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Title: Vocational education and training vs. General education: the influence of the socioeconomic context on students’ choices
Author: Traqueia, Ana
Nogueira, Sara
Barbosa, Belém
Costa, Fernando
Dias, Gonçalo Paiva
Filipe, Sandra
Melo, Ana Isabel
Rodrigues, Carlos
Santos, Cláudia Amaral
Keywords: Vocational Education and Training
General Education
Socioeconomic characterization
Social status
Social representation
Issue Date: 2020
Abstract: Despite the growing popularity of Vocational Education and Training (VET), which is mainly oriented towards labour market inclusion, literature shows that there is still stigmatization and association of those programmes with lower quality training offers when compared to the socalled general secondary education. The main aim of this article is to shed light on the differences in students’ sociodemographic profiles between the two education alternatives. It adopts a quantitative approach, exploring secondary data collected by national (e.g., Ministry of Education) and international (e.g., OECD) organizations regarding secondary education students in Portugal. Results confirm that students in VET secondary education have a different sociodemographic profile, namely in terms of income, parents’ academic qualifications and professional activities, thus presenting a clear lower social status than students in general secondary education. Indeed, VET is more common in Portuguese secondary schools with a student population originating from more disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. This study also highlights the limitations of the available secondary data, suggesting a set of variables and hypotheses built on contributions from extant literature that may enable a better understanding of the reasons behind the differences in students’ profiles. Implications for schools and decision makers, as well as suggestions for future research, are also presented.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.21125/inted.2020.2301
Appears in Collections:ISCA-UA - Comunicações
CIPES - Comunicações
DCSPT - Comunicações
ESTGA - Comunicações
GOVCOPP - Comunicações
CLLC - Comunicações

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