The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

A Case Study of Gender Barriers in Vocational Education

Kitt Lyngsnes, Nord University (Norway)

Marit Rismark, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (Norway)


Vocational education in Norway follows a dual model involving a two-year school programme, followed by a two-year placement as an apprentice in a workplace. This paper draws from a longitudinal study of 32 young people exploring the processes involved in their transitions into, through and beyond vocational education.  Over a 10-year period, two researchers worked closely together during all phases of the research project. Both researchers conducted together semi structured interviews with the 32 individuals altogether six times during the project period. Data was continuously analyzed both vertically and horizontally. Findings provide information about a range of factors that shed light on opportunities, barriers, shifts and changes that young people experience throughout the transition into, through and beyond vocational education. A single case study is used to illustrate the kind of insights the study offered. The paper centers of the case of Sara and elaborates on her choice of and untraditional vocational pathway. The findings show how her strong agency in challenged and hindered by gender barriers throughout her vocational education.

Keywords Vocational education, gender, agency, longitudinal study 


Gottfredson, L.S. (2002), «Gottfredson’s theory of circumscription, compromise, and self creation.» s. 85–148 I: D. Brown (red.): Career Choice and Development (4th ed.) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kvande, E. (1984), Kvinner og høgere teknisk utdanning. [Women and higher technology education]. Delrapport. Trondheim: IFIM, Institutt for industriell miljøforskning.

Lyngsnes, K. & Rismark, M (2018). Trajectories through vocational education and training. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 17(11), 175-193.


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