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Challenges in designing for horizontal learning - in the Danish VET system


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Designs for Learning conference, Aalborg University-Copenhagen, May 18-20, 2016

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Challenges in designing for horizontal learning - in the Danish VET system

  1. 1. Challenges in designing for horizontal learning - in the Danish VET system Marianne Riis, Palle Bergstedt, Claus. B. Jørgensen, Hans H. Koch & Carsten L. Rasmussen National Centre for Vocational Pedagogy Designs for Learning – 5th International conference, AAU-CPH, May 19th, 2016
  2. 2. Training to become …
  3. 3. Agenda ■ Why  Research purpose and RQs ■ What  Vertical and horizontal learning in the dual VET system  Boundary crossing and boundary objects ■ How  Case study, ethnographic interviews, CHAT inspired analysis ■ Preliminary findings ■ Future research
  4. 4. The VET challenge?! Apprentices often experience trade vocational school and trade practice as very dissimilar contexts with different norms and guidelines for action. Tanggaard (2007, p. 453)
  5. 5. Research purpose and RQs 1. In what ways and why do VET teachers use ICT- based artefacts as boundary objects to design for boundary crossing and continuity in and across different contexts? 2. What didactic and pedagogic recommendations can support VET schools' future work with establishing enhanced school-workplace interaction through the use of ICT?  VET teacher-students (diploma – NQF 6) Research community Practitioners
  6. 6. Vertical and horizontal learning Vertical learning  Focus on learning in an single system  Narrow, hierarchical view of knowledge and expertise  Transfer is the dominant metaphor Horizontal learning  Focus on learning in and across multiple systems  Broad, multidimensional view of knowledge and expertise  Transition/crossing is the dominant metaphor Note! Both approaches are necessary Engeström et al. (1995), Tuomi-Grön et al. (2003)
  7. 7. Boundary crossing and boundary objects  Boundaries can lead to discontinuity in action or interaction  Boundary crossing is a concept that has been proposed as an enriched notion of transfer  Boundary crossing includes ongoing, two-sided actions and interactions in and across practices  Boundary crossing acknowledges conflicts and contradictions as potential for learning and development  Boundary objects refer to artefacts bridging/mediating the crossing – analog or digital   Boundary crossing is about finding productive ways of relating intersecting dissimilar practices (Akkerman & Bakker, 2012 & 2011)
  8. 8. Research design  Multiple case study  Three dominant strands: Technical*, Business and Social & Health  4 schools – teachers, students/apprentices and trainers  Longitudinal study  Research methods  Interviews (different types), observations and design experiments  Six ethnographic interviews (inspired by Spradley, 1979)  Purpose: gain insight into the VET teachers’ experiences and vocabulary regarding boundary crossing and their use of boundary objects and ICT *) Includes both ”Technology, construction and transportation” and ”Food, farming and experiences”
  9. 9. Sociocultural CHAT inspired analysis  Cultural Historical Activity Theory (3rd gen. ) - as framework for interviews and subsequent analysis  Analytical unit: minimum of two systems, focus on all elements, incl. boundary objects  contradictions
  10. 10.  Predominant focus on and design for transfer as part of a vertical learning process (individual, tasks and identical elements)  All interviewed VET teachers use ICT  Mediating tools within the educational/school logic  Video differs as preferred tool regarding the theory-practice dichotomy  The digital ”Student plan” – administrative tool, not a boundary object  Horizontal learning and boundary crossing is perceived as a didactic design challenge Preliminary findings
  11. 11. Contradictions Examples “Our job is to give them [the students] theory, and then the companies will give them the practical knowledge.” “You know: the companies aren’t educational institutions – they want to make money off an apprentice. But that also means that they’re interested in getting good apprentices.” “We [the teachers] have no influence on the learning goals in the apprenticeship periods.” “Unfortunately, when I let the students go on Friday [last day of the school period], I don’t necessarily meet them again.”
  12. 12. The VET student perspective (… ) apprentices do not, per se, perceive any gap between theory and practice. Rather, the difference (...) concerns the seemingly conflicting emphasis on what makes theoretical sense at trade vocational school and what makes practical sense in the workplace. Tanggaard, 2007, p. 453-454
  13. 13.  How can we move (the teachers) beyond one- time, one-directional transfer conceptions?  How can we support the teachers’ work with transforming contradictions into teaching and learning opportunities?  For whom is boundary crossing and/or discontinuity a challenge – (how) is it a challenge?  If ICT is the solution – what was the challenge? Ruminations …
  14. 14. Future research Spring 2016  Analysis of ICTs as boundary objects (cf. Carlile, 2002 & 2004)  Classroom observations  Interviews with VET students  Interviews with VET trainers Fall 2016  Design experiments  Focus on sociomateriality  Interviews with and observations of VET teachers and VET students acting with technology! Inspired by Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2006)
  15. 15. Closing statement If transfer or rather boundary crossing in VET is based on ongoing, two-sided actions and interactions in and across practices, then perhaps it should be seen as a guiding didactic design principle for all teaching and learning processes – and not just an occasional phenomenon?!
  16. 16. Thank you! – follow the project (in Danish)
  17. 17. References – cited in the paper  Akkerman, S.F. & Bakker, A. (2012). Crossing boundaries between school and work during apprenticeship. Vocations and Learning. 5:153-173  Akkerman, S.F. & Bakker, A. (2011). Boundary crossing and boundary objects. Review of Educational Research. June 2011, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 132-169  Engle, R.A. (2012). The resurgence of research into transfer: an introduction to the final articles of the transfer stand. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21:3, 347-352.  Engeström, Y., Engeström, R. & Kärkkäinen, M. (1995). Polycontextuality and boundary crossing in expert cognition: Learning and problem solving in complex work activities. Learning and Instruction, Vol. 5. pp. 219-336.  Fenwick, T., Edwards, R. & Sawchuk, P. (2011). Emerging approaches to educational research. Tracing the sociomaterial. New York. Routledge.  Lobato, J. (2006). Alternative perspectives on the transfer of learning. History, issues, and challenges for future research. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(4), 431-449.  Riis, M., Bergstedt, P. & Rasmussen, C.L. (unpublished). Undervisningsdifferentiering og it i de erhvervsrettede uddannelser – en eksploartiv forundersøgelse. Intern rapport udarbejdet 2014.
  18. 18. References – cited in the paper 2  Rogoff, B. (1995). Observing sociocultural activity on three planes. Participatory appropriation, guided participation, and apprenticeship. In Wertsch, J.V., Del Rio, P. & Alvarez, A. (Eds.) Sociocultural studies of mind pp. 139-164. New York: Cambridge Press.  Spradley, J.P. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.  Star, S.L. (2010), This is not a boundary object; Reflections on the origin of the concept. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 25(5), 601-617.  Tuomi-Gröhn, T. Engeström, Y., & Young, M. (2003). From transfer to boundary crossing between school and work as a tool for developing vocational education: An introduction. In T. Tuomi-Gröhn & Y. Engeström (Eds.), Between school and work: New perspectives on transfer and boundary-crossing pp. 1–18. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Pergamon.  Yin, R. K. (2009). Case Study Research. Design and methods. 4th edition. SAGE.  Aarkrog, V. (2010). Erhvervsuddannelsesforskningen i Danmark. In Størner, T. & Hansen, J.A. (red.) Erhvervspædagogik – mål, temaer og vilkår i eud’s verden. s. 73-82. Erhvervsskolernes Forlag.
  19. 19. Additional references - for this presentation  Carlile, P.R. (2004). Transfering, translating, and transforming: An integrative framework for managing knowledge across boundaries. Organization Science, Vol. 15, No. 5, September-October 2004, pp. 555-568.  Carlile, P.R.(2002). A pragmatic view of knowledge and boundaries: boundary objects in new product development. Organization Science, Vol. 13, No. 4, July-August 2002, pp. 442-455  Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2006). Designing for collaboration and mutual negotiation of mening: Boundary objects in networked learning environments. Banks, S., Hodgson, V., Jones, C., Kemp, B. & McConnel, D. (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conferencen on Networked Learning.  Tanggard, L. (2007). Learning at a trade vocational school and learning at work: boundary crossing in apprentices’ everyday life. Journal of Education and Work. Vol. 20, No. 5, November 2007, pp. 453-466