02 SES 15 B, Recognizing and Building Competence
In 2020 a new school reform will be implemented in Norway in vocational education (VET) in upper secondary school, with required vocational specialisation and in-depth learning (Directorate of Education, 2019). The background is criticism of today's curriculum which has led to a lack of coherence between the educational content and the work-life needs for competence, and partly lack of professional relevance (Aspøy, Skinnarland & Tønder, 2017; White paper nr. 28 (2015-2016).
A professionally relevant VET can be characterized by a close coherence between content and work tasks in the profession (Hiim, 2013; Sylte, 2017). The education is largely in accordance with the comprehensive professional competence demands of the profession (Sylte, 2017). Relevant education is vital, because many of today's vocational and professional educations are not perceived as relevant for the job or profession they are educating for. Both students and teachers report on a lack of coherence between educational content and occupational requirements in theoretical and practical content and learners’ tasks (Hiim, 2017; Sylte, 2018). One of the reasons seems to be that collaboration between educational institutions and professional workplaces is not sufficiently developed (Canrinus et. al, 2015; Heggen & Smedby, 2015; Hiim, 2017; Sylte, 2018; Young, 2004).
This is the background for a qualitative study about facilitating in-depth learning and comprehensive professional competence in health-care-education in upper secondary school in Norway. The main research question is: How can health-care-students develop in-depth learning and comprehensive professional competence through work-life practice? The research questions are:
1. What content can help to develop in-depth learning and comprehensive professional competence for health-care-students?
2. How can practice be organized, seen from a work-life and student perspective?
In-depth learning means that students gradually develop knowledge and a lasting understanding of concepts, methods and contexts and see the connection between disciplines and professions, as well as manage to apply what they have learned to solve problems and tasks in new contexts (White paper nr. 28, 2015- 2016): "There is therefore a close connection between in-depth learning and competence" (p. 33). Comprehensive vocational competence means that the health-care-student learns how to plan, execute and assess a holistic vocational task such as practical care, and at the same time be able to solve complex challenges related to the individual patient - for example communicative and ethical challenges, or the professional practice as a whole. It also includes an understanding of how the profession is practiced, its function in society, its culture, tradition and development (Sylte, 2017).
Health-care-students should be able to reflect on their own learning and apply what they have learned in various ways in familiar and unfamiliar situations in the hospital, alone or with others. Accordingly, the health-care-students must know how the patient understands its situation in order to provide the best possible care. Buber, Simonsen & Wergeland (2003) are concerned that human existence consists of a network of relationships where “Me-You” relationships are a true relationship. A holistic view of humanity is based on such an equal relationship in patient contact and care situations. It is essential not only to understand the diagnosis, but how the whole human being is affected by the situation they are in, as opposed an “Me-It” relationship in the health-care situation.
This pragmatic learning perspective emphasizes that professional learning and knowledge are contextual and practice based and is particularly suited to illuminate what characterizes professional education. The main difference between this pragmatic educational thinking and conventional educational thinking is that the curriculum and the content are seen as contextual and based on the actual work-task and on work-life practice instead of abstract theory (Dewey, 1910; Hiim, 2013; Schön, 1983).
Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used The research methods are qualitative interviews with seven health-care-students and one qualitative focus-group interview with four health-care professions at three nursing homes in the period 2018 – 2019. Focus-group interviews are suitable when the intention is to collect qualitative data on a topic determined by the interviewer. Through group discussions, participants reflect on and describe experiences from practice. In focus-groups, the researcher will not have access to the individual experiences of each participant, since the data is created through the communication in the group. In focus groups, social control can lead to more precise descriptions of actual events, since these are nuanced by others in the group (Johannessen, Christoffersen & Tufte, 2016). The selection for the focus-group interview was made by leaders in nursing homes, who had long experience in supervising students. It was used a semi-structured interview guide based on the research questions. The informants talked about and reflected together around the research questions linked to their own experience and practice from hospitals and nursing homes. Through the education department, author gained access to newly graduated health-care professionals. Author called the informants and wondered if they might be interested in attending a phone interview. The informants have attended various high schools and practiced at various health institutions. The individual interviews were semi-structured with both open and closed questions, were they should reflect on and of their own health-care-education. The preparations and execution were carried out in the same way as it was in the focus-group interview where they were given information about purpose, anonymization, audio recording and declaration of consent. The material was analyzed and categorized according to what working life and newly graduated health-care professionals regarded as important elements for students to gain in-depth learning and comprehensive professional competence. In order to get it organized and able to work systematically, it was used a matrix with subcategories within both the organizational and the content for the health-care-education. Validity is about the data being of value to the survey and relevant to research questions and issues. Authors wanted the informants' voice to be expressed without influence from us. Since findings are elucidated from multiple sources and correspond to theory, it is possible that it may be generalizable that may apply to others who have not participated in the study (Halvorsen, 2008)
Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings Health-care-Workers (the professional) who reflected to their own VET, described their uncertainty in the interviews. They expressed it like: "Communication and how to get contact with the patients was very difficult", "I felt very uncertain about how to do the tasks, and I became very dependent on my supervisor", "Patients became afraid because I was unable to communicate with them", “I discovered that I had lacked preparation for how we should care for patients in practice. I had read the theory, but I felt that the practice was something completely different”. One of the health-care-workers said in the interviews: “The professional practical field; the work-place gives the best learning through practice”. “I remember the first time I got a patient with ostomy, the smell and feeling I had when I learned to empty the bag. You can't learn that by reading a book”. Evaluation of the Norwegian curriculum indicates that the organizing of learning and training gives little opportunity for professional specialization and in-depth- learning (Aspøy et al., 2017). Therefor it was very important to facilitate of in-depth learning and comprehensive professional competence in the health-care education. However, the health-care-students task in practice, given from the school, were based on procedure like e.g. blood glucose measurement, although it was not a topical task at the hospital in the practice-period. Therefor it was important that the student could do the real health-care-tasks in the hospital and do reflection in and on the authentic practice. Students` reflection during supervising is important for gaining professional knowledge and for developing in-depth learning and comprehensive competence.
References Aspøy, T. N., Skinnarland, S., & Tønder, A. H. (2017). Yrkesfaglærernes kompetanse (Vocational teachers’ competence). Fafo-rapport 2017:11. Oslo: Fafo. Canrinus, E. T., Bergem, O. K., Klette, K. & Hammerness, K. (2015). Coherent teacher education programmes: Taking a student perspective. Journal of Curriculum Studies. doi:10.1080/00220272.2015.1124145 Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston: D.C. Heath. Directorate of Education (2019). Fagfornyelsen (Subject the renewal). 2020.12.01.: https://www.udir.no/laring-og-trivsel/lareplanverket/fagfornyelsen/ Halvorsen, K. (2008). Å forske på samfunnet: En innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (Researching on society: An introduction to the social science method). Oslo: Cappelen akademisk forlag. Heggen, K., Smeby J.-C. & Vågan, A. (2015). Coherence: A longitudinal approach. In J.-C. Smedby & M. Suthpen (Ed.), From Vocational to professional Education (s. 70–88). London: Routledge. Hiim, H. (2013). Praksisbasert yrkesutdanning (Practice based vocational education). Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk. Hiim, H. (2017). Ensuring Curriculum Relevance in Vocational Education and Training: Epistemological Perspectives in a Curriculum Research Project aimed at Improving the Relevance of the Norwegian VET. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET). Vol. 4 no.1 pp. 1-19. ISSN 2197-8646 Johannesen, A., Christoffersen, L. & Tufte, P. A. (2016). Introduksjon til samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (Introduction to social science method). (5.utg.). Oslo: Abstrakt. Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books. Sylte, A. L. (2017). Didaktiske prinsipper for relevant yrkes- og profesjonsutdanning (Didactic principles for relevant vocational and professional education). HiOA Avhandlinger [Ph.d.] 2017 nr. 11. Oslo: Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus. Sylte, A. L. (2018). Profesjonsretting og studentaktivitet (Professionalization and student activity). Scandinavian Journal of Vocations in Development. http://dx.doi.org/10.7577/sjvd.2010 White paper nr. 28 (2015-2016). Fag – Fordypning – Forståelse — En fornyelse av Kunnskapsløftet (Subject - Specialization - Understanding - A renewal of Knowledge-Promotion). 16.10.2019: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/meld.-st.-28-20152016/id2483955/ Young, M. (2004). Conceptualizing vocational knowledge. Some theoretical considerations. In H. Rainbird, A. Fuller & A. Munro (Ed.), Workplace learning in context (pp. 186-200).
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.