Immeasurability loss? An analysis of the impacts of accountability measures on counselling within VET

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.221221

Keywords:

vocational education and training, guidance, object-informed counselling, counselling-process, professional responsibility, competence, managerialism

Abstract

Comparative measures of learning outcomes and professional actions are set out to indicate accountability of VET. Individualisation and fragmentation of education emphasise counselling of students as support for their learning. The purpose of the article is to identify how counsellor and teacher practitioners perceive opportunities and challenges in merging their pedagogical and fundamental conventions of their work with structures and frameworks of accountability constituting their practice. Theoretically the study is influenced by socio-cultural perspectives. The analysis follows an abductive approach, reporting on the results from ethnographic observations of guidance counselling (N=29) within VET and subsequent interviews (N=12). We ask how the tension between the immeasurable and measurable contextualises within counselling, and how counselling is construed by counsellors and teachers. The results suggest adherence to quality measures in VET exchanged processes of human interactions and agreements with assumptions of outcomes. The effort of reaching the measures led to failure in achieving the purpose of what the targets are meant to underscore, portraying a disillusion of control. Accountability addressed a critical point concerning responsibility and evoked professional ethical dilemmas for the practitioners. Certain categorised actions of counselling processes were made externally visible by documentation but depleted counselling as learning processes inwards.

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2022-03-24

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Rosenblad, N., Schaffar, B., & Löfström, E. (2022). Immeasurability loss? An analysis of the impacts of accountability measures on counselling within VET. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 12(2), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.221221

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Peer-reviewed research articles