”Om det är nåt trubbel med dom” Arbetsplatsförlagt lärande för elever i behov av anpassningar och stöd på gymnasiets yrkesprogram
Sammanfattning: Abstract Nilsson Anna (2018). ”Om det är nåt trubbel med dom” - Arbetsplatsförlagt lärande för elever i behov av anpassningar och stöd på gymnasiets yrkesprogram. “If there is any trouble with them” Workplace-based learning for students in need of adaptations and support in upper secondary vocational education and training programmes. Specialpedagogprogrammet, Institutionen för skolutveckling och ledarskap, Lärande och samhälle, Malmö Universitet, 90 hp. Expected contribution to knowledge The contribution involves increased awareness of the type of information a supervisor requires in order to provide the best reception for vocational students who need extra adaptations and support from an upper secondary national vocational education and training programme during their workplace-based learning (WBL) period. Aim and research questions The aim of the survey is to examine and analyse 1) the type of knowledge upper secondary school teachers in vocational education and training programmes need to define and specify for WBL supervisors before and during upper secondary school students’ WBL periods, and 2) the knowledge exchange between them, so that a student who is in need of extra adaptations or special support is to be well taken care of and can develop towards achieving the upper secondary programme’s goals during their WBL period. Answers are sought for the following research questions: • What knowledge do WBL supervisors consider they need to have clarified in order to supervise vocational students who have extra adaptations or special support? • In what way do WBL supervisors obtain the knowledge they need on WBL from the upper secondary school? • What knowledge do vocational education teachers consider needs to be defined and specified for WBL supervisors and in what way? Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four supervisors at different WBL sites and with four vocational education teachers in different vocational education and training programmes. The supervisors work in four different vocational education areas and receive students from four different vocational education and training programmes. All the WBL supervisors have completed the Swedish National Agency of Education’s WBL supervisor training course and have good experience of what it means to receive students for WBL periods. The vocational education teachers work in four different vocational education and training programmes and have teacher certification. They have completed the Swedish National Agency of Education’s WBL supervisor training course and are responsible for WBL matters in their respective programmes. Prior to the interviews, the respondents received information in the form of a covering letter. The interviews were conducted with the supervisors at their workplaces and with the teachers in their workrooms. All the interviews, which were conducted in March and April 2018, were recorded and transcribed. After the respondents had answered the pre-set questions, follow-up questions were asked. The length of the interviews varied, as respondents were given the opportunity to speak freely on the questions and thus some interviews were longer than others. Results The supervisors consider that the knowledge they need before a student starts their WBL is what the student did in school before WBL, i.e. what experience the student has. They also need information about how the student is as a person and if the student has a need for support of some kind. The knowledge that supervisors say they receive is which form the student is in at school, the student’s name, contact details and the times the student will be involved in WBL. All the supervisors say that they receive a folder containing this practical information. The teachers consider it is important that the supervisor does not get a preconceived idea about the student and are fearful that the supervisor will not accept the student if they find out about the student’s difficulties. The teachers express this by saying they may “burn” WBL places, if the student cannot manage. All the teachers state that they inform the supervisor about the need for extra adaptations, but all are very clear that for integrity reasons they only provide information that is allowed to be disclosed. When they are asked about what they may disclose from an integrity and confidentiality perspective, none of them knows where the boundaries are. All supervisors state that they do not receive information about a student’s difficulties. A content analysis of the interviews has been conducted based on the research questions. Implications for special education teachers The teachers have different ideas about the way in which special education teachers can be involved in work relating to WBL. Two of the teachers wish that the special education teacher participated in meetings and programmes with the supervisors from the WBL sites in order to provide information on diagnoses and extra adaptations. One of the teachers would like assistance from the special education teacher in the preparation and follow up of WBL. This teacher considers that students who need extra adaptations require more preparatory work than others and that the special education teacher can be an asset in this work. Working as a special education teacher in a vocational education and training programme presupposes considerable knowledge and understanding of workplaces beyond the school walls and of learning environments that are not always optimal from an educational perspective. The special education teacher’s traditional role is to work on analyses of students and my understanding is that teachers do not expect the special education teacher to be involved in WBL, particularly not in preventive and supportive contexts. It is therefore pleasing that the interviewed teachers consider that the special education teacher also has a role in the preparatory work leading up to WBL.
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