Relational pedagogy in a vocational programme in upper secondary school: A way to make more students graduate
Keywords:dropouts, graduation, relational pedagogy, upper secondary school, vocational education
In Sweden, many students start but do not graduate from upper secondary school despite preventive efforts. The reasons for students dropping out of school have been examined and opposed, but there is still more to be done. The overall aim of this study was to contextualise and understand teachers’ and students’ experiences and perceptions of relational pedagogy in a vocational upper secondary programme in Sweden. The theoretical framework was relational pedagogy to investigate theoretical knowledge of pedagogical relations. The data for this qualitative study was collected through two focus group interviews with 10 teachers and 10 individual student interviews. Directed content analysis was used to analyse the data in order to pay attention to the core concepts of relational pedagogy as a theoretical encoding scheme. The findings show that teachers and students find their working and learning atmosphere much safer and more secure compared to earlier; both groups mentioned relational pedagogy as promoting student participation, engagement, and motivation in school. This study contributes with knowledge of how vocational teachers and students perceive working with relational pedagogy to promote learning and school attendance, but there is still a need to find out more about how teachers’ relational competence is acquired.
Aspelin, J. (1996). Thomas J. Scheffs socialpsykologi. Sociologisk forskning, 33(1), 71-86.
Aspelin, J. (2006). Beneath the surface of classroom interaction: Reflections on the microworld of education. Social Psychology of Education, 9, 227-244.
Aspelin, J. (2016). Om den pedagogiska relationens gränser: Relationskompetens i gränslandet mellan närhet och distans. Nordisk Tidskrift för Allmän Didaktik, 2(1), 3-13.
Aspelin, J. (2018). Lärares relationskompetens: Vad är det? Hur kan den utvecklas? Stockholm: Liber.
Aspelin, J. (2019). Enhancing pre-service teachers' socio-emotional competence. International Journal of Emotional Education, 11(1), 153-168.
Aspelin, J., & Jonsson, A. (2019). Relational competence in teacher education. Concept analysis and report from a pilot study. Teacher Development, 23(2), 264-283.
Aspelin, J., & Persson, S. (2011). Om relationell pedagogik. Malmö: Gleerup.
Aultman, L.P., Williams-Johnson, M.R., & Schutz, P.A. (2009). Boundary dilemmas in teacher-student relationships: Struggling with "the line". Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 636-646.
Cornelius-White, J. (2007). Learner-centered teacher-student relationships are effective: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 113-143.
Darby, L. (2005). Science students' perceptions of engaging pedagogy. Research in Science Education, 35, 425-445.
Elo, S., & Kyngäs, S.H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107-115.
Fejes, A., & Köpsén, S. (2014). Vocational teachers' identity formation through boundary crossing. Journal of Education and Work, 27(3), 265-283.
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.
Hermerén, G. (2011). God forskningssed. Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet.
Holen, S., Waaktaar, T., & Sagatun, Å. (2018). A chance lost in the prevention of school dropout? Teacher-student relationships mediate the effect of mental health problems on noncompletion of upper-secondary school. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 62(5), 737-753.
Hsieh, H.F., & Shannon, S. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15, 1277-1288.
Jensen, E., Bengaard Skibsted, E., & Vedsgaard Christensen, M. (2015). Educating teachers focusing on the development of reflective and relational competences. Educational Research Policy Practice, 14(3), 201-212.
Krane, V., Ness, O., Holter-Sorensen, N., Karlsson, B., & Binder, P.E. (2017). You notice that there is something positive about going to school: How teachers' kindness can promote positive teacher-student relationships in upper secondary school. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 22(4), 377-389.
Krippendorff, K. (2018). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Köpsén, S. (2014). How vocational teachers describe their vocational teacher identity. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 66(2), 194-211.
Lippke, L. (2012). "Who am I supposed to let down?" The caring work and emotional practices of vocational educational training teachers working with potential drop-out students. Journal of Workplace Learning, 24(7/8), 461-472.
Ljungblad, A.L. (2019). Pedagogical relational teachership (PeRT): A multirelational perspective. International Journal of Inclusive Education.
Lundahl, L., Lindblad, M., Lovén, A., Mårald, G., & Svedberg, G. (2017). No particular way to go. Journal of Education and Work, 30(1), 39-52.
Mårtensson, Å., Andersson, P., & Nyström, S. (2019). A recruiter, a matchmaker, a firefighter: Swedish vocational teachers' relational work. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 9(1), 89-110.
Martin, A.J., & Dowson, M. (2009). Interpersonal relationships, motivation, engagement, and achievement: Yields for theory, current issues, and educational practice. Australian College of Ministries Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 327-365.
Murray, C., & Pianta, R.C. (2007). The importance of teacher-student relationships for adolescents with high incidence disabilities. Theory Into Practice, 46(2), 105-112.
Nordenbo, S.E., Søgaard Larsen, M., Tiftikçi, N., Wendt, E., & Østergaard, S. (2008). Teacher competences and pupil achievement in pre-school and school: A systematic review carried out for the Ministry of Education and Research, Oslo. Copenhagen: Danish Clearinghouse for Educational Research, School of Education, University of Aarhus.
Nylund, M., & Gudmundson, B. (2017). Lärare eller hantverkare? Om betydelsen av yrkeslärares yrkesidentifikation för vad de värderar som viktig kunskap på Bygg- och anläggningsprogrammet [Teacher or craftsman? The importance of vocational teachers' professional identification for what they regard as important knowledge in the building and construction programme]. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 7(1), 64-87.
OECD. (2019). Secondary graduation rate (Indicator).
Rising Holmström, M., Häggström, M., & Kristiansen, L. (2015). Skolsköterskans rolltransformering till den hälsofrämjande positionen [School nurses' role transformations to the health-promotion position]. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 25(4), 210-217.
Roorda, D.L., Koomen, H.M.Y., Spilt, J.L., & Oort, F.J. (2011). The influence of affective teacher-student relationships on students' school engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach. Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 493-529.
Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
Sæle, R.G., Sørlie, T., Nergård-Nilssen, T., Ottosen, K.O., Bjørnskov Goll, C., & Friborg, O. (2016). Demographic and psychological predictors of grade point average (GPA) in North-Norway: A particular analysis of cognitive/schoolrelated and literacy problems. Educational Psychology, 36(10), 1886-1907.
Scheff, T.J. (1990). Microsociology: Discourse, emotion and social structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Skolverket. (2011). Läroplan för gymnasieskolan 2011, examensmål och gymnasiegemensamma ämnen. Stockholm: Skolverket.
Skolverket. (2012). Arbetet med att främja närvaro och att uppmärksamma, utreda och åtgärda frånvaro i skolan - För grundskolan, grundsärskolan, specialskolan, sameskolan, gymnasieskolan och gymnasiesärskolan. Stockholm: Skolverket.
Skolverket. (2019). Statistik om gymnasieskolan. Retrieved 2. February, 2019, from https://www.skolverket.se/skolutveckling/statistik/sok-statistik-omforskola-skola-ochvuxenutbildning?sok=SokC&verkform=Gymnasieskolan&omrade=Betyg%20och%20studieresultat&lasar=2017/18&run=1
Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten. (2015). Beviljad projektansökan för bidrag till "Särskilda Insatser i Skolan (SIS)" [Accepted project application for funding for 'Special Interventions in Schools'].
Temagruppen Unga i arbetslivet. (2013). 10 orsaker till avhopp: 379 unga berättar om avhopp från gymnasiet. Stockholm: Temagruppen Unga i arbetslivet, 2013:2.
Thurfjell, K. (2017). En av tre klarar inte gymnasiet. Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 5. July, 2017, from https://www.svd.se/en-av-tre-klarar-inte-gymnasiet
Törrönen, J. (2002). Semiotic theory on qualitative interviewing using stimulus texts. Qualitative Research, 2(3), 343-362.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Ulrika Gidlund
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
NJVET is an open access journal, this means anyone can access, freely download and read the journal. There are no commercial interests for Linköping University Electronic Press or the Nordic network for vocational education and training (NordYrk) in publishing the journal. From 2021 NJVET publishes all articles under the Creative Commons License CC-BY 4.0.
The core idea of open access is that copyright remains with the authors. However, we publish with the agreement of the authors that if they decide later to publish the articles elsewhere, the publisher will be notified, prior to any acceptance, that the article has already been published by NJVET.
When publishing with NJVET, it is with the agreement of the authors that if they make their articles available elsewhere on the internet (for example, on their own websites or institutional websites), that they will do so by making links to the articles as published in NJVET using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers of the articles and acknowledge in the text of the sites that the articles have been previously published in NJVET.