University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 4.11.2016 M.A. Seppo Hotti (Faculty of Education, Adult Education)

Start date: Nov 04, 2016 12:00 PM

End date: Nov 04, 2016 03:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, RUU D104 (Helena)

M.A. Seppo Hotti defends his doctoral dissertation in Adult Education "Oikealle alalle? Tapaustutkimus ammattikoulutuksen logistiikka-alan opiskelijoiden ammatillisten odotusten ja työelämän todellisuuksien kohtaamisesta”. Opponent Professor Emerita Marja-Leena Stenström and custos Professor Aini-Kristiina Jäppinen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


A case study of how vocational education and training students' professional expectations in logistics field encounter with the working life realities

The aim of this doctoral thesis was to study how vocational education and training (VET) and working life encounter each other. Naturally the research topic chosen was selected from the researcher’s own professional field, i.e., logistics education. The research task was to examine, how VET-students' professional expectations in the study field of logistics encounter with the working life realities.

The main research question was “How do the logistics (driver training) students’ vocational expectations encounter with the requirements of dynamically changing working life from the point of the vocational competence, the time span of 2001-2025?” The two sub-questions were 1) “How do the logistics students’ expectations encounter to the working life in their answers when being interviewed by the teachers from the point of view the vocational competence and 2) How do the changing requirements of dynamically changing working life encounter to the vocational education according to the on-the-job-learning trainers from the point of view of the vocational competence in the interview material. The theoretical framework was constructed on the basis of Super’s and Holland’s career theories.

The study is an inductive, qualitative case study. The data consist of student applicants’ (N=335, 2007―2014) and on-the-job-learning trainers´ (N=10, 2014) interviews.  The data were analysed through qualitative content analyses by means of theoretical framework (Holland 1959, 1973 and 1985; Super 1957).

The research results indicates that the working life competence requirements and the logistics students´ professional expectations only partially encounter to, even weakly. The inability of encounter of working life’s requirements and students’ vocational expectations reflect a radical change in society and working life. According to the research results the key development areas in vocational education and training in the logistics sector is the development of digital learning and teaching environment and interactive and social skills as well, in cooperation with various actors (stakeholders) in working life.

This study produced two theoretical models applied to vocational education and training: 1) A theoretical approach to cooperative pedagogical counselling and 2) The theoretical model of VET-students recruitment. These two theoretical models can be utilized in student recruitment and practical teaching, which in turn enables the view of the working life and a more enhanced linkage and cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) from the perspective of professional competence.

Keywords:  career theory, student selection, vocational curriculum, vocational education and training, vocational skills, workplace learning, cooperation

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Seppo Hotti