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This author has studied the transition to work paths of young people leaving the French vocational educational system, with a view to determining what the educational actions dispensed at vocational secondary schools consist of. These studies were carried out using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It turned out that more than half of the pupils taking vocational educational paths lose interest in their schooling due to the negative light in which they see themselves. The key to educational success at vocational secondary schools therefore consists in restoring these pupils’ self esteem and giving them new hopes of success. In line with A. Sen, the author points out that young people are not all equally endowed with the ability to define objectives and adopt criteria for becoming socially acceptable and to put the resources available to good use, and that levels of self esteem also differ considerably from one pupil to another.


  • capabilities approach
  • career project
  • young person
  • vocational upper secondary school
  • aptitude
Marie de Besses
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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