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Innovations in Lifelong Learning Why Should Students of Lifelong Learning be Interested in Work-based Learning? 29th June 2007 Paula Nottingham Lifelong.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovations in Lifelong Learning Why Should Students of Lifelong Learning be Interested in Work-based Learning? 29th June 2007 Paula Nottingham Lifelong."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovations in Lifelong Learning Why Should Students of Lifelong Learning be Interested in Work-based Learning? 29th June 2007 Paula Nottingham Lifelong Learning MPhil/PhD Birkbeck College Full-time Student from October 2006

2 Why I suggested the topic? Because I am a student of lifelong learning Ive had prior experience in formal education and project work that spans a variety of contexts including a Lifelong Learning MSc To connect with other students or prospective students of lifelong learning (peers) out there as well as providers who teach or guide lifelong learning students - a rationale for doing what we do and looking at innovations and how to grow

3 Who is a student of Lifelong Learning? Profile –Students from around the world study for doctorates (PhDs and EdDs) in the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI). They usually choose to study in one of our areas of expertise. Institute team members are leading experts in lifelong learning, with strengths in adult and continuing education, post-14 education, further education, higher education, learning at work, professional development, literacies, academic writing, social inequality and widening participation, multi-agency working in education and welfare, and career guidance.(Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Leeds, 2007) –+ Masters Level –Alternatively, students could be all of those individuals undertaking learning for leisure or for work!

4 Lifelong Learning… The Lifelong Learning (LL) approach created a new paradigm for learning that reframed adult and continuing education. It has to do with all kinds of learning in all kinds of settings and it has to do with the ways in which we learn throughout our lives (Griffin, 2000). Lifelong learning, as a social science, considers the personal, social, and economic wellbeing of the individual. Lifelong learning concepts have informed educational policy in the UK (especially since 1997), but there is a danger that the context of reform can replicate past inequities and social inequalities. It is a broad concept, covering learning that takes place in formal and informal educational settings, in the workplace, in community and voluntary organisations, in the home and families. (Jackson, 2006)

5 WBL Discourse/s Work-based learning (WBL) is recognised as an emerging discourse (Teichler, Walsh, 2006), with distinct pedagogies and modes of study that provide learning solutions for the changing lifelong learning needs of 21 st century learners (Brennan and Little, 1997, Boud et al., 2001, Billett 2004). Gallacher and Reeve suggested four discourses as being of important in structuring the process of change for WBL: –partnership with employers –flexibility with respect to HE policy and labour market responsiveness –relevance to the needs of employers and the economy –accreditation of experiential learning equal to that of academic learning (2000)

6 Analogous Trends LL and WBL Adult learning in formal and informal settings –Higher Education, Continuing education, CPD Other education/training sectors –Further Education, Trade Unions, world of work (workplace) inc. business companies and organisations, Human Resource Management Other Social Sciences - especially those working with ideas of change in society (economic, political, looking at the individual), social justice, and communities of practice How knowledge is seen as combination of theory and practice, recognising all forms of learning as valid.

7 Rationale for Students finding out about WBL Curious and need to find out what they need to know to do their jobs Perceived as related to their own fields and to cross sector and cross-disciplinary approaches Opens the door up to analyse WBL practice and policy in relation to the lifelong learning paradigm of an extended society that learns throughout life –WBL could be seen as a type of LL using theories and concept that use LL as a base, WBL as a subset (Mudd, 2007) –Synchronous research might include: formal and informal learning, communities of practice, social leaning

8 My Research as an Example I came to Birkbeck interested in the interface between work and higher education The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has strongly advocated the need for distinctive research in WBL HE pedagogy, practice and policy (2006). The June 2006 report stated that WBL practitioners perceived WBL as vital and legitimate and a driver for innovation in the HE system.

9 Literature Review 1.The literature review for my MPhil/PhD revealed that WBL(HE) practice is now more common and being promoted by educational policy, but a more general understanding of how WBL is conceived for differing practice might need clarification. 2.Current literature seems to 1. put all these perspectives together or 2. concentrate solely on one perspective. 3.Overview WBL(HE) literature can be problematic as it does not clearly point out how the function of the provision differs. It may be that the various WBL(HE) discourses and theoretical structures need to be clarified for practitioners.

10 Research Question How do the differing perspectives of Work-based Learning (WBL) in Higher Education impact/influence the pedagogies used in practice? There needs to be qualitative field research with practitioners to see what they say about the pedagogies, teaching & learning, for the WBL(HE) they provide. –Semi-structured interviews in professional settings and document review Staff providers –Text analysis Looking at the source of the information and interpretations –For example: Postmodernist approaches to issues i.e. power relationships introduced by Foucault

11 WBL(HE) Perspectives 1.WBL as a field of study – Middlesex, Birkbeck 2.Practice/professional based – Health and Education 3.Placement/Sandwich – Art and Engineering 4.Employer engagement: Competency based (NVQs 4/5/6)/Work force development/CPD

12 Defining WBL(HE) as Field of Study Boud, Solomon and Symes, in Work-Based Learning: A New Higher Education? present WBL as a radical pedagogy (2001). Garnett 2005 pointed out that: WBL is a learning process which focuses university level critical thinking upon work (paid or unpaid) in order to facilitate the recognition, acquisition and application of individual and collective knowledge, skills and abilities, to achieve specific outcomes of significance to the learner, their work and the university (from Costley, 2007). WBL(HE) with this perspective can be compared to other learning theories such as Biggs (constuctive alignment, from Walsh, 2006), Bloom (taxonomies of learning - cognitive, affective, psychomotor), and Kolb (experiential learning) among others…

13 Lifelong Learning Student A I feel that for WBL to purchase real credibility with learners at HE level it has to demonstrate an ability to distinguish itself from vocational workplace/based learning. The latter has a poor reputation in some quarters for being an assessment process rather than incorporating deep learning and reflection emerging from feedback, research and critical analysis (cf. Bloom's Taxonomy of learning)…

14 Lifelong Learning Student A I would actually take issue with using the term pedagogies in this field. I would say we are heavily into andragogy territory and heading towards heutagogy! From my point of view, that is what I would be interested in as a lifelong learning student -the opportunities and challenges posed in replacing the traditional academic 'subject' expert (with a defined curriculum) with the learners as 'expert',pushing individually at the boundaries of a personal curriculum with self defined outcomes. Very different power relationships all round, and possibly yet another step towards the hegemony of the individual versus the collective, which may not necessary be a good thing for society.

15 Lifelong Learning Student B It is generally accepted in many professions that you have to keep up to date with current happenings, so is all learning that takes place WBL if it happens in the office and is then monitored by an assessor? What about the CPD training that happens in a HE college as part of an academic or vocational course? Is that still WBL?

16 Possible reasons why… Advocacy for all types of learning Need for research exploring the world of work Allure of the WBL literature Ability to add to dialogue and debates in post-compulsory education Lens of lifelong learning one way to bridge the gap between vocational and non-vocational New WBL territories with social and economic benefit to learner Emerging discourse is challenging but the contribution to knowledge might be greater and can build on existing research The need for more findings and recommendations about WBL policy and practice will require more researchers with expertise in WBL, this will probably be followed by public funding?

17 Gordon Browns Leadership Alan Johnson remarked about Labour party purpose in education: 1997 was about getting people into work, 2007 is about getting people to progress while in work (BBC Breakfast, 2007) The education ministry has been divided is now –Education Children, Schools and Families –Innovation, Universities and Skills: John Denham new Minister (BBC, 2007) The DIUS will take the lead on expanding high-end graduate skills and raising the skills of the wider adult workforce (Lipsett, 2007). Universities UK supports the changes. President, Drummond Bone, said "Universities are key to the generation and exploitation of new knowledge in the UK, so there is a clear rationale for moving science and innovation to the new department.(BBC, 2007)

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