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Student Readiness and the Integration of Experiences in Practice and Education Settings

  • Stephen BillettEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 29)

Abstract

The ability of vocational education students to effectively utilise and integrate experiences in education and work settings is premised upon their readiness to engage with and reconcile those experiences. Consequently, preparing students to engage in workplace experiences (placements or practicums) and providing interventions after those experiences are likely to make these learning processes more effective. Proposed and discussed in this chapter is how the educational worth of integrating experiences in and across these two settings can be promoted through teacherly interventions before and after students’ experiences in work settings. Central here is students’ readiness to engage effectively in these experiences and interventions. That readiness comprises what the students know, can do and value that together mediate how they make sense of what they experience and then integrate those experiences in ways that will achieve robust (adaptable) learning. The explanatory basis advanced here is to understand and appraise the readiness comprising their zone of potential development. This zone is informed by Vygotskian precepts that acknowledge that the potential scope of individuals’ learning is mediated by what they know, can do and value. Within that zone, vocational education students can largely mediate their own learning. However, taking students beyond that zone necessitates their engagement with others and guidance in promoting their learning (i.e. zone of proximal development) and in ways that are productively aligned with the kinds of educational outcomes to be achieved. For vocational education programmes, these outcomes are usually associated with students learning the knowledge required for occupations, including the ability to adapt it to the requirements of workplaces where students secure employment upon graduation. Consequently, both the students’ individually mediated learning in the zone of potential development and that being provided by teacherly engagements (i.e. proximal development) might be directed towards those educational goals.

Keywords

Readiness Integration of experiences Zone of potential development Zone of proximal development Apprenticeships Vocational education students Apprenticeship as a model of education 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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