Integration Between School and Work: Developments, Conceptions and Applications

  • Sarojni ChoyEmail author
  • Gun-Britt Wärvik
  • Viveca Lindberg
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 29)


Integration of students’ experiences in and between education institutions (as in schools, vocational colleges and universities) and workplaces, to develop vocational competence, is a central tenet of contemporary educational systems and provisions. Educational institutions and workplaces are no longer seen in isolation for pre-employment preparations as well as continuing development of the workforce. However, researchers (e.g. Onstenk J, Blokhuis F, Education + Training, 49(6):489–499, 2007; Billett S, Integrating practice-based experiences into higher education. Springer, Dordrecht, 2015) argue that the concept of ‘integration’ remains underdeveloped, both theoretically and conceptually. In this chapter we summarise some of the more general developments and complexities around integration of students’ learning experiences in schools and work sites. We discuss the historical intentions and progression of pedagogical means into curriculum design and delivery of vocational education to better prepare individuals as skilful and productive workers. The account here outlines conceptualisations and development of processes of integration as vocational education systems transformed in their manifestations, purposes and practices. Examples of different types of integration and typologies and their theoretical bases are summarised. We then outline examples of common applications, i.e. pedagogies and arrangements suited for integration. Three main units of analysis (individual, context and cultural and historical) are also introduced. While integration often has been an issue for two parties, school and workplace, students’ agency is also considered and given a foregrounded position here. An identified challenge in researching integration is to recognise agency intertwined with structure. The concluding section contends that the main aim of integration is to jointly interpret knowledge and knowing in the social cultural contexts of different settings and achieve a ‘common sense of mutuality’ (Edwards A, Revealing relational work. In Edwards (ed) Working relationally in and across practices. A cultural-historical approach to collaboration. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2017, p. 2). We recommend more research to further illuminate this complex phenomenon of integration.


Integration Vocational education and training Connectivity Pedagogies for integration Workplace learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarojni Choy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gun-Britt Wärvik
    • 2
  • Viveca Lindberg
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Education and Special EducationUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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