These are the main situations of school vulnerability that young people sometimes suffer.
What (and what) are the situations of vulnerability at school? In this article we will focus on the concept of educational vulnerability to explain what situations can cause it.
For its part, educational vulnerability refers to all those difficulties or obstacles that interfere in the academic trajectory of the student. In what sense? We will see it next. In addition, we will also talk about up to 8 types of these situations and we will mention examples of each of them.
Educational vulnerability and its consequences
Before delving into the concept of educational vulnerability, we are going to explain what vulnerability itself consists of.
To do this, we collect a definition from Busso (2001), which defines it as “a multidimensional process that converges on the risk or probability of the individual, home or community to be injured, injured or damaged in the face of changes or permanence of external situations and / or adverse internal practices ”(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 experience a series of difficulties or obstacles throughout their academic career ; These obstacles make it difficult for them to make the most of teaching within the classroom and within the school context in general.
Thus, broadly speaking, what educational vulnerability does is weaken the schooling bond of a student.
Difficulties for good schooling
What are these difficulties or obstacles mentioned?
These are different types of situations of vulnerability at school, which are experienced by students at one time or another in their educational career, and these can be: family, emotional, interpersonal situations, related to the teaching process and learning, with the context or educational climate (environment), etc.
All these situations can be accompanied by other phenomena of varying complexity, which can also affect the well-being of the student and / or interfere in their educational process (which can affect various areas of this: personal, relational, strictly educational … ).
What does all this lead to? Most of the cases in school failure, added to an interference in the well-being and quality of life of the / a student / a. School failure 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 a consequence of school failure, but above all as a cause of it) we will see throughout the article.
Situations of vulnerability at school
We have collected up to a total of 8 possible situations of vulnerability at school, which can lead to problems of various kinds and characteristics ; school failure, relational problems, self-esteem problems, depressive and anxious symptoms, etc.
All these situations, as well as their own consequences, interfere with the academic trajectory of the students in many ways.
1. Present low school performance
The fact of presenting poor school performance can end up leading to school failure, among other things.
This is one of the situations of vulnerability at school, since it can also lead to other problems and interfere in the student’s adaptation to the center, in their good performance, in passing the different courses, in the relationship with his colleagues, etc.
2. Having family problems
Family problems (as we will see more specifically in the next point) can greatly affect the well-being of the student, which directly influences their academic sphere, but also in their personal, relational sphere …
Family problems can be of different types, from having poor communication with parents, to living in a hostile and unstructured environment, etc.
3. Alcoholism in one of the parents
Another possible situation of vulnerability at school is the fact that one of the parents has alcoholism.
Family circumstances greatly influence student performance, well-being, relationships, frustrations, quality of life, etc. In addition, the fact that one of the parents is an alcoholic can generate great stress at home, as well as feelings of guilt and helplessness in the people who live with the alcoholic. All this, logically, will influence the school.
4. Presence of problems in interpersonal relationships
Problems with peers (that is, with peers of the same age) also constitute an obstacle that turns the student into a person in a vulnerable situation within the educational context.
5. Presence of emotional problems
The emotional problems of the student himself / herself can also become another of the situations of vulnerability in school, since these problems can affect their well-being very negatively, which will hinder their relationship with others, the construction of a positive self-esteem, their relationship with teachers, etc.
6. Difficulties with teachers
The fact that the student has difficulties with the teachers can also negatively affect his / her academic career. These difficulties can range from the classic thought of “the teacher has a mania for me”, to real battles with them.
7. Behavior problems in the classroom
Behavioral problems 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) there are other deeper problems, usually of an emotional nature, that must be taken into account and duly treated.
8. Special educational needs (SEN)
Finally, another situation that can lead to educational vulnerability is the fact of being a student with special educational needs.
This concept refers to the fact that a student requires certain specific educational supports and attention during a period (or the entirety) of their schooling. They arise as a result of suffering from an intellectual disability, a sensory disability, conduct disorders, etc.
- Busso, G. (2001). Social vulnerability: Policy notions and implications for Latin America at the beginning of the XXI century. Communication 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 from the socio-critical paradigm. Educational Praxis, 21 (1).
- General Directorate of Culture and Education Provincial Planning Directorate. (2010). Definitions of educational vulnerability Series Planning, Research and Statistics / 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.