The dichotomy between theory and practice is a well-known research topic at higher education level. However, students and teachers are still struggling with the dichotomy at the Bachelor Degree in Social Education, the Bachelor Degree of Education, the Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Health and the Diploma in Vocational Pedagogy. In these programs, students alternate between formal education at university colleges and professional practice. They are obliged to train in and reflect on the development of practice. The aim of this study is to contribute to improving the abilities of students to develop through practice.
The theoretical framework of this research is the notion of boundary crossing, and learning communities (Wenger, 1998; Tuomi-Gröhn & Engeström, 2003). Wenger´s theory defines ways of meeting across boundaries and on various types of connections. Furthermore, the relationship between practice and identity depends on different stances taken in terms of participation.
The research design is a qualitative study inspired by action research. During the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, each program has an action learning process for students integrated within a curriculum or as part of a supplement to this. During in-service training in a professional setting or when alternating between jobs and the diploma program, the students participated in dialogs using an action-learning model. Observations on four sessions in each program were carried out and field notes were taken. Finally, four focus group interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed.
The findings showed differences and similarities in the programs but all students were seen to be struggling, with ambitions and opportunities as newcomers in their professions. For some, this affected their identity and ambitions in their respective professions. However, the process and reflection in active learning showed how they were able to find solutions and overcome challenges to pass their college courses.
The relevance to Nordic educational research is a new empirical study that is designed to contribute to educational support for individual students and their professional development.
Tuomi-Gröhn & Y. Engeström (2003). Between school and work: New perspectives on transfer and boundary-crossing. Pergamon.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge University Press.
StatusUdgivet - 2021
BegivenhedNERA 2021: Hope and Education - SDU, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 3 nov. 20215 nov. 2021
Konferencens nummer: 2021


KonferenceNERA 2021