosen research design more studies on the emotional aspects of prevention of drop‐out from both the perspective of teachers and students are needed.
The emotional dimension of retention remains to be recognized and critically discussed more widely among stakeholders at different levels within the VET system and policy makers within education. Handling both the possibilities and the pitfalls of emotional practices requires that teachers are not left alone feeling responsible for the fate of their students.
The paper contributes with descriptions of how emotions can be productive forces preventing students from dropping out of education. At the same time it identifies a need for further critical examination of the emotional aspects of teachers' working life.