Between structure and individual needs: a discourse-analytic study of support and guidance for students with special needs in Finnish vocational education and training

Camilla Björk-Åman, Kristina Ström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The reformed Finnish vocational education and training (VET) system is a competence-based, customer-oriented educational programme with two overarching aims: to develop a skilled labour force and to promote social inclusion. Support and guidance have become increasingly important in Finnish VET in recent decades. This study focuses on how linguistic constructions of support and guidance for VET students with special educational needs are constructed in the dynamics between institutional ideas and the language use of VET staff. Data were collected through focus group discussions among different categories of staff. Through a psychological discourse analysis, three different linguistic constructions emerged: a package of support measures, a structure falling apart and dialogue as a bridge builder. Tensions and contradictions were identified between the different constructions. The results point to the need for balance between institutional structures and the possibilities of staff that daily interact with the student to provide holistic support measures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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