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Presentation of the project research findings at the 5th International VET conference “Crossing Boundaries”, 25 – 26 May 2023, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Title of the presentation: Vocational Students at Risk of Social Exclusion in Estonia: Social Ecology Approach 

Krista Loogma, Meril Ümarik, Inna Bentsalo and Terje Väljataga presented the findings of the qualitative study of the second work package executed in Estonia.  

The study focuses on the social ecology of learning and development of students at risk of drop-out from IVET that could lead to early school leaving and social exclusion. To understand better the complex of the interrelated factors of drop out risks the concepts of social ecology, ecological agency forms the theoretical and methodological framework of the study.  Sample of interviewed students consists of 20 students (14 female and 6 male) of age between 16 and 22 years from different vocational schools and regions in Estonia studying different specialities.  Among sample there are students who had dropped out from several schools as well as those that have had rather smooth educational careers. As the result of empirical analysis, we identified three clusters of students, representing three different ecologies of students at risk with the emphasis on the development of their agentic capacities. The ecologies reflect also different experiences of getting help or not in the near environments of students in the case of emerging problems and the consequences on their further learning and development, including the perspectives for the future life. 

The conference paper can be found here: https://zenodo.org/record/7821926

Presentation slides: Download presentation