ERG SES H 03, Parallel Session H 03
Curriculum development is the mainstay of each educational institution. It has effects on the students learning paths and the transitions along the path. However, the transitions from vocational education and training (VET) to working life and to further studies are not widely examined, albeit the fact that they are critical all around the world and many of the challenges are overarching. In this paper, I examine the transition practices manifested in the curriculum development in one Finnish VET organisation. The primary objective is to better understand how the educational professionals promote students’ fluent transitions from VET onwards. In accordance with the objective, the research questions are 1) what kinds of transition practices are manifested in curriculum development, 1a) which practices seem to promote the transition from VET to working life, and 1b) which practices seem to promote the transition from VET to further education.
The study relates to the research of distributed pedagogical leadership as shared organisational practices (Jäppinen 2010). However, it enlarges the concept to distributed curriculum development. It includes examination of transitions, challenging fluent learning paths for students and having a crucial role in ensuring them. Distributed curriculum development is further defined as teachers’ collaboration and learning. It means that teachers are viewed as leaders in the process, i.e. the leadership is shared and distributed among stakeholders in the curriculum development. Transitions are dependent on individual decision making but also on opportunities offered and constraints set by the society and in particular the educational institution. (Schoon & Silbereisen 2009.) Therefore in this paper, transitions are viewed from the perspective of the VET institution, that is, the focus is on the structures, strategies and practices the institution offers through distributed curriculum development for individuals to transfer from the institution to either further education or to working life.
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