Effective curricula for at-risk students in vocational education: a study of teachers’ practice

G.M. Fix*, H.T.M. Ritzen, J.M. Pieters, W.A.J.M. Kuiper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Background: This study focused upon a curriculum for at-risk students in vocational education aimed at enhancing students’ motivation and engagement for learning. The study explored teachers’ view on effective curricular characteristics and teachers’ strategies to create positive learning experiences for students.

Methods: Qualitative research has been conducted regarding four curricula for at-risk students; data were collected and examined by means of 16 focus group interviews with teachers and analysis of relevant documents.

Results: Teachers pointed out the central position of the student, resulting in individual trajectories. Teachers used peer group dynamics, job orientation and sports as tool for student development. Teachers regarded themselves as coaches, as experts in sport activities and as group managers. For positive learning experiences two key curricular characteristics have been identified: (1) equality in the relationship between student and teacher, (2) a positive fit between the curriculum and the students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalEmpirical research in vocational education and training
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2019


  • Curriculum
  • Students at risk
  • Teachers’ practice
  • Teachers’ role
  • Vocational education


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective curricula for at-risk students in vocational education: a study of teachers’ practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this