Student engagement profiles in vocational education and training: a longitudinal study

Satu Niittylahti, Johanna Annala, Marita Mäkinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This study aims to explore how student engagement evolves during vocational education and training. A qualitative longitudinal study was carried out; 12 students were interviewed once a year during their three-year education. A qualitative content analysis was performed and three different student engagement profiles were identified. The findings highlight that student engagement is supported by interest and enthusiasm for the curriculum, strong connectedness to other students, and suitable ways to learn and study. However, one of the key findings of this study is that not all adolescents have a strong passion for their field of study. Many reported that there was nothing else interesting to study and that they were hoping for their field to become more interesting. In addition, the results indicate that connectedness and students’ emotional experience of education powerfully shape their view of their overall educational experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Student engagement
  • Vocational education and training
  • professional growth
  • qualitative longitudinal study

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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