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Integration between school and work: developments, conceptions and applications

Chapter in book
Authors Sarojni Choy
Gun-Britt Wärvik
Viveca Lindberg
Published in S. Choy, G-B. Wärvik and V. Lindberg (eds.). Integration of vocational education and training experiences. Purposes, practises and principles
Pages 3-18
ISBN 978-981-10-8857-5
ISSN 1871-3041
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Singapore
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 3-18
Language en
Links https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.u...
Keywords Vocational education and training , connectivity, pedagogies for integration, workplace learning
Subject categories Pedagogy, Didactics, Pedagogical Work


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.

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