28 January 2012

It is important that learning on work experience placement is understood

‘Eames and Cates (2011: 41) point out that there is a scarcity of research concerning cooperative and work-integrated education about “the educational outcomes from, and processes in, work placements”; as well as “understanding about learning in the work placement”. They argue (p. 42) that “understanding how learning occurs” during work-integrated learning placements would help legitimise workplace experience as legitimate aspect of cooperative programmes as educative. There is way too much emphasis on employer ratings and student papers concerning their work-integrated learning placements “in order to award credit”. Too little effort is devoted to “finding out what the students are really learning” from workplace experiences—“credit is not simply given for work experience” but should be given for the “learning [that is] resulting from work experience”. Eames and Cates (2011: 42) therefore consider it important that learning on “work experience [placement] is understood” in order “that appropriate curricula, pedagogy, and assessment can be designed and implemented”.

Eames and Cates (2011: 41) remark that research and development has mainly been pragmatically applied-descriptive and evaluative—what constitutes the successful operation; the outcomes of work placements; career clarification for students; enabling recruitment of candidates perceived suitable; collaboration with work-integrated learning hosts; completion of study-related projects; and attraction of students to programmes.’

Eames, C. & Cates, C. 2011. Theories of learning in cooperative and work-integrated education (pp. 41-52). In R.K. Coll & K.E. Zegwaard (Eds.). International handbook for cooperative and work-integrated education (2nd ed.). World Association for Cooperative Education Inc.

Download EamesC+CatesC_Theories_of_learning_in_cooperative+work-integrated_Education

From: http://psychsoma.co.za/learning_in_vivo/workintegrated_learning/ (accessed 16/03/2012)

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