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Students' perception of education at secondary vocational and technical school

Štefan Petkovšek (2016) Students' perception of education at secondary vocational and technical school. MSc thesis.

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    Knowledge is of key importance nowadays, not only for the competitiveness of an organization but also for an individual student. Students are facing numerous situations which can undermine or alter the expected course of schooling (i.e. education). The shifted course can be unfavourable not only for a student but also for the society. The main aim of this thesis is to research how youngsters in secondary vocational and technical schools perceive their schooling – what significance they give to knowledge and education, what vision they share of their future, how they perceive their course of schooling and what their general thoughts about schooling are. First, the theoretical part introduces how knowledge society influences schooling. It explains how schooling itself creates and prevents social inequalities and exclusion. In this context the relationships between social, human, cultural and economic capital are defined. The availability of capital to a large extent determines the course and perception of schooling. Perception is a social and subjective category of recapitalization of time. It is a unique mix of subjective emotional, cognitive and motivational interpretations of schooling. Among numerous factors only those which are directly connected to the perception of schooling are described: such as locus of control, motivation, identity, views and family socioeconomic status. The empirical part interprets biographical interviews with four students of secondary vocational and technical school. The criteria of choices were defined in advance, since the purpose was to determine whether the formal status of a student is suitable to his personal circumstance (special needs student with an individualized education plan from the primary school, student who repeats a grade, gifted student, immigrant). Students’ statements were labelled with concepts which were arranged into categories and content fields. The study shows that students perceive schooling in categories: ‘to become somebody’ (social role), ‘enabling employment and better economic status’ (economic role), ‘achieving the conditions for happy life’ (intrinsic role). The perception of schooling is more holistic by those students who are enrolled in the final year of schooling. The study also confirmed Colman’s thesis that social capital can compensate for economic and other social disadvantages. Social capital was shown as essential in all phases of schooling: access to schooling, school success and the transfer of gained knowledge. Peers have an important influence on the perception of schooling. They can undermine or encourage the course of schooling. Students’ biographies show hard work and diligence are important values. Students acknowledge that knowledge (skills and expertise) is human capital, which has to be enriched – also in an informal way. All formal statuses of inclusive education enabled students to progress in their schooling and thus prevented new social inequalities and social exclusion. The following categories of perception of schooling were formed: future-orientated, present-orientated and past-orientated. The concept has not been finalized yet. It has to be examined in comparison to other secondary school programs and its prediction value has to be established.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: perception of schooling/education, secondary school, social capital, human capital, social inequalities, family socioeconomic status
    Number of Pages: 181
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    red. prof. dr. Darja Zorc MaverMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11308105)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4083
    Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2016 14:14
    Last Modified: 11 Nov 2016 14:14
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4083

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