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Work-based learning through negotiated projects – exploring learning at the boundary

Work-based learning through negotiated projects – exploring learning at the boundary Purpose– More collaborative and open learning models are suggested as part of the paradigm shift in the way knowledge is produced, distributed, and used. The purpose of this paper is to explore a work-based learning (WBL) model, based on systemic negotiations between actors from the three parties: the academy, the industry, and the students. The purpose is to investigate how teachers, supervisors, and students value negotiated WBL as a boundary activity and to enhance the understanding of the learning potential at the boundary. Design/methodology/approach– Activity theory is used as a lens to analyse the results from a survey to the three stakeholder groups and interviews of students. The four learning mechanisms are used to explore learning at the boundary between the two activity systems. Findings– Diversity and mobility in education and work addressed by the notion of boundary crossing are associated with both challenges and a learning potential. There is a constant dynamic between structure and agency, where structure, the negotiated model, influence the individual agency. When gradually removing scaffolding students can as boundary crossers engage behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively and have agency to handle contradictions at a local level. However, they did not seem to prioritise both systems equally but instead they were gradually socialised into the activity system of the industry. Originality/value– When WBL is framed by a negotiated partnership it can manage and customise inherent conflicts of interest and enhance individual learning opportunities at the boundary and can be conceptualised as an open learning practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning Emerald Publishing

Work-based learning through negotiated projects – exploring learning at the boundary

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-3896
DOI
10.1108/HESWBL-01-2015-0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– More collaborative and open learning models are suggested as part of the paradigm shift in the way knowledge is produced, distributed, and used. The purpose of this paper is to explore a work-based learning (WBL) model, based on systemic negotiations between actors from the three parties: the academy, the industry, and the students. The purpose is to investigate how teachers, supervisors, and students value negotiated WBL as a boundary activity and to enhance the understanding of the learning potential at the boundary. Design/methodology/approach– Activity theory is used as a lens to analyse the results from a survey to the three stakeholder groups and interviews of students. The four learning mechanisms are used to explore learning at the boundary between the two activity systems. Findings– Diversity and mobility in education and work addressed by the notion of boundary crossing are associated with both challenges and a learning potential. There is a constant dynamic between structure and agency, where structure, the negotiated model, influence the individual agency. When gradually removing scaffolding students can as boundary crossers engage behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively and have agency to handle contradictions at a local level. However, they did not seem to prioritise both systems equally but instead they were gradually socialised into the activity system of the industry. Originality/value– When WBL is framed by a negotiated partnership it can manage and customise inherent conflicts of interest and enhance individual learning opportunities at the boundary and can be conceptualised as an open learning practice.

Journal

Higher Education, Skills and Work-based LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 8, 2016

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