FSD3167 Vocational Teachers' Views on Competence-Based Education 2017

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  • Vähätalo, Lauri (University of Tampere)


education, evaluation, evaluation of education, occupational training, teachers, teaching methods, upper secondary education, vocational education, vocational education institutions


This survey was conducted as part of a Master's Thesis and in relation with the Finnish educational project "TUTKEsta toimintaan" at Tampere University of Applies Sciences. The study charted upper secondary level vocational teachers' views on what sort of an impact competence-based methods have had on vocational education in Finland. "Competence-based" ('osaamisperusteisuus' in Finnish, translation by the Finnish National Agency for Education) is used here to describe a way of implementing studies where, instead of abstract knowledge, working life competencies and the flexibility and personality of one's studies is emphasised.

The survey first contained questions about competence-based education generally, e.g. with regard to how the concept is perceived, how well it had been implemented at the respondent's home institution, and if the respondent felt more pressure in their work due to e.g. rush, new systems, new legislation, expectations, and increases in workload or the number of students. Next, the respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements regarding the impact of personalisation and flexibility of studies. The teachers were also asked how personalisation of studies was visible in their everyday work, and whether personalisation and flexibility of studies offered advantages in studies and working life or if they created new challenges.

Next, attitudinal statements were presented on the tasks and appreciation of the teacher as well as working life cooperation. In addition, the respondents were asked if the teacher's role had changed in a variety of ways after the implementation of competence-based vocational education.

The respondents were then asked to evaluate the extent they agreed or disagreed with statements regarding competence-based evaluation, e.g. "Competence-based evaluation is simple" and "Competence tests meet employers' expectations of working life competencies". They were also asked if the new competence-based evaluation methods gave a more truthful image of students' competencies than the previous teaching system, and what were the possible pros or cons of the old system. Finally, the respondents were asked to describe how the competence-based system had affected their everyday work tasks and Finnish upper secondary vocational education in general.

Background variables included gender, age group, institution, and work experience in years.

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