A recruiter, a matchmaker, a firefighter: Swedish vocational teachers’ relational work

  • Åsa Mårtensson Linköpings universitet, IBL
  • Per Andersson Linköping University, Sweden
  • Sofia Nyström Linköping University, Sweden
Keywords: Vocational teacher, work-based learning, relational work, community of practice, boundary crossings

Abstract

A central part of Swedish vocational teachers’ work concerns their students’ work-based learning (WBL). The focus of this article is the character of the relational work carried out by teachers of vocational education and training (VET) concerning WBL. The qualitative study is based on 15 interviews with teachers on the upper-secondary level Child and Recreation, Building and Construction, and Handicraft programmes. The study is based on a situated learning perspective, and uses the concepts of community of practice, broker and boundary crossing. The findings highlight three central aspects of VET teachers’ relational work with WBL: recruiting workplaces for WBL, matchmaking between students and workplaces, and ‘firefighting’ to prevent and deal with problems that occur during WBL periods. The study contributes to the understanding of the work of VET teachers, as they cross the blurred boundaries between school and working life and strive to create a good learning environment for all students during WBL periods.

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Published
2019-04-15
How to Cite
Mårtensson, Åsa, 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. https://doi.org/10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.199189
Section
Peer-reviewed research articles