10 SES 08 B, Programmes and Approaches: Measuring training practices
Transferring learning into professional practice should be one of the main goals of any training programme, thus dismantling the gap between the academic and work world (Correa, 2015). The analysis of elements affecting an efficient learning transfer has been, and still is, one of the more prominent research topic in the field of both, initial and continuous training (Grover, 2015; Van den Bossche & Segers, 2013). Most of these studies point to competency-based learning and training as one of the methodological options that facilitate learning transfer (Boahin & Hofman, 2014; Grossman & Salas, 2011). In this sense, competency-based learning has become one of the central axes in the reconfiguration of the European Higher Education Area and, specifically, of the Spanish Higher Education System (Chisvert, Palomares, & Soto, 2015).
Beyond the discussion about the competences that must be developed in higher education (Freire, Álvarez, & Montes, 2013; Gilbert, Balatti, Tunner, & Whitehouse, 2004) and the identification of factors affecting their development (Velasco, 2014), from a didactic approach, the study of competency-based learning in higher education has mainly focused on the strategies and activities that facilitate their development (Biggs, 2011) and on the way they are evaluated (Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Shavelson, & Kuhn, 2015).
In the specific case of teacher training, as pointed out by Rosales (2013), competency-based learning may be a way to promote professional development throughout teachers’ career, since it would be naïve to expect that pre-service teacher training would be enough to develop each and every competence that Spanish Universities’ curricula establish In this sense, both Rodicio & Iglesias (2011) and Rosales (2013) state that the initial training should be directed to work on the competences increasingly demanded by the labour market.
Although there are several studies focusing on the importance of internships for professional competencies’ development, for the consolidation of learning (Kilgo, Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015; Tejada & Ruiz, 2013) and for the transition to working life (Helyer & Lee, 2014), in the case of initial teacher training, there is a lack of research that provides empirical evidence on the factors that lead to a better acquisition of competencies during in-school practices, internships or practicum, as well as the conditions assuring the quality of these training periods.
Thus, the aim of the study presented here is to identify factors promoting better competencies development during the in-school practices period within the Early Childhood Education and Primary Education bachelor’s degrees in Catalonia (Spain). The study focuses on the practicum organizational characteristics, the satisfaction expressed by students and the perceived impact on institutions and individuals involved in internships programmes.
Biggs, J. B. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does (3rd Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Education. Boahin, P., & Hofman, W.A. (2014). Perceived effects of competency-based training on the acquisition of professional skills. International Journal of Educational Development, 36, 81-89. Chisvert, M.J., Palomares, D., & Soto, M. D. (2015). Formación en alternancia en el espacio universitario. Una experiencia de proyecto integrado a partir del aprendizaje basado en problemas. Educar, 51(2), 299-320. Correa, E. (2015). La alternancia en la formación inicial docente. Educar, 51(2), 259-275. Freire, M.J., Álvarez, M.T., & Montes, C.P. (2013). La adecuación entre las competencias adquiridas por los graduados y las requeridas por los empresarios. Revista de educación, (362), 13-41. Gilbert, R., Balatti, J., Turner, P., & Whitehouse, H. (2004). The generic skills debate in research higher degrees. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), 375-388. Grossman, R., & Salas, E. (2011). The transfer of training: what really matters. International Journal of Training and Development, 15(2), 103-120. Grover, V.K. (2015). Identification of best practices in transfer of training in teacher education as perceived by teacher educators. International Journal of Applied Research, 1(7), 204-209. Helyer, R., & Lee, D. (2014). The role of work experience in the future employability of higher education graduates. Higher Education Quarterly,68(3), 348-372. Kilgo, C.A., Sheets, J.K.E., & Pascarella, E.T. (2015). The link between high-impact practices and student learning: Some longitudinal evidence. Higher Education, 69(4), 509-525. Rosales, C. (2013). Competencias específicas curriculares que ha de adquirir el estudiante del título de grado de maestro. Profesorado, revista de currículum y formación del profesorado, 17 (3), 73-90. Rodicio, M.L., & Iglesias, M. (2011). La formación en competencias a través del Pràcticum: un estudio piloto. Revista de Educación, 354, 99-124. Tejada, J., & Ruiz, C. (2013). Significación del prácticum en la adquisición de competencias profesionales que permiten la transferencia de conocimiento a ámbitos propios de la acción docente. Profesorado, revista de currículum y formación del profesorado, 17 (3), 73-90. Van den Bossche, P., & Segers, M. (2013). Transfer of training: Adding insight through social network analysis. Educational Research Review, 8, 37-47. Velasco, M.S. (2014). Do higher education institutions make a difference in competence development? A model of competence production at university. Higher Education, 68(4), 503-523. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O., Shavelson, R.J., & Kuhn, C. (2015). The international state of research on measurement of competency in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 40(3), 393-411.
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