Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore efforts to bridge conceptualisation and practice in work‐based learning by reflecting on the legacy and sustainability of the Centre for Excellence in Work‐based Learning for Education Professionals at the Institute of Education, University of London. The Centre was part of the national CETL (Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) initiative (2005‐2010) and focussed on exploring ways of transforming current models of work‐based learning (WBL) in a bid to respond to the diversity of professional learning needs within education and beyond. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents three case studies which are representative of the Centre's approach to drive theoretical development in WBL. Findings – The three projects featured contributed to the development of WBL through synergetic cross fertilisation while operating independently from each other. Also, they are characterised by sustainability beyond the end of the CETL initiative. The Putting Knowledge to Work project developed and operationalised the concept of recontextualisation for WBL in successfully moving knowledge from disciplines and workplaces into a curriculum; and from a curriculum into successful pedagogic strategies and learner engagement in educational institutions and workplaces. The London Mobile Learning Group developed a research dynamic around theory and practice of learning with mobile media which contributed to the development of new approaches in (work‐based) learning. The Researching Medical Learning and Practice Network created a community of practice bringing together educational researchers with medical education practitioners and researchers resulting in a greater understanding of how professional attitudes and practices develop in both undergraduate and postgraduate contexts. Originality/value – The experience of the WLE offers an example of innovative ways to continue to develop our understanding of work‐based learning and inform practice. The impact of the WLE activities on theory, policy and practice is evident in the creation of national and international platforms strengthening existing institutional links.
Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: United Kingdom; Higher education; Centres of Excellence; Workplace learning; Work‐based learning; CETL; Recontextualisation; Mobile learning; Communities of practice