Pedagogical Practices in Vocational Education

  • Wouter Pols Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences


What is it like to teach at a vocational school? What are the pedagogical challenges for teachers who are responsible for teaching young people going into the trades? Since September 2015, the Research Center Urban Talent of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has conducted field research at six different schools of vocational education. As a member of the center’s research staff, I conducted a series of conversations with a team of vocational teachers at each school between September 2015 and May 2018. This paper offers an account of one of these conversations. It focuses on the pedagogical experiences of vocational teachers, and it aims to get the teachers to articulate their experiences and to investigate their meanings. My approach was phenomenological. The teachers were encouraged to share and reflect on their experiences.