The integration of theory and practice has been recognised as one of the key questions in the development of professional expertise and vocational competence. In this study the question of how theory and practice meet each other during professional development was approached from the point of view of two different groups of learners: employees with varying length of work experience and university students taking a working life project course. Altogether 18 employees and 51 students were interviewed, after which transcribed interviews were qualitatively categorised. The opinions expressed by the informants indicate that work-based learning is not a unified phenomenon but varies in different contexts and between actors. The findings suggest, however, that the transformation of students' explicit "book knowledge" into implicit or tacit knowledge may begin already while the student is still in education, provided that formal knowledge is used for authentic problem solving.
Journal of Workplace Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2003
Keywords: Employees attitudes; Employees development
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