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Title WEX21C
Work experience as an education and training strategy: New approaches for the 21st century
Aspect
Concept Trends Findings Practice Challenge
Synopsis Using the work experience typology (see concept), the project has been able to identify areas of ‘innovation within context’ in relation to the five models. One of the project’s clearest messages is that practitioners continue to develop highly innovative approaches to work experience despite the constraints imposed by national education and training systems. Several of the project’s case studies provide particularly good examples of situational and collectively planned innovations that have been designed to assist students in developing a more ‘connective perspective’ about the relationship between their formal and informal learning. Included are the following examples:
    The Swedish KfS Gymnasium specialises in teaching business administration at upper secondary level; students enroled for either the academic or vocational programmes follow the same curriculum during the first academic year; based on a progressive pedagogy, they are encouraged to view their school experience as a form of work experience, where they work and learn with one another, with their teachers and with outside experts.
    At East Berkshire College in the UK, the College’s Media Faculty has negotiated with Legoland, UK (Windsor) to provide students with a work experience that involves producing Legoland’s Staff Newsletter. This work experience allows students to develop their media-related skills (i.e. journalism and production) and to ‘connect’ their formal and informal learning.
   Aalborg Technical College in Denmark provides an illustration of the application of the ‘connective model’ to the education of machinists. The school has introduced into the curriculum some new features, namely the idea of a personal education plan and the use of a student logbook, which originally arose in another context. A further development has been to offer students access to a cross-disciplinary curriculum and a greater range of learning activities and processes (Griffiths et al. 2001, pp. 42, 46-48).
Reference The final project report provides further details of innovative practice derived from the case studies (Griffiths et al. 2001, pp. 42-48).
See also project info on WEX21C.
Descriptors D-WBL            
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO