02 SES 08 B, Transitions: Teachers' Learning at Work
This study is a part of a larger study that explores affordances for vocational learning in school and workplace contexts i.e. in a construction programme in a Swedish upper secondary school and apprenticeship education in work life. As, Jonasson (2014) argues, these two educational contexts represent the education field that constitutes vocational education. Learning in these contexts are important to understand in order to develop knowledge on affordances for vocational learning that are shaped within these different learning contexts. Consequently, both vocational learning in school and at work are central to develop vocational skills for work life contexts (Aarkrog, 2005; Tanggaard, 2007). Thus, Akkerman and Bakker (2012) argues that vocational learning processes in school can be difficult to transfer into workplace contexts. On the other hand, Rosvall (2012) emphasizes that it is important that the knowledge developed in a school environment can be transferred into work life contexts. Since learning in a school environment can be questioned on the basis of transferability to work life contexts, it is important to increase the understanding of conditions for learning in the different learning contexts. Research that handle issues about affordances for developing vocational competencies in school-based VET programmes and workplaces are needed in order to further understand how educational contexts affects possible development of vocational competences. Specifically, this paper intends to highlight apprentices’ experiences and reflections on affordances for learning in production oriented workplace contexts.
The theoretical concept used in this paper draws on aspects of Stephen Billett’s idea of a ‘workplace curriculum’ which includes how participants learn in social practices through engagement and participation in workplace contexts (Billett, 2006). Learning and working can be seen as interdependent (Billett, 2001). The apprentices in this study thus develop vocational competences through work by interacting in a social environment (i.e. in a construction site) that provides opportunities for learning affordances. Thus, learning in workplaces and the enactment of a workplace curriculum are likely to be shaped within: “(a) the kinds of activities that individuals engage in; (b) their access to the contribution of situational factors, including support and guidance; and (c) how individuals engage, interact and interpretatively construct knowledge from these situations” (Billett, 2006, p. 21). In this study, the starting point is that personal interests and workplace affordances shapes the apprentices possibilities to develop vocational competences.
The aim of this study is to explore how affordances for vocational learning are shaped within apprentices’ education after graduating a VET programme comprising the construction programme. In this paper are following questions addressed: i) How can vocational competencies be developed within workplace contexts? ii) What forms of learning can be developed in workplace contexts? and iii) How do workplace contexts provide affordances to develop vocational competencies?
Aarkrog, V. (2005). Learning in the Workplace and the Significance of School-Based Education: A Study of Learning in a Danish Vocational Education and Training Programme. [Reports - Evaluative]. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 24(2), 137-147. Akkerman, S. F., and Bakker, A. (2012). Crossing boundaries between school and work during apprenticeships. Vocations and Learning, 5(2), 153-173. Billett, S. (2001). Learning in the workplace : strategies for effective practice. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin. Billett, S. (2006). Constituting the Workplace Curriculum. [Opinion Papers]. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(1), 31-48. Fjellström, M. (2014a). Project-based vocational education and training: opportunities for teacher guidance in a Swedish upper secondary school. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 1-16. doi: 10.1080/13636820.2014.983957 Fjellström, M. (2014b). Vocational education in practice: a study of work-based learning in a construction programme at a Swedish upper secondary school. Empirical resesarch in Vocational Education & training, 2014 6:2. Jonasson, C. (2014). Defining boundaries between school and work: teachers and students’attribution of quality to school-based vocational training. Journal of Education and Work, 27(5), 544-563. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2013.787483 Kvale, S., and Brinkmann, S. (2014). Den kvalitativa forskningsintervjun (3. [rev.] uppl. ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur. Rosvall, P.-Å. (2012). Yrkesutbildning i förändring? Konsekvenser för undervisningen. I I. Henning Loeb and H. Korp (Eds.), Lärare och lärande i yrkesprogram och introduktionsprogram (1. uppl. ed., pp. 232 s.). Lund: Studentlitteratur. Tanggaard, L. (2007). Learning at trade vocational school and learning at work: boundary crossing in apprentices’ everyday life. Journal of Education and Work, 20(5), 453-466.
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