ABS013 - Vocational teachers' assessment actions as border workers between school and workplace
9:50 AM, Friday 1 Sep 2017 (20 minutes)
Convention Center - 205 C
In upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) in Sweden, students can choose to carry VET programmes as primarily either school-based or workplace-based education. The latter alternative is called apprentice education, and students are not considered employees but apprentice students. VET teachers have an official mandate to follow-up and mark VET students’ knowledge in all aspects of education, including the workplace using information from workplace supervisors. VET teachers are aware of this mandate as their responsibility, but they also carry out other duties based on demands from the workplace. The focus in this paper is on informal assessments. VET teachers have a dual identity. They are skilled workers as well as teachers and can be defined as border workers between school and the workplace. They integrate vocation-specific demands into school-based learning, but they also have a mandate to ensure students obtain broad vocational knowledge through workplace-based learning by identifying what the workplace can provide the students. VET teachers are usually responsible for supplying students with appropriate workplaces. This means that VET teachers deal with the dual responsibility of a student’s right to gain access to workplaces and the workplaces' demands on the student. The assessments when matching students with appropriate workplaces can be realized with VET teachers acting as gatekeepers in the border zone between school and the workplace. In this paper, this border work will be analysed from an activity theoretical perspective.