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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2019

Hooman Doosti, Kourosh Fathi Vajargah, Abasalt Khorasani and Saied Safaee Movahed

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and analyze the dominant discourses of the workplace curriculum in Iranian organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and analyze the dominant discourses of the workplace curriculum in Iranian organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research data were collected through in-depth interviews with 30 professionals working in the field of workplace curriculum in three groups of consultants, managers and experts who were selected purposefully and with a theoretical sampling strategy. To analyze the data, thematic analysis method was used. The themes are extracted and categorized into three phases, namely, descriptive coding, interpretive coding and determination of overarching theme. To validate the data, collaborative research technique, member checking and researcher review and, to make sure of findings’ reliability, reliability index between two coders were used.

Findings

Based on the findings, the kind of planner’s look at the workplace curriculum commonplaces will shape the nature of the curriculum and in terms of this look define and redefine the workplace curriculum discourses. Therefore, based on perceptions and attitudes in these areas, 11 different discourses are recognizable from the workplace curriculum. These include suppression discourse, justification discourse, ceremonial/ formality discourse, administrative discourse, engineering discourse, economical discourse, psychological discourse, partnership discourse, research discourse, developmental discourse and, finally, multi-cultural discourse.

Practical implications

The common goal of all learning professionals in the workplace is to play the role of a strategic partner, or at least be a good partner for the organization. One of the main challenges of learning and development professionals in the workplace is increase in integration and alignment between learning programs and developmental opportunities with business organization strategies. Achieving this important goal is possible when we have a proper understanding of the current situation and condition. Various situations and conditions are identified and described in the form of 11 discourses. If the authors do not look at the context and proper understanding of the main concepts – The main concepts of each discourse are put into a quill – in which any discourse that was created, the authors will not be able to make the appropriate strategies. A good doctor will hear and understand well before the first thing.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the few studies that offer a variety of discourses for the workplace curriculum.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 12 April 2021

Cheryl J. Craig, Rakesh Verma, Donna W. Stokes, Paige K. Evans and Bobby Abrol

This research examines the influence of parents on students studying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and entering STEM careers…

Abstract

This research examines the influence of parents on students studying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and entering STEM careers. Participating youths were awarded scholarships from large funded US grant programmes. Cases of two graduate students (one female, one male) and one undergraduate student (male) are featured. The first two students in the convenience sample are biology and physics majors in a STEM teacher education program; the third is enrolled in computer science. National reports emphasizing the importance of parents on their children's education are presented, along with diverse international literature. The use of narrative in STEM curriculum and narrative inquiry in STEM research are also documented. Experience, story, and identity form the study's conceptual frame. The narrative inquiry research method employs broadening, burrowing, and storying and restorying to elucidate the students' academic trajectories. Incidents of circumstantial and planned parent curriculum making surfaced when the data were serially interpreted. Other noteworthy themes included: (1) relationships between (student) learners and (teacher) parents, (2) invitations to inquiry, (3) modes of inquiry, (4) the improbability of certainty, and (5) changed narratives = changed lives. While policy briefs provide sweeping statements about parents' positive effects on their children, narrative inquiries such as this one illuminate parents' inquiry moves within home environments. These actions became retrospectively revealed in their adult children's lived narratives. These small stories, while not generalizable, map how students, shaped by their parents' nurturing, enter the STEM disciplines and STEM-related careers through multiple pathways in addition to the identified pipeline.

Details

Preparing Teachers to Teach the STEM Disciplines in America’s Urban Schools
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-457-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Melina L. Gallo

This research investigates the ways in which English as a second language (ESL) learners used autodocumentary photography in a learner centered workplace literacy program…

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1801

Abstract

This research investigates the ways in which English as a second language (ESL) learners used autodocumentary photography in a learner centered workplace literacy program to solve problems and facilitate language learning. By using learner‐generated photos and stories as the basis for the curriculum in a critical approach to literacy, insights were gained into the ways in which these workers perceived their lives and learning in a new culture. Additionally, the ways in which they adapted to and changed the environment of their workplace were assessed. Implications for workplace educators include the responsibilities to foster the development of critical awareness and empowerment in learners and to consider the transformative possibilities of workplace learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2019

Emma O'Brien, John McCarthy, Ileana Hamburg and Yvonne Delaney

This paper aims to explore how in Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), problem-based learning (PBL) could possibly provide a paradigm which addresses two key…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how in Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), problem-based learning (PBL) could possibly provide a paradigm which addresses two key research objectives: What are the learning needs and challenges faced by Irish SMEs? and How could PBL satisfy these needs through integrating formal and informal learning?

Design/methodology/approach

An action research methodology was adopted using Lewin’s (1994) action research cycle. In the reconnaissance stage, surveys and focus groups were conducted with a purposive research sample of Irish SMEs regarding their learning needs and challenges. Based on these results, a plan was formulated to adapt the traditional PBL model into a workplace PBL model (wPBL). Lastly, the wPBL model was implemented and evaluated in 42 SMEs.

Findings

The research identified several specific learning needs for SMEs, namely, learning that is cost-effective, tailored to the company and its challenges, immediately applied, demonstrates a tangible outcome (is measurable), organically fostering a learning culture, addresses knowledge gaps, continuous, develops communication, team work, problem-solving and technical skills. The traditional PBL model was adapted into a wPBL model to meet the above learning needs of SMEs. It was found that the wPBL model had the potential to address long-standing company problems (making it cost-effective), facilitate continuous learning and develop horizontal and transversal skills such as problem-solving and communication.

Originality/value

Much of the learning that takes place in SMEs is incidental or informal, and often does not contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organisation. This paper aims to propose a practical framework using wPBL to structure incidental and informal learning in SMEs so that it provides an immediate benefit to the company. To date, there has been little research into the application of PBL outside higher education, and the paper proposes a framework to assist the transition of PBL to a workplace environment.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Lisa Rowe, Daniel Moss, Neil Moore and David Perrin

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues and challenges facing employers as they manage degree apprentices in the workplace. It examines the relationship between…

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10052

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues and challenges facing employers as they manage degree apprentices in the workplace. It examines the relationship between managers and apprentices undertaking a work-based degree. This research is of particular relevance at this time because of the UK Government’s initiative to expand the number of apprenticeships in the workplace to three million new starts by 2020, inevitably bringing a range of pressures to bear on employers (BIS, 2015). The purpose is to share early experiences of employer management of degree apprenticeships, and provide a range of recommendations to develop and improve employer and higher education institution (HEI) practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper combines desk research with qualitative data drawn from interviews with a range of cross-sector organisations to investigate the employer’s experience of developing the new degree apprenticeships. Data are explored inductively using thematic analysis in order to surface dominant patterns and considers the implications of findings upon current and emerging HEI and employer practice and research.

Findings

There were a number of key themes which emerged from the data collected. These included the need for effective, employer-led recruitment processes, careful management of expectations, sound HEI retention strategies, employer involvement and board-level motivators to ensure organisational benefits are derived from effectively situated workplace learning and a focus upon effective, empowering mentoring and support strategies.

Research limitations/implications

As degree apprenticeship standards and programmes are currently at the early stages of implementation, and opportunities, funding and resourcing are rapidly changing in the context of government policy, so too will employer appetite and strategies for supporting degree apprentices, along with apprentice behaviour. This means that additional findings, beyond those highlighted within this paper, may emerge in the near future.

Practical implications

There are a number of practical implications supporting managerial development and support of degree apprentices in the workplace from this research. These are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources, mentor training and networks.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first published accounts of the employers’ perspective of managing a degree apprenticeship within the new policy context in the UK. As a result, the work offers a unique insight into the emerging challenges and issues encountered by managers working with degree apprentices in the twenty-first century business environment.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Hugh Munby, Joan Versnel, Nancy L. Hutchinson, Peter Chin and Derek H. Berg

In the face of research that shows that workplace knowledge and learning are highly contextual, calls for the teaching of generalizable skills for the workplace have been…

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3209

Abstract

In the face of research that shows that workplace knowledge and learning are highly contextual, calls for the teaching of generalizable skills for the workplace have been widespread. While the authors reject the usefulness of teaching generalizable skills, they believe that there are commonalities in workplace knowledge that can be taught. These commonalities are related to metacognition rather than simple cognition, and the approach in this paper is to explore the potential of metacognitive instruction for workplace learning. Specifically, the concept of routines is used to develop an instructional theory derived from the inherent metacognitive functions of routines themselves. The paper draws upon contemporary cognitive theory and on recent research on workplace learning, and it builds on studies the authors have conducted on learning in the workplace and on the observation of routines at work.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Lisa Rowe

This review explores the Confederation of British Industry Education and Skills Annual Report (2018), which considers the issues and challenges facing employers in…

Abstract

Purpose

This review explores the Confederation of British Industry Education and Skills Annual Report (2018), which considers the issues and challenges facing employers in managing future workforce requirements against a backdrop of unprecedented global change. The review examines the evolvement towards the broader competencies of problem solving, resilience, communication and leadership to address concerns of a growing talent shortage. The review incorporates debate surrounding the relevance of student-owned identity, work-based learning, degree apprenticeships, lifelong learning and reflective practice. The purpose of this paper is to share a practitioner’s view of the report and provide a range of recommendations to develop and improve employer and higher education institutions practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This review combines desk research combining an industry-based perspective with a literature review to effectively consider the implications upon current and emerging higher education institutions and employer practice.

Findings

There were a number of key themes which emerged from the report. These include the need for effective, employer-led curriculum design, resilience building strategies, effectively situated workplace learning, the creation of time and space for reflective practice and normalising lifelong learning.

Research limitations/implications

As global change and technology continues to gather pace, skills demands will shift, new programmes and competitors will enter the higher education market and opportunities, funding and resourcing will rapidly change in the context of government policy, impacting upon employer appetite and strategies for supporting lifelong learning. This means that additional findings, beyond those highlighted within this review may emerge in the near future.

Practical implications

There are a number of practical implications in supporting skills development in the workplace from this research. These are reflected in the recommendations and include the development of flexible, innovative and collaborative curricula and effective work-based pedagogies.

Social implications

This review is of particular social relevance at this time because of the alarming fall in part-time and lifelong learning numbers juxtaposed with the threat of funding cuts and United Kingdom Government’s failed initiative to expand the number of apprenticeships in the workplace to 3m new starts by 2020.

Originality/value

This review is based upon one of the first published skills reports of the employers’ perspective within the new apprenticeship policy context in the United Kingdom. As a result, the work offers a unique insight into the emerging challenges and issues encountered by higher education institutions and employers working collaboratively in the twenty-first century business environment.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2006

Karen V. Mann

Fostering the development of professional character in student physicians remains the most essential, yet challenging and sometimes elusive goal of those in medical…

Abstract

Fostering the development of professional character in student physicians remains the most essential, yet challenging and sometimes elusive goal of those in medical education. Current understandings and contemporary approaches to learning and teaching can provide perspectives that may inform our thinking. In this chapter, learning with and from others is explored along with approaches that form the foundation for the development of professional character that integrates moral conduct into professional practice. The implications for both teaching and learning and the importance of the learning environment are discussed. Education as a moral endeavor and values-based practice is emphasized.

Details

Lost Virtue
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-339-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2010

R. de Villiers

This paper explores the changing needs of employers and the business community in relation to the balance between technical and soft skills, such as communication skills…

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3712

Abstract

This paper explores the changing needs of employers and the business community in relation to the balance between technical and soft skills, such as communication skills, business presentation skills and other interpersonal skills. The researcher discusses the importance of soft relational skills for all business graduates, including accountants. The study further explains how soft skills can complement the technical skills taught to ensure that graduates are equipped to deal with the demands of a complex global business environment. The needs of different stakeholders, possible barriers to change and the way in which academic faculty can contribute are reviewed.

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Jenny Fleming and Neil J. Haigh

While the intended outcomes of work-integrated learning (WIL) are well documented, significant challenges arise when the stakeholders have different understandings and…

Abstract

Purpose

While the intended outcomes of work-integrated learning (WIL) are well documented, significant challenges arise when the stakeholders have different understandings and expectations. The purpose of this paper is to examine the alignment of stakeholder views on the defining features of cooperative education as a model of WIL.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive case-study methodology, incorporating questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, was used to determine the views of students, workplace supervisors and university academic supervisors involved in a sport cooperative education program.

Findings

Students, workplace supervisors and academic supervisors shared a perception that the students’ development of employability skills and their acquisition of experience in industry were the primary intended outcomes. As an associated benefit, students would be work-ready. Ideally, cooperative education experiences should also provide opportunities for students to learn to integrate theory and practice, further develop their personal and professional identities, and learn to navigate the important ethical aspects of being a professional.

Practical implications

While the employability emphasis in the findings aligns well with government agendas, graduates need to be prepared for complex and dynamic workplaces, and to be future ready for careers that are yet to exist. WIL curricula need to explicitly address this expanded agenda, which in turn needs to be communicated clearly to all stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper challenges stakeholders in WIL to move beyond a focus on preparing students for the “now” and to reconsider the learning outcomes that should be imperative for university education in the twenty-first century.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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