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Pedagogic Strategies for Improving Students’ Engagement and Development

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Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL,volume 18)

Abstract

This chapter discusses three main pedagogical strategies in use in contemporary Dutch vocational education. These are: creating (i) authentic learning environments; (ii) flexible learning environments; and (iii) an environment that supports self-direction in students. Stimulated by a national innovation programme (2003–2015), Dutch VET-institutions have put considerable effort in developing learning arrangements that combine these strategies.

The chapter describes some interesting examples of strategies implemented, it analyses concomitant concepts and debates, and searches for what is empirically known about those strategies, their feasibility and limitations, and their effects on students’ learning.

The authors conclude that an overarching pedagogical framework on vocational-education-to-be, which was lacking at the onset, is gradually developing. Elements of the broad conceptual models that gave direction to ideals and schemes of thinking – but did not provide concrete guidelines for design and/or teaching practice – are slowly translated and tested in practice. This has resulted in a growing but still rather small body of scattered research and empirical results.

This chapter shows the crucial position of teachers, and the different strains put upon them. While authentic learning for instance asks teachers to be skilled in designing the link between theory and practice on different levels of the curriculum, flexible learning imposes an organizational view held by teachers whereas promoting self-directedness in students requires providing proper feedback and support.

The challenge now is to further expand this framework in order to guide and further underpin pedagogical practice and research.

Keywords

  • Learning Environment
  • Shop Floor
  • Career Guidance
  • Authentic Learning
  • Authentic Task

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In this chapter we will use “vocational education” and “VET” as synonyms, indicating both full-time vocational education tracks and apprenticeship tracks in the Netherlands, unless otherwise indicated.

  2. 2.

    Waslander and Kessels (2008) called this type of flexibility “economy of scope.”

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Harms, T., Hoeve, A., den Boer, P. (2017). Pedagogic Strategies for Improving Students’ Engagement and Development. In: de Bruijn, E., Billett, S., Onstenk, J. (eds) Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the Dutch Vocational Education System. Professional and Practice-based Learning, vol 18. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50734-7_10

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