Changes in the world of work and in society are generating interest in learning in different environments. So far, workplace learning has been mainly studied in the context of vocational education. The project aims to enhance scientific excellence and research potential in the field of research on integrating formal education and workplace learning (WPL) for students in basic and secondary schools.
Facilitating multifaceted capacity building at the School of Educational Sciences (SES) at Tallinn University (TLU) in this field will be achieved through partnership with two internationally leading research institutions with complementary theoretical and methodological expertise: Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä, and Institute of Educational Sciences at Paderborn University.
There are primarily four reasons:
- Developing research on workplace learning as an academic research discipline in Estonia.
- The need for cooperation between teachers and instructors of different environments (school, non-formal education, work) in developing key competences.
- The need to reflect on the competences learned at work as a way of developing resilience in crisis situations.
- An opportunity to enrich the experience and knowledge of students by learning in authentic environments such as work.
How is this project helping to enhance the research and administrative capacity of the staff of Tallinn University?
Thanks to the partners from the universities of Jyväskylä and Paderborn the researchers of Tallinn University will be integrated in international networks which are important in the field of studying workplace learning. In cooperation with partners, there will be an exchange of experiences and transfer of theoretical and methodological knowledge as well as learning from each other through joint research activities, intensive trainings, practical workshops and creation of web resources. Furthermore, study and research visits will take place and doctoral students and early career researchers will be included into networks.
The target groups of the project are educational researchers, teachers, employers, including HR managers and placement coordinators and students in general and vocational education schools. Additionally, the project will be presented to the general public, policy makers, parents and community representatives.
As a results of the project:
- Educational researchers will find conceptual frameworks for understanding the integration of workplace learning and formal education.
- Teachers will understand better how to integrate workplace learning with formal education.
- Employers, HR managers and placement coordinators can communicate their needs and activities clearer in order to achieve a better alignment of formal education with the competences needed at work.
- Students will acknowledge what they learn through work experience and how it supports their agency.