The use of work experience as a strategy for education and learning has become one of the most important developments both in vocational education and training and in general education. The aim of the study is to examine models, strategies and processes of work-based learning in different contexts and at different levels of the education system. The project is multidisciplinary in nature and includes international comparisons. The emphasis is in recognising and identifying the processes of connectivity and transformation at three levels of analysis: at the level of individual and social learning processes, at the level of organisational learning processes and at the level of the educational system both nationally and internationally. One purpose is to design connective learning situations which produce transformational processes at each level of analysis. Furthermore, connections between different levels of analysis will be examined.
The study aims to answer the following main research problems:
1) How are the principles of connectivity and transformation present in different models of integrating work and learning?
2) What kinds of transformations does connecting formal and informal learning bring about in the individual and organisational learning processes and at the level of the education system?
3) What are the processes of learning like when the context of learning is a workplace?
4) How do different systems of work-based learning function in vocational education and training and how are the aims set achieved?
The main focus of the project is on vocational education and training and on professional development in work organisations, although it covers also other levels of the education system. The disciplinary scope of the project reaches from educational sciences to economics and social sciences. Parts of the study will be conducted in different European countries.