Interactions in vocational education

Authors Harmen Schaap, Marieke van der Schaaf, Elly de Bruijn
Published in Studies in Continuing Education
Publication date 2016
Research groups Vocational Education
Type Article


This study aimed to describe verbal student–teacher interactions in vocational education from a socio-cultural perspective on negotiation of meaning. Teaching as part of these interactions is addressed by a combination of diagnosing, checking and intervening strategies. A study was conducted in which students (n students = 20) and teacher (n teachers = 5) from Social Work (SW) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) worked together in small groups (n groups = 5) discussing vocational core problems. Each group held five discussions (n discussions = 25). All discussions were audio recorded and transcribed before they were analysed for negotiation of meaning including teaching strategies. The results showed that 5–8% of the interactions include negotiation of meaning. Interactions in SW groups revealed more negotiation of meaning than in interactions in ICT groups. Teaching strategies mainly included checking and intervening activities in favour of diagnosing activities. Furthermore, teachers used meta-cognitive and conceptual interventions most frequently. The implications of these results are discussed by reflecting on occupational differences and on how negotiation of meaning including teaching strategies can be enhanced.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Studies in Continuing Education
Year and volume Volume 39, 2017 Issue 1
Key words Student–teacher interactions, teaching strategies, negotiation of meaning
Page range 52-70

Vocational Education