02 SES 06 A, Adult Learning and Careers: Challenges and risks
In Sweden, as in many other countries, there is a considerable recruitment need for health and social care staff (Statistics Sweden 2015). The adult- education programme in health and social care can for this reason be an alternative for many people to enter the job market, especially for people with a foreign background (Torres 2010b). For many years the programme has been a mix of education and employment measures. The programme spans over three semesters, where one third of the time is fulfilled in the form of an internship. The length of the programme can vary depending on previous experiences from working, but many students have no formal training. The adult-education program in health and social care provides entry into various roles within the health and social care sector, such as nursing assistant within elderly care, personal assistant in patient homes, work at a mental care facility, etc. For people who are unemployed or have difficulties entering the job market, health and social care be an alternative. For most of the students, the aim of completing the program is to gain a secure position in the health and social care sector. The students are part of a heterogeneous group spanning diverse social and educational backgrounds, ethnicity, age, and sex. The largest group in the program consists of women with an immigrant background, who do not have Swedish as a native language (Ahnlund & Johansson 2011). The program requires knowledge and contact with different kinds of artefacts, where language is the most important. In my dissertation (Lagercrantz All, 2017) I investigated the students experiences of their education, in addition to the participation and learning process. My result indicated the problems the students have in contact with different kinds of artefacts. In this study, my concern is therefore to investigate the students experiences with more specific question about their contact with the mediating artefacts.
The main question is: how can the students´ trajectories of participation be described and understood in relation to the different kinds of artefacts they come in contact with in the program?
The analysis is mainly based on Lave and Wenger`s theory of Legitimate Peripheral Participation and Learning within a Community of practice (Lave & Wenger 1991/2011; Wenger, 1998). The learning thus occurs in interaction with others in a social practice and is therefore situated at a certain time and in a certain place. An important concept in the study is trajectories of participation, which describes the individual student´s educational career, including theoretical studies and professional practice leading to a gradually increased sense of belonging and professional identity. I have used sociocultural theory in addition to Lave & Wenger. In Sweden, this theory has mainly been developed by Säljö, whose theory about artefacts has been of particular interest (Säljö 2000/2005).
The empirical data consists of 15 interviews with students in a health and social care adult-education program. The text of the interviews is analyzed by a hermeneutic method. The interpretative method can be described as an alteration between an interest in what the interlocutors mean, known as an experience near interpretation, and a more theoretical way to understand the quotation, known as an experience distant interpretation (Gustavsson 2000b). It is during the distant interpretation that Lave and Wenger, among others, have been of importance.
The students program project and the trajectories of participation can lead to brings new challenges. The gradually increasing participation leads to increasing new demands that can jeopardize said project. A critical point for participants can be the lack of language and cultural competence which for the students with an immigrant background can jeopardize the project. A conflict can occur because of the flexible teaching, something required for adult students undertaking this programme: however, this need for flexibility is marked contrast to my earlier findings (Lagercrantz All 2017). The adult-education program is primarily a participation project, both in concrete sense of being in society and the work force.
Ahnlund, P. & Johansson, S. (2011). Omvårdnadsprogrammet: genomströmning etableringsgrad och utbildningens relevans. Rapport 2011:19. IFAU-Institutet för arbetsmarknadspolitisk utvärdering. Gustavsson, A. (2000b). Tolkning och tolkningsteori 2 - fördjupning. Texter om forskningsmetod. Stockholms Universitet, pedagogiska Institutionen Lagercrantz All, K. (2017). Delaktighet- och lärprocesser i en yrkesutbildning En studie av vuxna elevers erfarenheter av vård- och omsorgsutbildningen inom Komvux. Akademisk avhandling. Stockholms Universitet. Lave, J & Wenger E. (1991/2011). Situated Learning Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University press. Wenger,,E. (1998/1999/2008). Communities of Practice Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge University press. Statistics Sweden (2015). Trender och prognoser. Kraftig personalbrist inom vården. Säljö, R. (2000/2005). Lärande i praktiken ett Sociokulturellt perspektiv. Smedjebacken: Bokförlaget Prisma Torres, S. (2010b). Invandrarskap och tvärkulturella äldreomsorgsmöten. I: (red.) Johansson, S. Omsorg och mångfald. Malmö: Gleerups
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