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Analysis of the Performance Ambivalence Among Secondary Vocational Learners

Background of the Study

The learning pattern is always conceptualized as the coherent whole of learning activities that learners always employ their beliefs about the learning process and the learners’ motivation. All this is a character portrayed over a particular period (Tsao et al., 2018). It involves the coordination of various concepts whose interrelationships range between affective, regulatory, and cognitive learning activities. The learning patterns generated a framework rooted in some two traditions of research which were based in the late seventies and the early eighties. The first works by the scholars were largely based in the UK, Australia, and Sweeden on the traditions of student approaches to learning (SAL) (Xu & Xu, 2020). The tradition indicates that student learning was largely conceptualized in cognitive approaches and motivation. The other pillar was some early work on metacognitions that later developed to traditions best understood as self-regulated learning (SRL). Students who enroll in vocational education programs always prefer a workplace based on learning to classroom learning, which takes a faster track route to the labor markets. Supporting such a smooth transition between the workplaces and schools resulted in policy enactment and development of reforms in Sweden, which have prioritized vocational identities. Vocational identity is the determination to maintain a commitment to various values of a given vocation (Johnson, 2019). The available studies indicate that the environments of learning play a vital role in ensuring learners’ success. All the learners who study in the positive learning environment are revealed as very motivated, have a greater overall ability to learn, and display a greater level of engagement. The study examines the learning environments and how they impact the learning environment. This topic is worth investigating because it will better understand how learners are affected by a poor learning environment. The beneficiaries of the study are learners who have challenges because of a poor learning ambiance.

Research Problem

Learning institutions tend to experience significant challenges which affect the learners negatively. Even though the teachers and administrators always make efforts to avoid the challenges. It is always challenging irrespective of various techniques applied in schools; some factors could have persisted (Hedman & Magnusson, 2020). Without withstanding, institutions have to work towards reducing the impacts of the challenges while enhancing the learning abilities of learners. Teaching is very challenging when numerous natural barriers impede the entire learning process. The environment plays a vital role in ensuring the success of learners (Pandey & Pandey, 2021). Various factors affect the ability of students to learn effectively. Some of the factors include the settings, color of the surrounding, noise, and light. All the learners who study in positive environments display greater motivation, higher levels of engagement, and greater ability to learn. Students who study in poor learning environments display lots of discomfort because of the noise and other distractions. Such an environment makes it challenging for the learners to absorb information and remain engaged. Even though the challenges are not common in every institution, many schools tend to experience one or more of the issues. The image of future vocation may affect learner’s formation of identity and understanding. Some learners understand their future vocations while others have no vision of the vocation. Institutions affected by such issues always fail to notice any internal changes until all the external issues are addressed. The basic composition of immediate communities around an institution has some significant impact on the learners and the institution. This research seeks to ensure the issues related to the ambiance are identified and effective approaches identified to address the challenges.

Research Objectives

Research objectives always describe whatever a given project intends to achieve. The objectives are expressed in particular lay terms, directed to the participants as a researcher. For this study, the objectives are:

The study seeks to determine the current ambivalence situation among vocational learners.

To determine the causes of ambivalence among vocational learners through interviews.

Research Questions

Research questions are particular inquiry questions that research seeks to offer particular inquiries which the research intends to answer. It resides on cores of investigations and systems which assist in clearly defining the particular paths of a research process. For this study, the research questions are:

  1. What is the current situation of ambivalence among vocational learners?
  2. What are some of the reasons why ambivalence is formed among vocational learners?

Literature Review

Pusztai & Csók (2020) writes that various factors promote a successful socialization process. Such factors have become a significant focus of study via the expansion of higher education systems. All structural changes within the labor markets of other post-socialist nations like Hungary have presented training challenges to the training areas of both educational and social professions. In Hungary, the professions are not so attractive, the degrees have lower profitability, and the working class also experiences significant challenges when looking for jobs. The study examines the dynamic changes in various realities of labor markets. The study involved interviews of 20 professionals regarding their career experiences and plans. The study responded to questions about reduced attractiveness and a lower retention rate within the professional field. It involved a comparison of various careers of bachelor graduates who had degrees in education, social work, and youth work. The research involved qualitative approaches to analysis which revealed that professionals who were trained with more field exercises were more successful than those who had increased their social and professional capital. All these factors assisted them in having a significant interaction in the markets of labor. The study is efficient because it addresses the impacts of ambivalence in learning institutions. However, the gap is that it fails to mention the exact factors that promote ambivalence and successful socialization.

Zhang Tingting. (2021) writes about the important aspect of higher learning and vocational education in China. This aspect has accounted for over half of the education industry with a broad scale of operation. It results in management and constant improvement of the available skills and development of various schooling characteristics. All these factors have made vocational training an issue of greater concern in society and the primary focus of the entire society. The author acknowledges that there are significant mistaken ideas concerning higher vocational education. Additionally, there is the mechanism of social, vocational colleges that are tardy and rigid, deficient staff, affecting the comprehensive quality of the lessons. When the trainer lacks various characteristics, the graduates are likely to be uncompetitive in seeking employment. Such challenges affect learners significantly by reducing the likelihood of sustainable development of higher vocational education. That is why it is important to apply significant measures to promote greater vocational education. Such an approach ensures quicker and better development. The approaches involve abolishing any form of prejudice against such the vocational forms of education, strengthening the appeal of vocational education, highlighting all its characteristics in the training of persons, and strengthening the construction of the staff involved in teaching for the optimization of the overall qualification. It also involves strengthening various forms of organic integrations of research, education, and production and improving the competitive nature of graduates and employers. Even though the study is efficient, it fails to capture the exact situation of ambivalence among vocational education learners, creating additional research.

In their study, Ferm et al. (2019) investigate the aspect of the formation of vocational identity among learners who study the vocational programs of education. The study is limited to the industrial sectors in Sweden. The empirical materials are based on 28 qualitative interviews. The interviews involved various learners enrolled in student programs; the findings indicate that the learner’s formation of vocational identity is not a single linear process. Three learning trajectories emerged in correspondence to three different groups of students. All these learners were oriented towards some form of flexibility.

Additionally, they were open to a greater possibility of developing themselves in the career world outside the sector. The learners were also oriented towards some ambivalence that did not have a clear plan for their vocation features. The researcher concluded that a significant understanding of the formation of various vocational identities, various social categorizations, and the learning notions of various trajectories should be considered in greater depths. Additionally, the aspect needs to be understood in the upper secondary school environment. One gap in the study is the fact that it focuses on secondary learners, yet there are learners in other institutions of higher learning,

Zhou et al. (2020) used a latent profile approach to analysis based on two wave information from a sample of 5388 teenagers. The study determined various approaches through which adolescents were viewed as processes related to parents’ expectations, support, barriers to engagement, and interference that could be configured in families associated with teenagers’ adaptability to various careers and ambivalence a year later. Three meaningful profiles were identified: the supportive but not intrusive profile, the other unsupportive but not permissive, and the controlling and ambivalent profile. Most adolescents in the unsupportive by permissive profile indicated greater ambivalence in their career. They reduced levels of adaptability in the career world compared to those who were in the supportive but mot intrusive profiles. The study is effective because it highlights the implications of career development among Chinese adolescents. The gap in the study is that it is limited to teenagers in China, yet there are various nations globally that implement vocational training.


Research Approach

This is a required field of study which assigns various meanings to various terms of the study (Snyder,2019). The approach involves the procedure and plan, which consists of the vital steps of the numerous assumptions to the detailed techniques of collecting information, interpreting, and analyzing data.

Research design

The study is qualitative. Qualitative study is a process of collection, interpretation, and analysis of non-numerical information like language (Mohajan, 2018). This approach effectively studies various things within the natural environment and attempts to create some sense of or interpretation of phenomena in terms of meanings that this individual creates in them (Snyder,2019). The approach is very efficient for this topic because it will allow for understanding concepts, experiences, and opinions of the sample regarding vocational training.


The empirical approach involves qualitative interviews which have 28 vocational students. Out of them, there were 22 males and six females. The learners were within the age bracket of 18 years and 20 years enrolled in the vocational programs. Out of the learners, nine students were in their second year of studying the programs. The remaining 19 were in their final year of study. The selected learners had numerous workplace experiences in manufacturing companies of various sizes or industrial processes. All the four schools in the study were selected strategically. Everyone was responsible for the program in every learning institution, and they were contacted via mail or with some written description of the project. The study, which took place in schools, lasted for about 60 minutes per participant. Some of the themes involved in the study include the social background of the learners, their reasons of choice, and the present situations.

Additionally, it also involved a vocational future like whatever plans the learners have after graduation. All this was to reveal more details about the information identification process over a given period. All the interviews will be recorded and transcribed for verbatim and easy understanding.

Data collection instruments

One of the approaches to data collection is interviewing. Interviews collect information from a smaller group of individuals on a given topic. The structured interviews are always comparable to questionnaires in a similar order for every subject (Nayak & Singh, 2021). Interviews are effective for qualitative studies because they assist in explaining, creating understanding, and exploring the various subjects which are studied. It also explains the opinions, experiences, behavior, and phenomenon. For this study, the interviews will have in-depth, open-ended questions in terms of information collected.

The other approach will be the use of questionnaires. A questionnaire is a list of various open questions or different items used to gather information from the participants regarding their experiences and attitudes (Säfsten, & Gustavsson, 2020). Questionnaires enhance the collection of qualitative information, and they are relevant for this study because it is a social science.

Data Presentation

Since the study is qualitative, one of the data presentation approaches will be the use of flowcharts. The glow charts are diagrammatic representations of particular processes. Many researchers use flow charts to document complex processes (Snyder,2019). For this study, flow charts will present information about the current ambivalence situation among vocational learners and the causes of ambivalence among vocational learners through interviews.

Another approach will be the use of a Gantt chart. The charts assist teams in planning their works around particular deadlines. It also ensures the proper allocation of vital resources. Various project planners always use Gantt charts to view the entire project’s birds-eye view. The charts also depict various aspects like the relationship between variables (Ngozwana, 2018). Gantt charts will enhance the building and management of complete projects, monitor the project’s progress, and determine any task dependencies and logistics of the project. On a conventional level, the vocational identity and formation are linked to the notions of learning trajectories. Such learning trajectories always tie learners, their backgrounds their vision of other future vocations and the present situations. Such implies that the present, future and past always shapes the vocation identities via participation in community practices.

Data Analysis

This aspect involves examining the specific details of the information collected from a particular study. Since the study is qualitative, the analysis will be in various categories. One of the categories is content analysis. The approach involves categorizing the different behavioral and verbal products for classification, summary, and tabulation of information obtained through the interviewing process. The other approach involves the analysis of various narratives. This aspect involves the researchers trying to find meaning out of various stories told by the participants in the context of the study and other experiences that the researchers share every day (Basias & Pollalis, 2018). The researchers can also do a discourse analysis which involves a detailed analysis that goes beyond the languages in the sentence. Discourse analysis always studies huge chunks of information even as they flow together. Discourse analysis involves a crucial examination of four aspects. The types include exposition, description, exposition, and arguments. The aspect of vocational learning is complex, and the approach would be effective in analyzing the findings.

Limitation of the study

The study is limited to China. Yet various countries in the world are affected by the issue of vocational training. The other limitation is that the researchers may experience significant barriers during information collection. One significant barrier is that of language. When there is a misunderstanding between the researcher and the participants, the researcher is likely to record false information which will not be relevant for the study. Another issue is distance. Sometimes the participants are located in inaccessible locations, which causes researchers to have a hard time accessing information.

Ethical considerations

The study gave liberty to all the participants to withdraw from participating whenever they felt uncomfortable.


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Ferm, L., Thunqvist, D. P., Svensson, L., & Gustavsson, M. (2019). Vocational students’ identity formation about vocations in the Swedish industrial sector. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training9(2), 91-111.

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Zhou, N., Cao, H., Nie, Y., Li, X., Yu, S., Liang, Y., … & Fang, X. (2020). Career‐related parental processes and career adaptability and ambivalence among Chinese adolescents: a person‐centered approach. Journal of Research on Adolescence30(1), 234-248.


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