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Integrating theory and practice? Employees’ and students’ experiences of learning at work

Kaija Collin (Kaija Collin is a Researcher at the Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.)
Päivi Tynjälä (Päivi Tynjälä a Research Professor, at the Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 December 2003

Abstract

The integration of theory and practice has been recognised as one of the key questions in the development of professional expertise and vocational competence. In this study the question of how theory and practice meet each other during professional development was approached from the point of view of two different groups of learners: employees with varying length of work experience and university students taking a working life project course. Altogether 18 employees and 51 students were interviewed, after which transcribed interviews were qualitatively categorised. The opinions expressed by the informants indicate that work‐based learning is not a unified phenomenon but varies in different contexts and between actors. The findings suggest, however, that the transformation of students’ explicit “book knowledge” into implicit or tacit knowledge may begin already while the student is still in education, provided that formal knowledge is used for authentic problem solving.

Keywords

Citation

Collin, K. and Tynjälä, P. (2003), "Integrating theory and practice? Employees’ and students’ experiences of learning at work", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 15 No. 7/8, pp. 338-344. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620310504828

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited