The Narrative Quality of Career Conversations in Vocational Education

Annemie Winters, Frans Meijers, Mariëtte Harlaar, Anneke Strik, Herman Baert, Marinka Kuijpers

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    Abstract

    Due to the individualization of society and the rise of a service economy, youngsters have to develop a career identity. In this article we explore to what extent career guidance conversations in vocational education enable the development of a career identity. Using core concepts of dialogical self theory, we understand identity development in terms of positioning: as a dynamic process from I-positions to a meta-position and subsequently to a promoter-position. We want to know what happens when in a conversation an I-position is formulated. Based on 30 guidance conversations between students and a teacher or workplace mentor, four different strategies of teachers or mentors are distinguished: ignoring the I-position, repositioning by talking on behalf of the student, broadening the I-position without conclusion, and dialogue resulting in the formulation of a promoter-position. The results show that dialogical self theory can support teachers and mentors in broadening their positioning repertoire to improve the narrative quality of their guidance conversations with students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-126
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Constructivist Psychology
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    Early online date8 Mar 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

    Keywords

    • vocational education
    • career conversations
    • career identity
    • dialogical self theory

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