02 SES 05 C, VET Dropout and Completion
Educational dropout is a serious problem in many countries (Lamb, Markussen, Teese, Samdberg, & Polesel, 2011), and has therefore been of considerable research interest internationally. (Lamote, Speybroeck, Van Den Noortgate, & Van Damme, 2013; Markussen, 2010; Rumberger, 2011). In Denmark this is particularly true for young adult in the age group 18-25. This studyfocuses on dropout amongst this target group for a number of reasons. Firstly, dropout is connected to social marginalization. Completing a vocational education is documented to reduce the risk of marginalization from education and later work life (Jensen & Jensen, 2005). Secondly, despite national and international efforts to reduce dropout rates the numbers are still high. In Denmark, recent numbers show that 44 % of the young adults aged 22-23 who have not completed a youth education programme have at least one drop-out from vocational education. (DI, UU Danmark & AE, 2016, s. 3). Thirdly, dropout is expensive. Therefore, research into why young adult drop out of the educational system and how to prevent this is vital and relevant within educational research.
While international and national literature points to many different reasons for dropout to occur, e.g. internal/external factors (Jensen & Larsen, 2011) student-teacher relation (Brown & Katznelson, 2011; Nielsen, 2016; Wahlgren & Mariager-Anderson, 2016), learning environment (Polesel, Nizinska & Kurantowicz, 2011; McGivney, 2003) etc. and to the fact that dropout should be perceived of as a process rather than a spontaneous decision, there is limited research on the competences a teacher or student counsellor need to discover and intervene positively in the process. A study aiming at gaining new knowledge about young adults’ the decision making processes in relation to dropout is thus of interest in both a national and international perspective.
The aim of this study, running from 2017-2019, is to contribute to implementation and anchoring sustainable strategies and methods for retention at vocational colleges and adult educational centers. The main research themes are:
- How is the interaction between the different factors in the decision-making process?
- What is the basis for the final decision of dropout?
- What can colleges do to change the students’ decision to drop out?
- If the decision to drop out is made, what can be done to ensure that the student is retained in a positive development and educational process?
The project's theoretical framework combines existing knowledge about drop-out and factors effecting dropout with decision making theory and motivation theory. Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) claims that the strongest predictors of dropout is attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control (Burrus & Roberts, 2012). Within the field of guidance in a cognitive perceptive inspiration is found in Theory on Cognitive Information Processes. From theories of motivation the study draws on two perspectives. Wlodkowski’s theory of motivation including ’inclusion’ and the importance of the social environment, climate and dialogue (Wlodkowski, 2006) and Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory analyzing motivation in relation to three basic psychological needs, autonomy, competence and relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Both approaches emphasize interaction between social relations and motivation.
Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147. Brown, R., & Katznelson, N. (2011). Motivation i erhvervsuddannelserne. København: Erhvervsskolernes forlag. Burrus, J., & Roberts, R. D. (2012). Dropping Out of High School: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Remediation Strategies. R&D Connections(18). Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2000). The "What" and "Why" of Goal Pursuit: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268. DI, UU Danmark & AE, (2016) Kortlægning af unges uddannelsesveje. Dansk Industri, UU Danmark og Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd. Gelatt, H. B. (1962). Decision-making: A conceptual frame of reference for counselling. Journal og Councelling Psychologi, 9(3), 240-245. Hecksher, K., Thomsen, R., & Nordentoft, H. M. (2014). Forskningscirkler: en introduktion til metoden og gode råd. København: Institut for Uddannelse og Pædagogik (DPU), Aarhus Universitet. Humlum, M. & Pilegaard Jensen, T. (2010). Frafald på de erhvervsfaglige uddannelser Hvad karakteriserer de frafaldstruede unge? København: AKF, Anvendt Kommunalforskning. Jensen, U.H. & Jensen, T.P. (2005). Unge uden uddannelse. Hvem er de, og hvad kan der gøres for at få dem i gang? Købenahavn: Socialforskningsinstituttet. Jensen, T. P., & Larsen, B. Ø. (2011). Hvem falder fra - spiller skolen nogen rolle? In C. H. Jørgensen (Ed.), Frafald i erhvervsuddannelserne. Frederiksberg: Roskilde Universitetsforlag. Lamb, S., Markussen, E., Teese, R., Sandberg, N., & Polesel, J. (Eds.). (2011). School Dropout and Completion. International Comparative Studies in Theory and Policy. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York: Springer. Lamote, C., Speybroeck, S., Van Den Noortgate, W., & Van Damme, J. (2013). Different pathways towards dropout: the role of engegement in early school leaving. Oxford Review of Education, 39(6), 739-760. McGivney, V. (2003). Staying or Leaving the Cource: Non-Completion and Retention of Mature Students in Further an Higher Education. Leicester: niace. Nielsen, K. (2016). Engagement, conduct of life and dropouts in the Danish vocational education and training. Journal of vocational education & training, 68(2), 198-213. Persson, S. (2010). Forskningscirkler - en vejledning. Gjallerhorn. Tidsskrift for professionsuddannelser, 12. Polesel, J., Nizinska, A., & Kurantowicz. (2011). Pathways to Completion for School Dropouts. In S. Lamb, E. markussen, R. Teese, N. Sandberg, & J. Polesel (Eds.), School Dropout and Completion. Dordrecht: Springer. Wahlgren, B. (2016). Adult educators' core competences. International Review of Education. doi:10.1007/s11159-016-9559-4 Wahlgren, B., & Mariager-Anderson, K. (2016). Improving Completion Rates in Adult Education Through Wlodkowski, R. J. (2006). Enhanching Adult Motivation to Learn. A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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