Next Article in Journal
Does Changing a Scale’s Context Impact Its Psychometric Properties? A Comparison Using the PERMA-Profiler and the Workplace PERMA-Profiler
Previous Article in Journal
Be the Change You Want to See: Problem-Based Learning to Promote Diversity, Justice, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Sustainability in the Classroom and Workplace
Previous Article in Special Issue
Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers and Self-Appreciation: How Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers Can Gain Equity by Learning to Appreciate Themselves
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Capacitating Pedagogy to Inclusive Excellence through Bienvivance for Zero Waste of Human Resources: European Case Studies during the Lockdown on Vocational Education and Training

Bénédicte Gendron
Department of Sciences of Education, Faculty of Education and Sciences for Letters Languages Arts and Human and Social Sciences, University Montpellier 3, 34090 Montpellier, France
Merits 2024, 4(1), 95-108;
Submission received: 8 January 2024 / Revised: 5 March 2024 / Accepted: 11 March 2024 / Published: 19 March 2024
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School Management and Effectiveness)


The lockdown during the pandemic questioned the learning and working conditions but underlined crucially the teaching pedagogy and new essential teachers’ roles and competencies, and on the whole, the operational framework of education for quality of education for all. The research was carried out through a European Project and gathered at training centers in two countries focusing on learning and pedagogical issues during the lockdown through focus group discussion methodology and labels analysis. If planning, material resources, and health issues came out as relevant difficulty categories, the findings underlined collaborative projects and capacitating pedagogy as efficient and helpful. The findings also questioned the quality-of-life framework at school and the teaching pedagogy and new teachers’ roles as competencies to cope with such a situation to support transformative learning. The outcomes suggested a positive operational framework, the innovative bienvivance paradigm, derived from medical methodology, which can help school organizations by inner development for outer changes to integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions. It aims at serving inclusive excellence toward human resource sustainability and zero waste of human resources. It can be seen as an effective framework for quality and equity in education. It supports the UN and UNESCO recommendations and the psycho-socio-economic optimization of human resource issues, which are crucial in these human resource mobility and migrations waves, and broadly copes with global changes.

1. Introduction

The lockdown during the pandemic not only questioned the learning and working conditions (emotional, physical, and logistic…issues), it underlined crucially the teaching pedagogy and new essential teachers’ roles and competencies to cope with such a situation and remain resilient and creative to answer learners’ needs beyond the pandemic situation [1]. During the lockdown and pandemic, despite the (feeling of) isolation and having to cope with not ideal learning and working conditions in degraded and altered contexts for both students and academic staff, some schools found that “in the middle of difficulty lied opportunity”, as quoted by Albert Einstein. This is what appeared in the French case studied through a Euro-region project called “Transform” run in France and Spain. After presenting the global outcomes of the research, it will be discussed in depth the French case showing that facing like others altered learning and working conditions; nevertheless, some teachers and students rapidly took over their own responsibility for their learning process to cope with the difficulty. What could be learned from the French case studies on resilience? How did some manage to handle learning and teaching during the lockdown? What could we learn from educational frameworks? It will be underlined how some French teachers and students turned difficulties into opportunities through collaborative active learning, which can facilitate inclusive excellence if based on capacitating pedagogy allowing bienvivance in education, supporting quality in education for human resource sustainability [2], and zero waste of human resources [3]; these concepts and paradigms will be our concern in the discussion (Appendix A).

2. Theoretical Framework of Bienvivance

The bienvivance paradigm, developed by Professor Gendron [4] is an atomistic economics approach with a holistic perspective derived from a neuropsychiatric methodology focused on individual resources to cope with the pathological complexity generated by the pressures of a “neoliberal” society. Doctor in economics of human resources and doctor in neuro-psycho-pathology, she get inspired by the research of Professor Caycedo, a neuropsychiatrist, from the University of Madrid, and his medical methodology dealing with burnout and trauma. Instead of focusing on the trauma, the Caycedo method aims to stimulate the “vivencia”, the personal resource, of patients to (re)train and change patients’ orientations and behaviors toward life for a life full of meaning and to be composed with the pressures of daily life. Extending and broadening this approach to all alive entities, for instance in an economic and educational perspective of human development, Professor Gendron [4] developed the paradigm of bienvivance, from her scientific backgrounds, as a positive operational paradigm of wellbeing and quality of life of the entity focus on the inner development for outer changes and growth. Her approach adopts a positive perspective, i.e., valorizes the inner resources of the entity (here, in the article, the person’s resources and potential) to outer changes focused on the vitality of one’s life, a life full of meaning with structuring and guiding values.
Applied in education and human development, it encompasses the development of emotional capital that enhances the person’s relationship with his/her selves, his/her thinking processes, his/her connections with others, his/her collaborative abilities, and capacity to create positive change. Rooted in equitable education to inclusive excellence for all, “the best” “of” and “for” everyone, the bienvivance framework considers “difference as a richness”. It is focused on valorizing this difference, i.e., here, promoting each individual and his or her potential as a “key for human sustainability” and “zero human resource waste”. It is a positive operational paradigm, as it is focused on the entity’s inner resource’s instead of that it lacks or deficits, i.e., focused on “what entity has and is”. Here, applied to human development, it is focused on people’s “inner resource” (versus of lack, deficits or gaps) and his or her vitality—starting from and working on “what people have and are”, their human resource—it explores, recognizes, and valorizes the potential of everyone and his or her differences as a richness. Like the “diversity” residing in the universal and natural character of life in which the framework of bienvivance rests, the latter is positioned in opposition to the usually privileged format of homogeneity in education, where an entire generation of people is trained “to look like the same each other”, which can lead rapidly to an economic and social end, i.e., it will lead to its own extinction, to creation and innovation’s collapses in the economy and society). Like the natural life, the bienvivance framework, rooted in a quantum perspective, exhorts the diversity and the difference and grasps it as a richness that is already “here and now present” to valorize each person’s own place in the socio-economic society. Optimalization in socio-economics and psychology of human resources (versus maximization) is focused on having each person at his or her right place: the right person at the right place to make the optimal human resource use and to participate in zero human resource waste. To do so, beyond “learning by doing” (Savoir-Faire), the human essence is supposed to learn through “learning by being” (Savoir-Etre) to be able to “exist”. In this bienvivance framework aiming at keeping each person’s vitality, collaborative projects were and are an efficient manner to fulfill and answer those needs (pointed out by all SGs) and resilience.
To realize ourselves, our true nature, magnificence, is to live this essence in order to flourish and realize our existence, according to our capacities and potentials, in inner harmony and peace, to work on the outer one to feed human resource sustainability in global changes context. Thus, it questions new teachers’ roles and professional competencies to become “capacitating” teachers (facilitators, coaches…) or have an “enabling and capacitating leadership” teaching style to enable the learning of future generations to become transformative. To set up bienvivance at school and allow inclusive excellence, teachers have to become “facilitators and enablers of learning” rather than only “dispensers of information and knowledge” [5]. Focused on creating opportunities and enabling environments, teachers’ new role is to boost everyone’s potential through a capacitating pedagogy, helping students find their own fulfilled way of living, as everyone is a human asset. This bienvivance framework supports in this way the UN [6] goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and the UNESCO [7] World Youth Skills Day recommendations on “Skilling Teachers, Trainers, and Youth for a Transformative Future”. In a quantum perspective, as a positive operational atomistic approach with a holistic perspective and paradigm that focuses on whole-person development, it explores, recognizes, and valorizes the potential of students and facilitates and promotes inclusion toward “inclusive excellence”. It is focused on the person’s internal resources, assets, and potential, instead of his or her lack, deficit or gap. This framework and approach help reinvent the learner’s life with positive creativity and (re)build and open perspectives and operate learners’ and trainees’ transformation. If this framework has not been designed for the thematic analysis employed in those case studies, the findings can be read and highlighted within this conceptual framework.

3. Materials and Methods

The research was carried out through a European Project called Transform, sponsored by the Euro-Region Fund, gathered at two training centers in Spain (SP 1 and SP 2) and one vocational high school in France (FR VET-HS). It focused on learning and pedagogical issues during the lockdown to respond to the needs of inclusion, resilience, and equality. To name the different training institutions, the general term “schools” will be used. In each school, two discussion groups were held on consecutive days. These discussion groups followed the same procedure, which consisted of conducting an oral debate while using the JamBoard platform to highlight the aspects that they consider most relevant in relation to the needs that arise with regard to learning during the lockdown.
The relevant aspects, called “labels”, were used to create the cluster of labels from phase 1 of the qualitative analysis. In addition, the discussion groups were recorded using the Zoom platform to facilitate later transcription. Informed consent was obtained from all participants.
Also, to ensure complete anonymity, each participant was assigned a code when transcribing the debate. The discussion groups were made up of two types of participants, although all were asked the same questions. On the one hand, the group is made up of students or the student group (SG) and, on the other hand, the group is made up of teachers or the faculty group (FG). The groups are composed as follows (Table 1).
Qualitative analysis of categories: Two phases.
Phase 1. Data transcription and preparation of the label cluster.
From a total of six discussion groups held, transcripts were made from the two focus groups, the student group (SG) and the faculty group (FG), at each school. Once the transcripts were made, the tags used by the participants were detected, and the repetitions of these tags were analyzed inter- and intra-group. In order to perform the tag conglomerate, the most common ones were selected in the different groups discussion and their size were amplified according their frequency in a tags’ cloud.
Phase 2. Organization of the data according to a thematic criterion through a conceptual map of the main labels.
From the analysis of the labels in the phase 1, the data were categorized into three large groups that encompass all tags. Labels that are of the same theme were grouped and organized graphically through a concept map. So that, from the tags’ cloud, three large clusters could be observed with their subcategories: health, planning, and resources.
The data obtained were coded in the concept map, and each of the levels was exemplified with textual phrases from the participants in the discussion groups according to the two discussion groups, the student group (SG) and the faculty group (FG) (see Appendix A).

4. Results

Online teaching required new methodological approaches and digital skills that were stated as mainly missing, as well as the adaptation and new processes of learning, such as collaborative learning and capacitating pedagogy.

4.1. Global Outcomes

The analysis of categories [8] considers the three axes of research. Generally, the need for digital teaching competence is evident for the FG. Participants stated that online teaching required new methodological approaches and digital skills that they had not acquired, which involved a process of learning and adaptation. This point will be developed further in depth in the discussion and recommendations sections. The planning category includes the answers given to the inclusion students, as well as their needs. Student resilience is shown in the category of adaptation to change in the section on mental health.

4.1.1. Intra-Group Analysis

  • Planning
In the planning category, the following differences and similarities were observed between the different schools. The FGs all agreed that it was necessary to adapt their methodologies and pedagogy, as well as to adapt a teaching guide, which entailed the need to adjust the workload. The SG agreed with this point as exams were reduced and workload increased, so class assignments consumed a large part of their time. There was a concern on the part of both groups about evaluation systems. It was necessary to motivate the students, especially during the second lockdown. Both groups also agreed that the lack of planning derived from the pandemic situation made it difficult for people with special educational needs or at risk to learn. On a positive note, the SG stated that teachers were more available to tutor and spend more time with students. There was also the possibility during the second lockdown to carry out all the classes online for students with educational or risk needs. One group expressed that the need arose to look for a mediator figure to act as a bridge between the demands of the students and the schools. For the FR VET-HS group, the SG and FG agreed that the pedagogical tool of collaborative projects that they used to mobilize before the lockdown as mini-enterprise projects had been particularly very useful in such a context to keep the learning contact active. This point will be the focus of the discussion.
The participants in the FG group affirmed that it was necessary to find a professional and personal balance. Although virtual online classes used webcams, the SG felt that conducting the classes with cameras on was intrusive in their private life, and yet the FG explained they wanted to make sure they were actually attending class.
The FG group expressed that during the first lockdown, it was necessary to know how to capture the atmosphere of the virtual classroom and if the students were interested in the class and motivated, and it was also necessary to ask for feedback from the students. Participants in the same group affirm that both teachers and students should undergo training in digital and emotional competencies.
  • Health
In the Health category, the FG expressed the need to carry out an emotional accompaniment of the students since they were affected by uncertainty so that the bond between students and teachers could increase during the first lockdown. It was detected that participation from the home of the students was greater during the 2019–2020 academic year due to the need for social contact and emotional support. They agreed with the SG that the students needed emotional support because of increased anxiety and psychological distress due to the lockdown. In addition, the SG states that they felt exhausted by the online classes during the first lockdown due to too many hours sitting in front of the computer screen. In this sense, participants from the FG stated that they suffered from ocular migraines for the same reason and perceived the need to work on emotional health and autonomy with the students.
  • Resource
In the third category, Resource, the FG groups stated that it was necessary to look for alternatives for students who needed adaptations or had special educational needs. In addition, the lack of planning in the educational system became evident since some students did not have all the necessary materials to carry out the online classes, such as the institutional address.

4.1.2. Inter-Group Analysis

  • Planning
In addition to each of the contributions of each school, contemplated in the intra-group analysis, the groups coincided on several points. In the first of the three categories, Planning, the participants of the FG agreed that there was an evident lack of teacher training in virtual classes. In this sense, there was a need to rethink the way of carrying out the subject. They also agreed, as a result of the second lockdown, that the students were less motivated and less participatory since they accommodated themselves to virtual classes and, in addition, demanded adaptations or facilities equal to those of the previous course. In addition, they affirmed that mixed or hybrid education had been more complicated since each methodology required a differentiated pedagogy, and the SG agreed with this. On the other hand, the FG group and the SG agreed that the mixed or hybrid classes represented a “lack of control”. They kept underlining that it was difficult to coordinate work and professional life during lockdown, in most cases due to excessive work dedication. Training in digital tools was necessary, as well as promoting peer work in the case of students.
  • Health
In the Health category, the participants in the SG affirmed that there was a clear lack of socialization and that they felt lonely due to the lack of contact with people. The FG underlined the need to carry out psychosocial accompaniment to the students in relation to personal relationships. The SG group highlighted above all the breaking of habits as an important factor. Both groups in the FG affirmed that there was a need to perform physical movement, and it was very exhausting to spend so many hours with the same posture in front of the computer.
  • Resource
In the Resource category, all groups expressed that they had connection difficulties, and the speed was very slow, which sometimes did not allow them to attend the online classes in a fluid way. The participants also stated that during lockdown, they needed adequate physical space to study and take classes at home where they could work and study properly. They agreed that some students did not put the camera on, so there was a lack of knowledge of who they were talking to during class, although the FG explained that they were encouraged to put the camera on to make sure that they attended class. The three schools agreed that some students and teachers did not have the appropriate materials, such as technological and digital tools (computer, Wi-Fi, web camera, printer…). The FG groups agreed that there was a lack of information on the ministry’s guidelines, and even meetings between some of the same professors increased to help each other, and they asked for advice, had lunch, and got to know each other better. Finally, the SGs explained that at home they had many distractions and that it was not as easy to concentrate as in a face-to-face class. Finally, it came out that to keep the learning process alive and efficient, a good resource was collaborative pedagogy. Especially, active collaborative pedagogy around common projects, like in the French case study, was useful for maintaining contact and keeping learning in a different way. We will discuss this in the following through the bienvivance approach.

4.2. Collaborative Pedagogy to Inclusive Excellence: The French Case Study

4.2.1. Collaborative Active Learning at Distance

In the French case study, the Vocational and Training Higher School (FR VT-HS) was already using active pedagogy derived from Dewey’s work through a project management tool since 2013, which was derived from a European pedagogical collaborative project management [9]. The tool aims at delivering a practice-oriented approach to learning organizational knowledge, fostering team competencies, as well as a sense of responsibility and the possibility to make real experiences with further working practice in the aspired vocational sector. Precisely, its pedagogy aims at learning and working by a team on a common project where students have to learn a subject and, at the same time, about themselves and others, to properly evaluate the workload and work together collaboratively. This tool and its documents in a digital format were also used during the lockdown, which facilitated students’ commitment to study through their projects, despite the altered learning context of distance learning. Through this pedagogy, students had to connect regularly outside the classroom, as they would have done in a normal context (this was facilitated by the regional policy that equipped each high school student with a notebook computer since 2010). The tool planned for students to become actors in their learning process through its methodology, which was organized in several steps.
Precisely, in the project management pedagogical approach, each student in the team had different responsibilities, which alternated with specific duties. Each team had a guidebook of the methodology, a storyboard book as an exercise book, which inside had a dairy journal that captured the project’s management progress and their own team progress regarding “responsibilities”, “commitments”, “communications”, and skill progress [10]. In this way, students could learn about themselves from the team members and themselves and progressively know how to develop their deductive, inductive, analytic, synthetic, and critical minds, even in an altered learning context because within this pedagogy, teachers had an important role. Beyond their traditional transmission role, their “coaching” role was helping and encouraging students to discover themselves (“knowing thyself”) and to persevere at achieving the team objectives. And in the lockdown, this part was really crucial, as students reported. Also, alongside the sessions, students completed personal quizzes, helping them assess their progress and indirectly identify their social, personal, and emotional competencies.

4.2.2. Mini-Enterprise and the EU e-Twinning Project as Collaborative Learning Tools

During the lockdown, combined with the project management tool, teachers in the French case study also used the international Junior Achievement Program (JPA) named EPA, Entreprendre Pour Apprendre” (Entrepreneurship for Learning), to create “mini-enterprises”. This mini-enterprise tool brings together the public and private sectors to participate in entrepreneurship education to foster an entrepreneurial mindset and skills. Its goal is to foster innovative thinking and improve young people’s work and life skills through experience and practical activities in a normal context. Regarding competencies objectives, entrepreneurship education [11] focuses on bridging the gap and establishing a connection between school and the world of work by developing work habits and conduct, personal leadership, communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, customer service skills, and learning about the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers. It helps with work readiness, bridging school, community, personal life, and work. This methodology involves turning ideas into action, creativity, innovation, risk taking, and planning, and developing perseverance and self-confidence. To perform this, while teachers do not necessarily provide students with the answers, they help them research and identify the right questions and find the best answers following the Socrates process of self-learning through self or collaborative reflection. This pedagogical approach develops competencies, such as teamwork, problem solving, leadership, initiative, and creativity, which was very useful during the lockdown. Despite the lockdown, with the digitalization of documents and Wi-Fi connections, and the private partners’ availability, this pedagogy and tools were even more useful, and some teachers and students rapidly took over their own responsibility for their learning process, as they were already trained in collaborative active learning. Some teachers grasped the opportunity to develop European connections with other EU lockdown schools through E-twinning projects. That was the case for the FR VT-HS studied in this research. The “Lost & Found in P@ndemia” project, an EU-eTwining, was run with other European vocational schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those collaborative projects illustrated such a way to perform education through resilience, despite the altered learning context. This eTwining project wanted to help students and teachers to reflect on how the virus and the lockdown that they were experiencing will impact their future together. Students were led through reading, teamwork, and social research to figure out positive ways to overcome this emergency. They remained stimulated by participating through TwinSpace, an online platform for eTwinners, to connect with other students and teachers from Italy, the Czech Republic, and Tahiti. Other EU projects of mini-enterprises called “SeAIIYes” or “Team Blue Crocc” with a Croatian vocational school [11] were run during the pandemic. Through those online exchanges, all of these collaborative projects were a way not only to break the feeling of isolation but also develop students’ digital knowledge and foreign-language skills, beyond students’ skills built at turning ideas into action, analyzing information, and managing projects. Above all, those collaborative projects were a way, beyond professional skills, to develop students’ soft skills, their emotional capital [12], i.e., their social and emotional competencies [13] that the lockdown was exacerbating, which already help them to become resilient.

5. Limitations

The present research relied on case studies conducted within a specific context with a small sample size, which limits the generalizability of the findings to a broader population. Also, the volunteer and availability-based selection introduces bias and potentially limits the representativeness of the findings. If a former French studies run by Gendron designed in an experimental way [3] to evaluate the collaborative pedagogical tool impact on and of the collaborative training on students learning and shown positive effects, in this French case study, following the same protocole of intervention, but without control groups, it cannot be established causal relationships. Nevertheless, despite those limitations, those case studies findings support the conclusions of the previous experimental research and, offer valuable insights into complex phenomena, providing rich qualitative data and outcomes that can complement traditional quantitative approaches, which is what we will see in the discussion.

6. Discussion

As highlighted in other research [14], connection with students, colleagues, digital opportunities and threats for students’ learning processes, changing teacher roles, tension due to time pressure, and support issues come out of the research. Precisely, planning, health, and material resource label categories underlined the learning and working conditions (emotional, physical, and logistical…). If every tension field contains both opportunities and threats for online education, which can inform practitioners of online education in the future of university education, it also questioned crucially the quality-of-life framework at school as the teaching pedagogy and new essential teachers’ roles and competencies to cope with such a situation. Eschenbacher and Fleming [15] pointed out that teachers as educators are experiencing disorientation, question previously held assumptions, and seek adequate pedagogical responses to meet learning needs. Here, the collaborative learning and capacitating pedagogy implemented with a particular pedagogical framework of wellbeing at school in the French case study helped them to remain resilient in learning at the same time but in an active way. Regarding the nature of the relationships and power dynamics and findings extension, it is essential to acknowledge that one case study was conducted within a French school, and as a researcher from France writing about it, it is crucial to recognize the positionalities and limitations of this research. Nevertheless, collaborative learning through, for instance, the EPA tool, has been largely spread out under the recommendation of schools’ regional authorities in France on a voluntary teachers’ base. This is its collaborative learning dimension that is favored in its implementation, and it gains to be discussed in a broad perspective of the educational framework. Thus, the French case deepened the investigation, and the findings propose a quality-of-life and well-being operational paradigm called “bienvivance” developed in 2016 as an operational and efficient framework of collaborative learning and creativity, not only in an altered learning context but much beyond.
Such a bienvivance framework empowering students, revealing and promoting potentials and talents, allows inclusive excellence in supporting human sustainability and zero human resource waste. This framework of bienvivance can guide curriculum development and policymaking, and design professional development. It could also foster transdisciplinary curriculum development between teachers, socio-economic private partners, and experts from different disciplines to develop new transdisciplinary curricula on global challenges (like in the French case of depollution and climate change with SeAIIYes” and “Team Blue Crocc” projects).
The bienvivance framework is based on the theoretical foundations of social–emotional learning and competencies and reflexive cognition, communities of practice, collaborative and transformative learning, and quality assurance in education to ensure inclusive excellence. Indeed, the structured and collaborative pedagogical framework used in the French case since 2013 was a useful framework during the pandemic and the lockdown to allow effective continuing learning. Diversity, inclusiveness, participation, and capacity strengthening are emphasized in collaborative learning and knowledge co-creation and co-production. This pedagogical framework also offers a flexible and adaptable tool that can be tailored to specific needs and challenges. Adopting this framework can help organizations and individuals enhance the design and implementation of knowledge co-production initiatives to address complex challenges effectively. Collaborative projects and mini-enterprises are project-based learning and working, which are particularly suitable for implementing work process orientation and encouraging the development of the comprehensive ability to act in the sense of the triad of professional, social, and personal skills. Collaborating groups pursue a common objective, operating as a team and interdependently, and while doing so must learn to deal with motivation gains and losses, which is a way to develop socio-emotional competencies and is nowadays crucial in global changes for organizations’ efficiency [16].
Focused on creating opportunities and enabling environments to boost everyone’s potential and find their own fulfilled way of living, the bienvivance approach supports the UN goals to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. In this framework, students’ development can be analyzed through the lens of transformative learning theory, which explains people empowerment, referring to transformative learning as a process, an outcome, and a pedagogy. Transformative learning is a cognitive, affective, somatic, or spiritual experience, or possibly any of these combined. Cranton [17] wrote that “No one theoretical perspective needs to mean others are excluded”. Transformative learning can be cognitive, imaginative, collaborative, and individually based or can include depth psychology alongside a more practical reflective approach. Mezirow [18] and Cranton [17] agree that transformative learning begins when individuals reflect critically on their assumptions of what they believe to be real, true, or right. In this bienvivance framework and approach, transformative learning provides an interesting paradigm of education that fosters a powerful shift in beliefs or values, helping to change one’s mindset toward consciousness elevation and keep the vitality of their life by opening the field of possibilities reducing their limiting beliefs. Indeed, in a complex and unexpected situation, such as the lockdown, and a more and more unpredictable future, humanity or social changes will start with people changes.
The pedagogical framework aligns with the existing literature on creativity and knowledge co-production in several ways. As Garwe [19] reported several effective dimensions, this approach and framework recognize the importance of diverse inputs, such as students’ diversity, teachers’ innovative pedagogy, and the added value of external economics partners and mentors, scalability, resources, and tacit knowledge, as the foundation for effective knowledge co-production [20] and mini-enterprise creation. It outlines effective processes, such as dialogue, democratic and collegial management, reflexive competencies and attitudes, self-awareness (all the social emotional competencies referring to emotional capital), skilled facilitation, and knowledge and skill sharing, which foster productive collaboration and the exchange of ideas among students. Also, this framework identifies meaningful outputs, such as learning, improved capacity, relationships, and explicit knowledge, which demonstrate the tangible benefits and outcomes achieved through knowledge co-production [21,22] and creativity. To end, the framework ensures that all necessary elements are considered and accounted for, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge co-production efforts. That is why the bienvivance approach as an operational framework would gain to be launched and promoted in every school. Nevertheless, this framework questions educational leaders’ and teachers’ competencies, teaching styles, and pedagogy to become facilitators, enabling and capacitating educational leaders.
Capacitating pedagogy and capacitating teaching style
This framework of bienvivance relies on school leaders and the teaching staff competencies and revisited roles toward an “enabling and capacitating leadership” style.
The framework provides a structured and collaborative approach to co- and self-learning and creativity and knowledge co-production that emphasizes the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, participation, and capacity strengthening. The capacitating leadership style relied on new competencies and revisited the roles and mission of teachers toward collaborative learning for co-production and focused on discovering and promoting students’ potentials and talents to allow inclusive excellence and the right person at the right place in the labor market, which we called capacitating pedagogy and teaching style, referring to Amartya Sen’s and Martha Nussbaum’s agency and capabilities approach [23,24,25,26].
Inclusive excellence: If inclusion in education has long been associated with the school integration of children and students with disabilities and developed in the field of social and school adaptation, the bienvivance approach differs and extends the “inclusive” approach to “inclusiveness”, which is applied in education and human development to all learners who have a common characteristic: their difference. Inclusive excellence is built on the notions of “diversity” as a richness. Precisely, diversity considers individual differences (e.g., personality, capabilities, prior knowledge, and life experiences), group and social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, indigeneity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, and (dis)ability historically underrepresented populations, and cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations). Precisely, the learner-centered approach used in the French case study personalizes educational projects for every learner through “tutoring” services or special educational programs, such as emotional capital development, and works on competencies-based learning, where social, emotional, and life skills are strongly supported and integrated through school enterprise, mini-enterprise, or collaborative projects. This framework follows the inclusive vocational excellence methodology reflected in Nardi’s works [27,28] and his European project GIVE, Governance of Inclusive Vocational Excellence, which gathered best practices and focused on enhancing students’ potential and talents, valorizing the human resources at some European vocational schools.

7. Conclusions

This research introduces in its findings the Bienvivance paradigm, a novel conceptual and positive paradigm framework for inclusive excellence and zero human resource waste that emphasizes students’ potential valorization through capacitating pedagogy using collaborating learning and emotional capital development. When applied to education, this framework has the potential to guide initiatives in research, curriculum development, policymakers, and professional designers’ development in whatever the contexts (lockdown, illness, altered conditions…) focused on the positive dimension of the present “human resources” in each individual.
Inspired by a medical methodology, the bienvivance approach based on inner resources is focused on inner development for outer changes and growth, encompassing the development of emotional capital, which can have profound effects on the economics of human development and quality management of school and school life and contribute to a better quality of life in general. By focusing on inner development by enhancing self-awareness and self-regulation, individuals can cultivate greater self-awareness, understanding their emotions, thought patterns, and behaviors more deeply. This enables students, future citizens, and workers to make more informed decisions, set meaningful goals, and pursue paths aligned with their values and strengths. In turn, they are better equipped to contribute meaningfully to economic activities, fostering innovation, creativity, and productivity. Developing emotional capital also improves interpersonal relationships. It involves understanding and managing emotions effectively, which is crucial for building strong interpersonal relationships. When individuals have a deeper understanding of their own emotions and empathy for others, they can communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts constructively, and collaborate productively. Stronger interpersonal relationships contribute to a positive work environment, enhanced teamwork, and increased social capital, all of which are essential for economic development. Inner development methodology by enhancing cognitive abilities includes practices that promote cognitive flexibility, such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral techniques. These practices help individuals manage stress, regulate emotions, and maintain focus and clarity of thought, ultimately enhancing cognitive abilities, such as problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking, as shown in previous research. Improved cognitive abilities contribute to higher productivity, innovation, and adaptability, driving economic growth and development. Also, strengthened collaborative abilities emphasize collaboration, cooperation, and collective problem solving. By fostering qualities such as empathy, compassion, and openness to diverse perspectives, individuals become better collaborators and team players. Strong collaborative abilities are essential for addressing complex challenges, driving innovation, and achieving shared goals, all of which are critical for sustainable economic development. The inner development methodology helps build a capacity for positive change, empowering individuals to become agents of positive change in their communities and organizations. By cultivating qualities such as resilience, optimism, and a growth mindset, individuals are more likely to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persist in the face of obstacles. This capacity for positive change fosters a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship [29], and continuous improvement, driving economic progress and enhancing the quality of life for all members of society. In summary, this neuro-psychological and medical methodology that Professor Gendron [4,30] expanded to whatever the domains and entities—here, the entity of human development—focused on inner development for outer changes and growth, encompassing the development of emotional capital, can profoundly impact the quality of school management and the quality of life at school and beyond. By enhancing self-awareness, improving interpersonal relationships, strengthening cognitive abilities, fostering collaborative skills, and empowering individuals to create positive change, such a methodology lays the foundation for sustainable economic growth, prosperity, and a better quality of life for all.
The UN goals are to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, and education will have to equip learners with the agency, empowerment, competencies, and a sense of purpose to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others. This bienvivance framework supports this goal. By implying new teachers’ competencies and redefining teachers’ roles, it also responds to the UNESCO World Youth Skills Day recommendations on “Skilling Teachers, Trainers, and Youth for a Transformative Future”. New teachers’ roles, adequate competencies, and pedagogy style have to empower and valorize students’ potential to help them grow up with confidence in flexibility and make them able to cope with an unconditional future in imperfect anticipation and serve the motto supporting inclusive excellence through the bienvivance framework: the right person at the right place, and each person has a place for zero waste of human resources.
To end, the bienvivance framework is designed to help school organizations integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations to implement in an effective way quality in education for all toward human resource sustainability and zero waste of human resources in these global changes and human resource mobility and migration waves. It supports the UN and UNESCO recommendations and psycho-socio-economic optimization of human resources toward human resource optimization through the Bienvivance holistic approach to human resources for a better life and societal efficiency.


This research was partially funded by the Euroregió Pirineus Mediterrània Organization from Euro-region funds. The project ran from 1 January 2021 to 31 April 2023. Project Coordinator: Institut de Formació Continua de Barcelona (IL3-UB). The Transform Project aimed to respond to the need for inclusion at Universities, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and has two main objectives: improve the resilience of students and Universities to systemic crises, such as COVID-19, and improve inclusion and equality of Euro-Regional students in the face of new forms of distance learning.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the University of Barcelona.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all students and teachers involved in the case studies.

Data Availability Statement

Data not available due to legal restrictions. Universities involved did not agree for the students’ data to be shared publicly. So supporting data are not available.


This article acknowledges and thanks the availability of the teachers and students involved in the research, especially during the lockdown.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest. The open discussion is focused on the bienvivance framework, which is the author’s paradigm and concept developed in 2016 and framework implemented in education since 2011. This paradigm has been scientifically recognized through philosophy doctorate work in neuropsychology. Nevertheless, the research was designed by the fund coordinator, and the focus groups were run by external researchers, not the author. Here, in this article, it is mentioned in some illustrations how bienvivance has been implemented in the French case, but the discussion has been opened and focused on bienvivance’s theoretical foundations and supports, which remains an added value without bias for the readers.

Appendix A. Interviewer’s Insights and Categories, Subcategories, and Textual Examples from the Discussion Groups

LevelsExamples from the Interview
Health Mental health Psychological support “It has been one of the worst times of my life”; “It is necessary that you enable some type of service in order to assist you if you have a crisis or an anxiety attack. Some form of support and that is focused on the university environment. I believe that the pandemic has highlighted the issue of anxiety and depression and the university does nothing in this regard “; it would be important to give the students tools” (SG); “The class was an enriching space for how they were doing these 15 days, it was a small space for social support so that they needed it”; “During the lockdown they needed emotional support” (FG)
Contact “Being with the computer without seeing people was exhausting. Even some teachers have the camera turned off and you don’t even know who they are, it’s very little personal” (SG); “They told me that they waited every 15 days to do the practices so that the students would say that it was the only time they could socialize” (FG)
Adaptation to change “It is about the personality of each one” (SG); “I notice the saddest students with high degrees of anxiety and fear in the body. Also, a little unmotivated without wanting to think about the future”; “They did not participate so much in the classes and they had a real lack of motivation, they got carried away, they were not proactive “(FG)
Physical health Exhaustion “There comes a time when you are exhausted from having many classes in a row”; “In my case it exhausts me more to do it online than in person, because there are many hours in front of the computer” (SG); “Full-time distance learning is too tiring” (FG)
Ergonomics “There are many hours of sitting in the same place and your head has disconnected because it can no longer be in front of the computer screen” (SG)
Planning Management of classes and activities Mixed method “Feedback, or explanation with the help of the blackboard, facilitates learning, and this with the hybrid or online system is more difficult and it is more difficult for me to assimilate the information”; “Face-to-face exams were held at Christmas during the worst time of the pandemic when other years had been done online” (SG); “It is difficult to do mixed classes because the needs of students have to be met in both modalities”; “ It is easier to handle classes or all face-to-face or all by video conference, instead of mixed because it is more complicated. You have to be repeating what is said in class and it hinders teaching a lot “(FG)
Workload “The exams were mostly replaced by work and other tasks so the workload was excessive”; “They increased the weight of the work and there was a difficulty in combining work and exams”; “Very high overwork because exams were eliminated in exchange for a heavy load of homework, so the lockdown turned into doing only grade-level work” (SG)
Inclusion of students “For people at risk who could not attend class, in the course 20–21 the face-to-face classes had to ask classmates for notes if the teacher did not post anything” (SG); “This year we have had to add adaptations to students with NESE. They were cases of mental health and we had to be in contact with the Support Office, because they had worsened”; “It was necessary to adapt to this new situation and give tools to inclusion students” (FG)
Resources Materials Physical space “I have to tell my family not to make noise when I have class”; “Sometimes a safe and comfortable space at home is lacking in which to work” (SG). “The students missed an adequate physical space where they could work and study” (FG)
Technology “If I don’t have a connection to the room, I have to go to the dining room and teach there with my family”; “The university computers suddenly ran out and we had to ask the library”; “Many people during the pandemic have had difficulty buying or acquiring materials” (SG)
Digital “We have missed technological resources such as training on how to do online classes, since it is a modality that had not been worked on before”; “I didn’t really know what to do when the connection to the students failed. Some moments I had to stop the class and wait for them to try to re-enter”; “Adapting analog and digital communication through technology has been a challenge for me. All this coupled with the case that adaptations must be made to classes” (FG)


  1. Hickling, S.; Bhatti, A.; Arena, G.; Kite, J.; Denny, J.; Spencer, N.L.; Bowles, D.C. Adapting to teaching during a pandemic: Pedagogical adjustments for the next semester of teaching during COVID-19 and future online learning. Pedagog. Health Promot. 2021, 7, 95–102. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Di Fabio, A.-M.; Peiró, J.-M. Human Capital Sustainability Leadership to Promote Sustainable Development and Healthy Organizations: A New Scale. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2413. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Gendron, B. Enabling Leadership Teaching Style and Collaborative Pedagogy, a Reflexive Analysis and Essay through Transformative Learning. In Emergent Issues in Research on Vocational Education & Training; Herrera, L.M., Teräs, M., Gougoulakis, P., Kontio, J., Akademi, A., Eds.; Atlas Förlag: Stockholm, Sweden, 2023; Volume 8, ISBN 978-91-7445-051-4. [Google Scholar]
  4. Gendron, B. Management des Risques Psycho-Sociaux et Capital Émotionnel pour une Qualité de Vie au Travail et vers des Organisations Capacitantes: Essai Réflexif et Intervention sur le Stress dans le Monde du Soin et de l’Éducation via une Approche de la Pleine Conscience, de l’Acceptation et de l’Engagement et de Management de Projet. Ph.D. Thesis, University Montpellier 3, Montpellier, France, 2016. [Google Scholar]
  5. UNESCO. Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives; Unesco: Paris, France, 2017. [Google Scholar]
  6. UN. Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All; United Nations Press: Geneva, Switzerland, 2015. [Google Scholar]
  7. UNESCO. World Youth Skills Day: Skilling Teachers, Trainers, and Youth for a Transformative Future, ECOSOC Chamber; UNHQ: New York, NY, USA, 2023. [Google Scholar]
  8. Ellina, M. Transformar per millorar la inclusio a la universitat. In I-TRANSFORM: Interim Report’s Project; IL3-Life Long Learning Institut; University of Barcelona Working Document: Barcelona, Spain, 2021. [Google Scholar]
  9. Gessler, M.; Uhlig-Schoenian, J. Projektmanagement Macht Schule: Einhandlungsorientierter Leitfaden für den Unterricht in der Sekundarstufe II, 5th ed.; GPM, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement: Nuremberg, Germany, 2013. [Google Scholar]
  10. Canal, M.; Jørgensen, K.M. Storytelling and the Development of the Self: Learning Collaborative Negotiation Skills. In Critical Narrative Inquiry—Storytelling, Sustainability and Power; Jørgensen, K.M., Largarcha-Martinez, C., Eds.; Nova Science Publishers: New York, NY, USA, 2014; Chapter 9. [Google Scholar]
  11. Berho, F.; Martin, M. Renforcer l’éducation à I’Entrepreneuriat pour améliorer la durabilité, Les Acteurs à l’œuvre. Avenirs Prof. 2022, 42–45. [Google Scholar]
  12. Gendron, B. Why Emotional Capital Matters in Education and in Labour? Toward an Optimal Use of Human Capital and Knowledge Management; Les Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques, Série Rouge, r04113; Université Panthéon-Sorbonne-Paris 1: Paris, France, 2004. [Google Scholar]
  13. Cherniss, C.; Goleman, D. Training for emotional intelligence: A model. In The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace; Cherniss, C., Goleman, D., Eds.; Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA, USA, 2001. [Google Scholar]
  14. Bruggeman, B.; Garone, A.; Struyven, K.; Pynoo, B.; Tondeur, J. Exploring university teachers’ online education during COVID-19: Tensions between enthusiasm and stress. Comput. Educ. Open 2022, 3, 100095. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  15. Eschenbacher, S.; Fleming, T. Transformative dimensions of lifelong learning: Mezirow, Rorty and COVID-19. Int. Rev. Educ. 2020, 66, 657–672. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. Johnson, D.W.; Johnson, R.T. Student motivation and co-operative groups: Social interdependence theory. In Co-Operative Learning: The Social and Intellectual Outcomes of Learning in Groups; Gillies, R.M., Ashman, A.F., Eds.; Routledge Falmer: New York, NY, USA, 2003; pp. 136–176. [Google Scholar]
  17. Cranton, P. Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning: A Guide for Educators of Adults, 2nd ed.; Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA, USA, 2006. [Google Scholar]
  18. Mezirow, J. Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice. New Dir. Adult Contin. Educ. 1997, 74, 5–12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Garwe, E.C. An Experiential Exploration of a Quality-Based Framework for Knowledge Co-Production. IJCE [Internet]. 20 October 2023. Available online: (accessed on 10 March 2024).
  20. Pohl, C.; Rist, S.; Zimmermann, A.; Fry, P.; Gurung, G.; Schneider, F.; Speranza, C.; Kiteme, B.; Boillat, S.; Serrano, E.; et al. Researchers’ perspectives on factors influencing the integration of knowledge in transdisciplinary research. Sustain. Sci. 2017, 12, 881–894. [Google Scholar]
  21. Cash, D.; Kates, R.; Clark, W. Knowledge Co-Production for Sustainable Development: Building a Bridge between Science and Society; Routledge: Abingdon-on-Thames, UK, 2021. [Google Scholar]
  22. Reed, M.; Fazey, I.; Stringer, L.; Raymond, C.; Akhtar-Schuster, D. Five principles for the practice of knowledge co-production in environmental research. Environ. Sci. Policy 2018, 123, 179–195. [Google Scholar]
  23. Sen, A. Commodities and Capabilities; North-Holland: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1985. [Google Scholar]
  24. Nussbaum, M. Nature, Function, and Capability: Aristotle on political distribution. In World Institute for Development Economics Research Working Papers; UNU-WIDER Working Papers: Helsinki, Finland, 1987. [Google Scholar]
  25. Nussbaum, M.; Sen, A. The Quality of Life; Clarendon Press: New York, NY, USA, 1993. [Google Scholar]
  26. Nussbaum, M. Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Fem. Econ. 2003, 9, 33–59. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  27. Nardi, P. Inclusive Excellence in VET. In Proceedings of the EFVET Conference at Cometa Formazione Center, Como, Italy, 11 December 2019; Available online: (accessed on 1 February 2024).
  28. Nardi, P. The GIVE Approach to Excellence: Making the Human Factor Thrive; Cometa Formazione: Como, Italy, 2022. [Google Scholar]
  29. Elert, N.; Andersson, F.; Wennberg, K. The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education in High School on Long-Term Entrepreneurial Performance; IFN Working Paper, No. 1063; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN): Stockholm, Sweden, 2015. [Google Scholar]
  30. Gendron, B. The Power of The Emotional Capital in Education; Edition Connaissances et Savoirs: Paris, France, 2018. [Google Scholar]
Table 1. Group distribution of the person interviewed in Spain (SP 1 and SP 2) and one vocational high school in France (FR VET-HS) according to the two categories (student or faculty).
Table 1. Group distribution of the person interviewed in Spain (SP 1 and SP 2) and one vocational high school in France (FR VET-HS) according to the two categories (student or faculty).
SchoolStudent Group (SG)Faculty Group (FG)
SP 165
SP 259
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Gendron, B. Capacitating Pedagogy to Inclusive Excellence through Bienvivance for Zero Waste of Human Resources: European Case Studies during the Lockdown on Vocational Education and Training. Merits 2024, 4, 95-108.

AMA Style

Gendron B. Capacitating Pedagogy to Inclusive Excellence through Bienvivance for Zero Waste of Human Resources: European Case Studies during the Lockdown on Vocational Education and Training. Merits. 2024; 4(1):95-108.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gendron, Bénédicte. 2024. "Capacitating Pedagogy to Inclusive Excellence through Bienvivance for Zero Waste of Human Resources: European Case Studies during the Lockdown on Vocational Education and Training" Merits 4, no. 1: 95-108.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop