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Work‐based learning in US higher education policy

Work‐based learning in US higher education policy Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how US institutions of higher education make appreciable use of work‐based learning options, but their attention to experiential education as a learning vehicle is relatively limited. The connection between the work experience and the on‐campus curriculum is only loosely formed, and students are not often given a chance to reflect concurrently and collectively on their workplace lessons. Some changes in higher educational policy have been initiated to augment the pedagogical contribution of a work‐based learning, but notable institutional barriers remain. Design/methodology/approach – Essay based on policy and literature review. Findings – Work‐based learning epistemology has demonstrated that knowledge may be equally, if not even more effectively, acquired through reflective discourse within the very activity of practice. Aside from discourse's lens into social structure, it can also be used as a means to expand knowledge for improved action in the world. Research limitations/implications – Students make sense out of their workplace experiences and construct knowledge through a process of negotiation between these experiences and their own cognitive frameworks. Originality/value – Students learn by doing real work that is often designed to support and integrate with learning in the classroom and also to promote the acquisition of broad transferable skills. The paper shows that by equipping young adults with work‐related skills, work‐based learning promotes a high level of work role identification and efficacy, which in turn positively influences their successful transition into the work environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning Emerald Publishing

Work‐based learning in US higher education policy

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2042-3896
DOI
10.1108/20423891111085357
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how US institutions of higher education make appreciable use of work‐based learning options, but their attention to experiential education as a learning vehicle is relatively limited. The connection between the work experience and the on‐campus curriculum is only loosely formed, and students are not often given a chance to reflect concurrently and collectively on their workplace lessons. Some changes in higher educational policy have been initiated to augment the pedagogical contribution of a work‐based learning, but notable institutional barriers remain. Design/methodology/approach – Essay based on policy and literature review. Findings – Work‐based learning epistemology has demonstrated that knowledge may be equally, if not even more effectively, acquired through reflective discourse within the very activity of practice. Aside from discourse's lens into social structure, it can also be used as a means to expand knowledge for improved action in the world. Research limitations/implications – Students make sense out of their workplace experiences and construct knowledge through a process of negotiation between these experiences and their own cognitive frameworks. Originality/value – Students learn by doing real work that is often designed to support and integrate with learning in the classroom and also to promote the acquisition of broad transferable skills. The paper shows that by equipping young adults with work‐related skills, work‐based learning promotes a high level of work role identification and efficacy, which in turn positively influences their successful transition into the work environment.

Journal

Higher Education, Skills and Work-based LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 29, 2010

Keywords: Workplace learning; Experiential learning; Higher education; United States of America; Reflection

References