02 SES 11 C, Evolving practice of VET teachers and trainees
As part of implementing the latest VET-reform in Denmark, the Ministry of Education has invited the VET colleges participate in a one-year developmental program, named School development In Practice (abreviated SIP). The purpose of SIP is that the VET-colleges pinpoint their current challenges in relation to four pedagogical issues and that they through participating in SIP transform the challenges into changed performance.
SIP includes a one day course for each of the four pedagogical issues and "homework" at the college in between the four course days. The four pedagogical issues are : Holistic learning, learning environment, differentiated learning, and the interrelation between the school-based and practical based parts of the VET-programs. In all four courses each college should be represented by the same participants, and the participants must include representatives from the teachers as well as the leaders. In between the courses the participants should ensure that their colleagues at the college work with the pedagogical issues.
SIP is interesting to study in a European and international setting, because the study is based on a well known challenge about how to ensure that participants in education apply their obtained knowledge when returning to work. The study will contribute with knowledge about which factors influence the impact of training on practice. The organization of SIP - alternating between courses and developmental activities - aims at strengthening the outcome of further education. Studies of the effect of further education show that the participants’ outcome of further education is often rather poor, the competencies achieved in the training being difficult to transform into actions in the workplace. (Lim & Morris, 2006; Yamnill & McLean, 2001).
Results from research into transfer show that further education should be organized in three phases (before, under and after the course) in order to strengthen learning transfer (Stegeager, 2014). Research has e.g. shown positive effects of a thorough preparation of the participants’ outcome of the course including a plan for transferring the outcome into the workplace (Mesmer-Magnus and Viswesvaran, 2010). Furthermore international research shows that the organizations, in this case the VET-colleges should make an analysis of the developmental needs of the organization before specifying the needs for education (Reed & Vakola, 2006) . During the “under-phase” results of research point to the importance of a practice-based pedagogy in the course (Aarkrog & Wahlgren, 2012) and finally the concept “transfer climate” describes the factors that are important in the “after-phase”, e.g. that the participant in the course is supported by his colleagues and in particular by his leader to apply the achieved learning (Kupritz, 2002).
The organization of SIP is based on the results of research, meaning that the VET-colleges should formulate their needs for learning before participating in the course; there is a practice-based pedagogy in the four courses; the colleges should work with their challenges in between the four courses, supported by a team of consultants; and both leaders and teachers should attend the whole SIP. Consequently, SIP is expected to enhance transfer of knowledge into actions.
The purpose of the research project is to study whether and how SIP can enhance the participant’ transfer of knowledge into actions. The main research questions are:
How does SIP influence the pedagogical development in VET colleges? What is changed as a consequence of SIP?
In which ways should SIP be improved in order to strengthen transfer?
The conceptual framework will constitute central elements from the before-, under- and after-phases, which have been proven to enhance transfer, including factors in relation to the participant in education, to the learning situation and to the transfer situation. The central concepts are ‘motivation’ (Wlodkowsky, 2008), ‘self-efficacy’ (Bandura, 1991), ‘near and far transfer’ based on the theory about identical elements (Thorndike & Woodworth, 1901) and 'transfer climate' (Rouiller & Goldstein, 1993).
Bandura, A (1991) Social cognitive theory of self-regulation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision processes, 50(2), 248-287. Kupritz, V.W. (2002). The relative impact of workplace design on training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13(4), 427-447). Lim, D.H. & Morris, M.L. (2006). Influence of trainee characteristics, instructural satisfaction, and organizational climate on perceived learning and training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 17(1) 85-115. Mesmer-Magnus, J. & Viswesvaran, C. (2010). The role of pre-training interventions in learning: A meta-analysis and integrative review. Human Ressource Management Review, 20, 261-282. Reed, J. & Vakola, M. (2006). What role can a training needs analysis play in organisational change? Journal of Organizational Change Management, 19(3) 393-407 Rouiller, J.Z. & Goldstein, I.L. (1993). The relationship between organizational transfer climate and positive transfer of training. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 4(4), 377-390. Stegeager, N. (2014). Viden i bevægelse. Et studie af masterstuderende i spændingsfeltet mellem uddannelse og arbejdsplads. (Eng: Knowledge in Motion. A study of master students in the tension between education and workplace) Ph.d. University og Aalborg. Thorndike, E.L. & Woodworth, R.S. (1901). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions. The Psychological Review, VIII(3), 247-261. Wahlgren, B. & Aarkrog, V. (2012). Transfer. Kompetence i en professionel sammenhæng (Eng: Transfer. Competence in a professional context). University of Aarhus. Wlodkowski, R.J. (2008). Enhanching Adult Motivation to Learn. A comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Yamnill, S. & McLean, G.N. (2001) Theories supporting transfer of training. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(2) 195-208.
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