Success Factors for Fostering the Connection Between Learning in School and at the Workplace: The Voice of Swiss VET Actors
Effectively supporting apprentices in connecting what they learn at school and at the workplace still constitutes a challenge for most vocational education and training (VET) systems. To address this challenge, various efforts have been made in Switzerland, comprising a large investment in promoting effective cooperation between educational institutions and workplace settings as well as in designing integrated curricula and connective educational practices.
In this chapter, the core aspects of the Swiss VET system are briefly described as an introduction to an interview study that aimed to explore which factors are perceived by VET actors as crucial for successfully connecting learning and teaching across schools and the workplace. The study is part of a large research project on school-workplace connectivity in VET from a sociocultural perspective. The study sample was comprised of ten vocational school teachers, eight in-company or intercompany trainers and eight apprentices involved in apprenticeship programmes in different vocational fields as well as four experts from vocational teacher training and VET research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and then examined using a thematic analysis. The findings of the study demonstrate that a multitude of factors contribute to the connections between learning at school and in workplace settings, including collaboration and communication disposals across learning locations as well as factors related to curriculum development and instructional arrangements. These findings are discussed in relation to the theoretical framework of the study, and implications for VET practice and research are examined.
KeywordsSchool-workplace connectivity Integrated learning Thematic analysis Boundary crossing Stakeholders’ viewpoint
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