Understanding students’ learning processes in vocational education: students’ learning activities and outcomes

Novice practitioners should have adequate personal knowledge, a so called personal professional work theory (PPT). In a PPT knowledge and attitudes are integrated into a theory that gives guidance to professional behaviour. However, various studies and practices show that the integration process of what is learned in different educational settings and workplaces, does not occur automatically. Therefore, this research study focuses on two learning activities in powerful learning environments in senior secondary vocational education. These learning activities have never been empirically investigated but are assumed to be essential for the integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes. These learning activities are: (1) contextualization: the application and specification of theoretical models into concrete tasks and (2) conceptualization: the abstraction of situation-specific experiences into theoretical models.
A longitudinal study design is used to demonstrate how the knowledge base of students develops into a personal professional knowledge base.
Supervisors: Prof. Elly de Bruijn (HU and Utrecht University, Department of Education) & Prof. Mieke Brekelmans (Utrecht University, Department of Education). Co-promoter and also daily supervisor: Dr. Liesbeth Baartman (HU, Faculty of Education).

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