Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE) <p><em>The Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE) </em>is the only journal in the Nordic countries specifically addressing themes within our field and serves as a connecting node for comparative scholars in, or interested in, the region. NJCIE is a <a href="">Diamond Open Access</a> journal following the Science Europe initiative working to strengthen Diamond Open Access in scholarly publishing.</p> <p>We invite papers that seek to analyze educational discourse, policy and practice and their implications for teaching and learning, and particularly invite papers investigating topics through an interdisciplinary lens focusing on new insights and fostering critical debate about the role of education in diverse societies. <em>NJCIE</em> is concerned with the interplay of local, national, regional and global contexts shaping education. The ways in which local understandings can bring to light the trends, effects and influences that exist in different contexts globally highlight the general understanding of Comparative and International Education in <em>NJCIE</em>.</p> <p>All papers should include a comparative and/or international dimension. Furthermore, all contributions must engage with wider theories and debates in the field of comparative and international education and include a Nordic and/or global perspective.</p> <p><em>NJCIE</em> invites Nordic and international contributions alike. The journal includes research from all geographic regions in the world. The journal invites contributions in English and all official Nordic languages. <em>NJCIE</em> aims for four issues per year.</p> Oslo Metropolitan University & University of South-Eastern Norway en-US Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE) 2535-4051 <p><strong>Declaration on copyright</strong></p><ul><li>The author/s will keep their copyright and right of reproduction of their own manuscript, with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="" target="_new">Creative Commons Attribution License</a>, but give the journal a permanent right to 1) present the manuscript to the public in the original form in which it was digitally published and 2) to be registered and cited as the first publication of the manuscript.</li><li>The author itself must manage its financial reproduction rights in relation to any third-parties.</li><li> The journal does not provide any financial or other remuneration for contributions submitted.</li><li>Readers of the journal may print the manuscripts presented under the same conditions that apply to reproduction of a physical copy. This means that mass reproduction of physical copies or production of copies for commercial purposes is not permitted without the agreement of the author/s.</li></ul> L’épicentre: Démocratie, Éco*Citoyenneté mondiale et Éducation transformatoire The Epicenter: Democracy, Eco*Global Citizenship and Transformative Education El Epicentro: Democracia, Eco*Ciudadanía Mundial y Educación Transformadora Sigrun Wessel Svenkerud Andrea Hofmann Copyright (c) 2022 Sigrun Wessel Svenkerud, Andrea Hofmann 2023-01-27 2023-01-27 7 1 10.7577/njcie.5116 Editorial: Inclusion in vocational education and training (VET) Evi Schmid Veerle Garrels Copyright (c) 2022 Evi Schmid, Veerle Garrels 2022-11-14 2022-11-14 7 1 10.7577/njcie.5073 “I am Sámi, but I am not a Sámi” <p class="Paragraph" style="text-indent: 0cm;">This article gives voice to coastal Sámi students and explores their negotiations over being Sámi or Norwegian within the Norwegian education system. Through interviews, students share insights on the extent to which education focuses on Sámi issues and reflect upon their identity. The article explores how youths negotiate personal identity within pre-existing structures by employing Archer’s theory on structure and agency as a backdrop. The changing phases in how ‘western’ societies view indigenous practices and knowledges are applied together with (de)colonial perspectives to understand (colonial) structures. Some key findings are that the coastal Sámi students’ identity negotiations are complex, as official discourses seem to restrict them from identifying as ‘real’ Sámi, and that the local Sámi is within a discursive void due to unintended consequences resulting from the unification in the centralised education system. In focusing on students and using the educational system as a backdrop, this article seeks to deepen the understanding of how society and the educational system in particular condition students’ notions of what it entails to be Sámi and how students negotiate their identity.</p> Anna-Maria Stenseth Copyright (c) 2023 Anna-Maria Stenseth 2023-01-05 2023-01-05 7 1 10.7577/njcie.5036 Reclaiming songs of wisdom in rural Bangladesh <p>What kind of music teaching and learning takes place among folk musicians and young ones, aiming to reclaim their oral tradition and educate new master teachers? This question will be answered by drawing on extensive fieldwork at nine song-and-music schools in rural Bangladesh, applying critical realism as a meta-theory. An overall aim is to expand views on what music teaching and learning can be, with potential implications for education beyond rural Bangladesh. The empirical material was collected through a focus group interview with 12 students in an advanced class and in-depth interviews with these students and their three master teachers. The analysis shows that the generational transmission can be seen as based on the ‘four pillars’ of music pedagogy. These are re-described through dialectical critical realism in an abductive process, showing that music pedagogy can open an ontology and dialectic on being and becoming human for the participants. Results are discussed with <em>absence</em> and <em>remembrance</em> as key concepts. The study provides practical and philosophical insights into a music pedagogy about deep learning and resonance: towards transformative praxis.</p> Maria Jordet Copyright (c) 2022 Maria Jordet 2022-11-21 2022-11-21 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4943 Agency is an illusion <p>This article investigates student teachers’ perceptions and experiences in teacher education regarding codetermination and participation as a part of education for democracy and citizenship, along with how they visualize their future teaching in this interdisciplinary theme as teachers in schools. The data material includes 16 extensive interviews with six student teachers in their final year of teacher education in Norway. The results demonstrate a discrepancy between their perceptions and praxis concerning participation. First, the student teachers in their last year of teacher education felt the ability to participate in and through their education was present, but they chose not to take advantage of this possibility. They underlined the importance of participation and agency in education for democracy but did not seem to assign the same importance to their involvement in education. Second, when visualizing how to teach democracy and citizenship in schools, they suggested facilitating pupils’ self-determination in situations where the pupils’ decisions and participation do not change or impact anything. In so doing, they described participation and agency as an illusion; something that is important, necessary, and valuable but with no practical implications. The student teachers seemed to transfer this same illusion of pupils’ agency and participation in their planned teaching in the future.</p> Solveig Maria Magerøy Copyright (c) 2022 Solveig Maria Magerøy 2022-09-27 2022-09-27 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4937 On a Mission to Break Ground for a More Democratic School System <p>The importance of building democratic competency in the face of current global challenges cascades down into national curricula. Illustratively, in 2020, Norway introduced a new national curriculum that conveyed an expectation that students should experience a democratic school society in practice. In response to this new curriculum, in 2019, an upper secondary school in Norway decided to embark on a mission to develop and implement a new pedagogical model. The ambition was to increase the students’ sense of codetermination and participation in school, the local community, and society at large. Subsequently, an interdisciplinary pedagogical model has been in development at the school, in which the subject content is organized according to overarching topics. These topics are presented to students as quests called learning missions.</p> <p>Through in-depth interviews with teachers and leaders currently working on developing the new pedagogical method at the school, the current article investigates the challenges and opportunities the participants encountered in this process. The data have been coded through a stepwise deductive-induction method and analyzed using Bernstein’s concepts of <em>classification </em>and <em>frame. </em>The participants identified the inflexible organizational structures of the school—such as the school administrative system, the building, assessments, and the set timetable—as aspects that made it challenging for the school to depart from the dissemination-based approach to education. Inversely, the implementation of interdisciplinary topics in the Norwegian National Curriculum is one example of a structural change that the participants thought had opened up more flexibility. However, the participants experienced that this flexibility was not extended into the regulations controlling how time is spent in school or the assessment forms. Hence the article concludes that structural changes are necessary to enable the growth of pedagogical models that can increase students’ codetermination, active participation, and real-life experiences in schools.</p> Tessa Eriksen Grevle Copyright (c) 2022 Tessa Eriksen Grevle 2023-01-04 2023-01-04 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4916 What makes supported internships an effective approach to VET? <p>Internationally, there have been varied attempts to secure the inclusion of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Vocational Education and Training (VET). This paper investigates <em>supported internships</em> (SIs), which are programmes that include college courses in numeracy and literacy, workplace learning, and broader life skill development. Drawing on an empirical study of one SI in England, this paper focuses on the pedagogic structure of SIs to explore how systematic instruction combines with elements of the workplace environment to bring about successful vocational learning for young people with SEND. It considers whether the expansive-restrictive conceptualisation of apprenticeship learning explains successful outcomes within an SI. A case study approach using a qualitative methodology of semi-structured interviews was adopted to explore the experiences of people involved in the SI. These included two job coaches, four colleagues, six interns and three graduates from the SI. Thematic analysis revealed this SI facilitates workplace learning for young people with SEND because it models an expansive (not reductive) approach to internships. Systematic instruction did not result in restrictive learning because of role design and broader organisational features. A key facilitating aspect was that the design of the internship fostered opportunities to develop identity through crossing boundaries. Implications for the design of SIs (to facilitate social inclusion and ensure employment outcomes for young people with SEND) are discussed.</p> Jill Hanson Debs Robinson Geraldene Codina Copyright (c) 2022 Jill Hanson, Debs Robinson, Geraldene Codina 2022-11-14 2022-11-14 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4861 Why Is It So Difficult to Contribute to Social Inclusion Through Vocational Education and Training? <p>This paper compares “recognition of prior learning” (RPL) schemes in four countries, to find out the impact of VET policy reforms on social inclusion. The study finds that RPL schemes have only made limited contributions to social inclusion in these countries, for the following reasons: firstly, there are challenges in upper secondary VET, which, in all four countries, requires a substantial level of general education and transversal competencies, on which the key educational policy actors are not willing to compromise. Secondly, some countries used RPL to provide access to non-formal qualifications. Still, such schemes were only successful when those non-formal qualifications were already well-established in society and the labour market (prior to having been made accessible through RPL). The article argues that, for RPL to contribute more to social inclusion, schemes need to be less complicated and should also include complementary education and training provisions for all those who lack work experience in sectors where access to employment depends on certain qualifications.</p> Markus Maurer Mahboob Morshed Ognen Spasovski Copyright (c) 2022 Markus Maurer, Mahboob Morshed, Ognen Spasovski 2022-09-27 2022-09-27 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4855 Å velge bort læring i skolen til fordel for læring i praksis: En casestudie om veien frem til fagbrev via praksisbrev <p>This article focuses on the training practice scheme, a two-year apprenticeship scheme that was implemented as a measure to reduce dropouts from vocational education and training (VET). After completing a two-year apprenticeship, apprentices may continue their training to obtain a full trade certificate. In this article, we examine how the scheme contributes to inclusion in regular VET. Based on interviews with ten apprentices who continued their education and training in a regular apprenticeship after a two-year apprenticeship, and interviews with their supervisors in apprenticeship training, this article presents two case studies. The apprentices’ narratives about school reveal negative educational experiences, feelings of disengagement, failure and exclusion, leading both of them to withdraw from school and construct an identity as practically-oriented learners. During the first year of upper secondary education, both were offered a two-year apprenticeship in sales. The two case studies show how practice-oriented learning provided opportunities to experience success and mastery, a sense of belonging, and the feeling of being members of communities of practice. The article argues that these experiences contributed to a shift in the apprentices’ self-view and thereby created opportunities for learning and motivation to continue education and training.</p> Åshild Tårnesvik Evi Schmid Copyright (c) 2022 Åshild Tårnesvik, Evi Schmid 2022-09-20 2022-09-20 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4849 Stödpraktiker i relation till arbetsplatsförlagt lärande i svensk gymnasial lärlingsutbildning <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 125%;">This article explores educational support practices during workplace-based learning in upper secondary apprenticeship education in Sweden. Many students in need of educational support attend upper secondary VET, but how they are supported in relation to workplace-based learning has not been investigated in any extensive way. 15 semi-structured interviews with upper secondary VET-school personnel were conducted. Through the use of concepts from the theory of practice architectures three different support projects embedded within three practices were identified: a workplace socialization project; a qualification project; and a social-pedagogical project. These support practices were conditioned by how students were viewed; the allocation of resources at the local schools, and the schools’ possibilities to influence the workplaces. The study concludes that support for workplace-based learning is shaped as a one-sided responsibility falling on the schools. Although apprenticeship education might fit some students in need of support, many of them are left without any support during the workplace-based learning part.</span></p> Enni Paul Copyright (c) 2022 Enni Paul 2022-09-19 2022-09-19 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4842 Interventions for Inclusion in TVET through Private-Public Development Partnership in Ethiopia and Zambia <p>The study is about reconfiguring Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through Private-Public Development Partnership (PPDP) for the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in Ethiopia and Zambia. A PPDP is a cooperation between national and foreign actors targeted at development activities and is a governmental strategy to increase the standard of TVET, including strategies to include disadvantaged learners. This article focuses on two PPDPs, one comprising a TVET college in Ethiopia and another in Zambia. The aim is to analyse and compare the curricular strategies of these two PPDPs to revamp TVET for the inclusion of disadvantaged learners. Data was generated through document analysis, interviews and focus groups. The findings indicate that both PPDPs served as an intervention to the TVET institutions, thereby including disadvantaged learners in contexts of huge inequality of opportunities. The article points to tensions relating to inclusion, particularly about how global educational policy trends contend with the realities in local labour markets and the needs of TVET graduates who will work therein. </p> Samson Melesse Aimee Haley Gun-Britt Wärvik Copyright (c) 2022 Samson Melesse, Aimee Haley, Gun-Britt Wärvik 2022-09-19 2022-09-19 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4811 Reengaging in their future <p>This study aimed to explore how students describe their preparedness for education and training after attending the additional school year following lower secondary school. The main purpose of the additional school year is to prepare youths for upper secondary school. The aim is to increase their chances of completion by providing students with an adapted and flexible schooling arena. The target group are students who have completed lower secondary school but are at risk of early school leaving (ESL) due to numerous risk factors, such as low academic achievement, lack of a sense of belonging to the school, or lack of parental involvement. Little is known, however, about how students experience preparedness for future education after attending an additional school year. Drawing on the theoretical underpinnings of disengagement and re-engagement, the present study addressed this gap by examining how 17 youths (age 16) attending the additional school year experienced readiness for future education and training. Data comprised individual interviews with youths in the target group. The reflexive and thematic approach to analysis indicated that students’ experiences of preparedness were characterized by a process of re-engagement in the present and for the future, including social, academic, and practical preparedness. Preparedness is discussed as many-faceted, intertwined with affordances of alternative schooling, and a process of re-engagement. Implications for alternative and conventional schooling are discussed.</p> Øyvind Laundal Stine Solberg Copyright (c) 2022 Øyvind Laundal, Stine Solberg 2022-11-14 2022-11-14 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4839 Vocational special needs teachers promoting inclusion in Finnish vocational education and training <p>The role of Finnish vocational special needs teachers has changed during the last decades according to work-life needs and inclusive ambitions in education. In addition to substance competence, teachers need pedagogical knowledge and special education skills. This study investigates descriptions by Finnish vocational special needs teachers of the interaction with students who receive intensive learning support, and the study traces their opportunities to support the students in vocational colleges, work life, and society, and thus inclusion. We ask: (RQ1) How do vocational special needs teachers describe students with special educational needs (SEN) and their interaction with them? (RQ2) What in the vocational special needs teachers’ descriptions promotes the students’ membership in the vocational education and training (VET) system, in the world of work, and society in general, thus inclusion? We interviewed nine vocational special needs teachers who work as class leaders in VET colleges which provide intensive special support for students. The analysis of the interview data followed the principles of qualitative content analysis, and a category analysis was applied as a methodological tool to elaborate on the teachers’ descriptions. The findings revealed three themes: (1) Students’ profiles; (2) Interaction with the students; (3) Students’ special needs. The participants of the study described the students and the interaction with them mainly in learning situations, but simultaneously they had a strong will to encourage the students’ interaction also in different situations and circumstances, and thus, support the students’ subjective and social growth. The study argues that to promote inclusion in VET it would be essential to acknowledge that the identity of vocational teachers is based not only on their identity as educational or vocational specialists but there is also a third domain which could be seen as a teacher agent’s role as they construct a bridge between the college and real world.</p> Sanna Ryökkynen Kaisa Räty Copyright (c) 2022 Sanna Ryökkynen, Kaisa Räty 2022-11-01 2022-11-01 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4838 Administration Staff’s Descriptions of Inclusion in Finnish Vocational Education and Training <p>Inclusion is understood in various ways in research, in documents guiding educational practices, and in stakeholders’ speeches. This study contributes to the European discussion on the ambiguity of inclusion by investigating the descriptions of Finnish vocational education and training (VET) administration personnel both at the national and vocational institution levels. It gives light on the interconnections between participants’ and Finnish and EU-level interpretations of inclusion in VET. We ask how the representatives of national educational administration and vocational institutions’ administration describe inclusion. The data was collected in the spring of 2021 by interviewing representatives (N=18) of national educational administration and vocational institution administration. We used Qvortrup and Qvortrup’s (2018) definition of inclusion as our theoretical lens. The participants’ descriptions of inclusion were constructed by portraying the significance of students’ equity, equality, participation, accessibility, special support and belonging in the VET community at the numeric level but they lack consideration of students’ activity in those communities and students’ own experiences. The participants did not address the relevance of different social arenas of inclusion or exclusion in their descriptions, but they described VET colleges as one social system. Moreover, the participants did not reflect on the degree of being included or excluded. Their perspectives were constructed through the Finnish VET context, and they created a strong promise of education, which would provide equal opportunities for all to study and acquire competence according to the qualification requirements in VET. Their approaches were based rather on the identification of special needs students and their needs than on considerations for social cohesion, active citizenship and lifelong learning. This fostered the invitation for the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Board of Education to define inclusion more precisely in VET so that the education providers would have an explicit framework and goals to advance inclusion in practice.</p> Sanna Ryökkynen Anu Raudasoja Sanna Heino Katja Maetoloa Päivi Pynnönen Copyright (c) 2022 Sanna Ryökkynen, Anu Raudasoja, Sanna Heino, Katja Maetoloa, Päivi Pynnönen 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4818 VET and the “Competency-Tetris” <p>The purpose of the article is to empirically analyse how the idea of inclusion is portrayed within the boundaries of the “Competency-Tetris”: a metaphor that should not be confused with the <em>Tetris</em>® game but used to theoretically capture individualised, competency-based, and managerially governed Vocational Education and Training (VET). We argue that the meaning of social inclusion within and through VET is unclear and vested by the human capital doctrines and the neoliberal assumptions from which it is derived. Whom does inclusion in VET involve, and to what and where does inclusion take place? Employing a design-based research approach, we used abductive applications to analyse data produced through participatory ethnographic observations (N=32) and interviews (N=12). The results identified four abstracted themes: (1) Fitting the workforce auction; (2) Multi-professional support trajectories; (3) Inclusion of qualification measures; and (4) Social and cultural learning communities. The first three abstracted themes suggest that the Competency-Tetris is a social divider of students based on a “go-forward” engine with social engineering at its fore. That is, the desired boundaries between VET and work are not strengthened, and the question of enabling equal learning for all students faces a U-turn. Thus, the economic value accumulated in competency-based qualification measures is accentuated. The latter abstracted theme identifies a different, albeit obscured, aspiration: human encounters requiring dignity, mutual respect, social generosity, and developmental sustainable ecology are increasingly approached as part of, within, and through VET.</p> Niklas Rosenblad Birgit Schaffar Erika Löfström Copyright (c) 2022 Niklas Rosenblad, Birgit Schaffar, Erika Löfström 2022-09-19 2022-09-19 7 1 10.7577/njcie.4835