What are (and what) situations of vulnerability at school? In this article we will focus on the concept of educational vulnerability to explain what situations they can cause.
For its part, educational vulnerability refers to all those difficulties or obstacles that interfere with the academic career of the student. In which way? We will see that later. Besides, we will also talk about up to 8 types of these situations and give examples of each of them.
Educational vulnerability and its consequences
Before discussing the concept of educational vulnerability, let’s explain what vulnerability is.
To do this, we collect a definition from Busso (2001), who defines it as a multidimensional process that converges on the risk or probability that the individual, home or community will be injured, injured or damaged by changes or the permanence of external situations. and / or unwanted intestines ”(Busso, 2001, p. 8).
On the other hand, educational vulnerability is a concept that refers to the situation of vulnerability in which some students find themselves, who manifest or live difficulties or obstacles throughout their academic career; these barriers prevent them from making the most of education in the classroom and in the school context in general.
So, generally speaking, what educational vulnerability does is weaken a student’s education.
Difficulties for a good education
What are these difficulties or obstacles mentioned?
These are different types of vulnerable situations at school, experienced by students at one point or another in their school career, and they can be family, emotional, interpersonal, related to the process of education. ” teaching and learning, with the educational context or climate (environment), etc.
All of these situations they can be accompanied by other phenomena of varying complexity, Which can also affect the well-being of the student and / or interfere with his educational process (which can affect various areas: personal, relational, educational …).
What does it all lead to? Most cases of academic failure are in addition to interference in the well-being and quality of life of the student. Failure at school can also lead to depressive symptoms, bullying, low self-esteem, family problems …
In fact, all these situations of vulnerability at school (either as a cause or as a consequence of school failure, but especially as a result of it) we will see them throughout the article.
Vulnerable situations at school
We have collected up to 8 possible situations of vulnerability in the school, which they can lead to problems of various natures and characteristics; school failure, relationship problems, self-esteem issues, depressive and anxiety symptoms, etc.
All of these situations, as well as their own consequences, interfere in several ways with the academic trajectory of students.
1. Show poor academic performance
Failure to perform poorly can lead to academic failure, Among others.
It is one of the situations of vulnerability in the school, since in addition it can drift into other problems and interfere in the adaptation of the pupil to the center, in his good performance, in the surpassing of the various courses, in the relationship with his peers, and so on.
2. Have family problems
Family problems (as we will see more specifically in the following point) can greatly affect the well-being of the student, which directly influences his academic sphere, but also his personal, relational sphere …
Family problems can be of different types, having poor communication with parents, living in a hostile and unstructured environment, and so on.
3. Alcoholism in one of the parents
Another possible situation of vulnerability at school is the fact that one of the parents is an alcoholic.
Family circumstances greatly influence student performance, In their well-being, their relationships, their frustrations, their quality of life, etc. In addition, the fact that one of the parents is an alcoholic can cause great stress in the home, as well as feelings of guilt and helplessness in people living with the alcoholic. All of this, of course, will influence the school.
4. Presence of problems in interpersonal relationships
Problems with peers (i.e. with peers) are also a barrier that makes the student vulnerable in the educational context.
5. Presence of emotional problems
A student’s emotional problems can also become another vulnerable situation in school, as these problems can have a very negative effect on their well-being, making it difficult for them to relate to others, Building positive self-esteem, their relationship with teachers, etc.
6. Difficulties with teachers
The fact that the student has difficulties with the teachers, can also interfere negatively in his academic trajectory. these difficulties they can range from classic thinking “professor’s mania to me” to real battles with the same.
7. Behavioral problems in class
Behavioral issues are another vulnerable situation at school. These can be of different types and range from mild to severe (they also depend a lot on the age of the student).
We must also think that under many behavioral problems (or disorders) lie other deeper problemsUsually emotional in nature, which needs to be taken into account and properly addressed.
8. Special educational needs (SEN)
Finally, another situation that can lead to educational vulnerability is being a student with special educational needs.
This concept refers to the fact that a student needs certain specific pedagogical support and attention, during a period (or all) of his schooling. They result from suffering from an intellectual disability, a sensory impairment, conduct disorders, etc.
- Busso, G. (2001). Social vulnerability: notions and political implications for Latin America at the start of the 21st century. Document presented at the International Seminar “The different expressions of social vulnerability in Latin America and the Caribbean”. Santiago de Chile: United Nations – ECLAC.
- Díaz, C. and Pinto, ML (2017). Educational vulnerability: a study of the critical partner paradigm. Praxis Educativa, 21 (1).
- Directorate General of Culture and Education Provincial Directorate of Planning. (2010). Definitions of Educational Vulnerability Planning, Research and Statistics Series / 3. Buenos Aires.
- Manzano Soto, N. (2008). Young people in a context of vulnerability and the need for a comprehensive school. Teaching, 35 (7): 50-57.