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  1. Bridging the theory-practice gap in professional education LisbethHaastrup. Institute of Education, University of Aarhus, Denmark

  2. Problem • Changing and different completing/retention rates in danish professional educations programs • Longer education than estimated especially for teacher students • Drop out rate highest at the first internship period

  3. Completing rate for the four programs in focus

  4. Research project and partners • 4-year (2009-12) project financed by Danish Council for Strategic Research. • Instituteof Education, Aarhus University, Denmark • KORA. The National Institute for Municipalities and Regions Analysis and Research • UniversityCollege Copenhagen, UCC • Engineering College, Universityof Aarhus,

  5. New demandsactualizetheory-practice as a problem • Theorethical academic demands are increased. • “Professionsbachelor reform” 2001, admission to further academic education. • Centralized University Colleges including most programs. • Internship tend from periods of waged internship, toward a subject like others in the program. • Demands on study-activities, analytical distance and theoretical reflection duringthe internship.


  6. Bridging the gapbetweentheory and practice - an old and a new qustion

  7. Bridgingwhat? • Bridging as metaphor is designating a difference but also a necessary relation in professional education between: • Theory and practice • University colleges and internship workplace • Positions in education - student, teacher, supervisor • Education and professional work

  8. Research questions • How is theory-practice relations and the students drop out connected in professional education programs? • How is bridging understood and done in different professional educational programs? • What kind of bridges could be built to improve coherence, learning and minimize retention?

  9. Project design 2009-2012:

  10. Four programmes in focus

  11. Organisation of four programmes

  12. Qualitativesubproject

  13. Theoretical perspectives • Culturalanalysis • Programme coherence • Processes in time and space • Relations between students, teachers and supervisors

  14. Model

  15. Model of students processes in education programs

  16. The students processes in and out the professional education: • 1. Bridging between high school and professional education, between pupil and student. • 2. Bridging between place of education and place of internship and the two places expectations and standards. • 3. Bridging between being a student and an employed at the place of internship • 4. Bridging between professional education and future professional practice, from student to professional employed.

  17. Drop out or hang on situations in the proces • Every bridging process involves drop out/hang on decisions. • Every bridging process involves experiences about both TOPOS and LOGOS • Every bridging process are a possibility for learning

  18. Model of students processes in programs

  19. Inclusion and exclusion • Alternating periods of theoretical study at school or university with periods of practical training provoke and promote both drop out and hang on. • Asigned or applyedinternshipdoes a difference for the students motivation and conditions at the workplace. • High demandsfor admission to and completing the program area way to strenghten a programme and a professional identity and status. • Low demandsfor admission and lowselectionarea way to weeken a programme and a professional identity and status.

  20. Contradictions? Contradiction between goals for: • High number of students in professional education programs • High completing rate • Completing at the expected time • High quality of programmes • High quality of student competences • High status of professions

  21. Theory-practice conceptions • Differenttheory-praticesconcepts and relations intertwinned • Connected in a complexway to: • Place • Situation • Position • Subject matter

  22. Four models of theory an practice according to Estelle R. Jorgensen (2005)

  23. An example • Skill- lap situation at college in a nurse programme • Before first internship

  24. ”Underviserne markerer overgangen til færdighedslaboratoriet meget klart og introducerer de regler, der gælder for påklædning, hygiejne og opførsel i klinikken. De studerende skal bære kittel og have håret samlet med elastik, ellers kan de ikke komme ind i færdighedslab. Ved observation af undervisning i færdighedslaboratoriet blev holdet delt i tre med 5 studerende med hver sin underviser. De studerende skal på skift agere sygeplejerske og en patient, der skal sengebades. Dette rollespil, de studerende imellem, giver anledning til megen morskab, og ind imellem har de mulighed for at gå ud af rollerne og tale til hinanden som studerende. ”

  25. Treundervisere – treforholdmellemteori og praksis • ”Den første underviser, som også er klinisk vejleder for nogle af de studerende i praktik, giver konkrete praktiske instrukser, om hvordan vaskekluden skal foldes og holdes, ”nu skal du gøre sådan”. • Den anden viser og forklarer ”hvordan man skal gøre” og at det kan gøres forskelligt, bare man overholder de grundlæggende hygiejneprincipper. Hun observerer, kommenterer og giver gode råd.

  26. Treundervisere – treforholdmellemteori og praksis 3. Den tredje vejleder spørger ”hvorfor gør du sådan” og ”hvad kan der ske hvis du gør sådan” og prøver at inddrage elementer fra klasseundervisningen. Da de kommer til vask af benene, siger hun ”nu skal I bruge alt hvad I har lært i fysiologi” Hun opfordrer dem til at undersøge benet. ”Hvad ser du ved benet?” Den studerende ser først ikke noget, men vejlederen spørger til udseende, huden og temperaturen, og guider dem videre til at huske teori om puls og temperatur. De taler om tegn på huden, blodforsyning og en studerende måler puls, mens vejlederen fortæller om pulsen og dens betydning.”(Observation)

  27. Færdighedslabsom bridging ”(…jeg synes færdighedslab er helt vildt godt(…)jeg synes i starten når man fik alt det der anatomi og fysiologi, jeg tænkte bare. Det er der jo ingen der kan huske, alt det der, hvad skal vi bruge det til, men hvor man, da man så kommer i færdighedslab, får man bare koblet det hele sammen.(…) (Interview med studerende).

  28. Point • Alternating and reflected theory-practice conceptions and practice in the program as such, provoke and promote learning and coherence. • Each program has their own specific TOPOS and LOGOS to bridge.

  29. Pre-school teacher program • The Pre-school teacher program are caracterized by general peadagogical and psychological theory combined with activity subjects, towards different target groups. • The preschool-teacher students have long internship periods to “try to be a pre-school-teacher” in a personal development process with the users. Theory and practice becomes a whole.

  30. Teacher program • The teacher program are characterized by wide limits of the individual professional to choose methods and practicing in her own way in her own class. • Theory may not require or justify a specific practice, but can provide general concepts to reflect with. • The teacher students have a challenge to integrate pedagogical theory with the theory of the school subjects and “find their own way of beeing a teacher”.

  31. Nursing program • The nursing program are characterized by theory from both natural science and ethical care. • The students have to perform and practice correct nursing skills by integrating and reflecting theoretically based reasons from both kinds of theory. • Moduls of theoretical education and clinical internship are intertwinned, and supportet by ”skill labs”.

  32. Engineering program • The engineering program are characterized by projectbasedproblemsolving, using engineering metods. • Theories, methods and models are used in a flexible way dependent on the project, both on campus and at engineering work in companies. • Teamwork and accept of goals and hierarchical relations are expected, and not talked about.

  33. Sammensatte kulturelle praksisser • Forskelle • Sammenfald • Modsætninger • Systematiske bud på udfordringer I brobygning: • mellemteori og praksis • For alle I professionsuddannelserne • På institutions- og individniveau • Mellemlivsformer

  34. Challenges and opportunities for a theory-practice ”didaktik” • Development of didaktikkerfocused on specifictheory-practiceconceptions and conditions • Development of program organisations, bridginguniversity colleges and internshipworkplaces – Defining a ’thirdlearningplace and space” • Development of a commonlanguageabouttheory-practice relations for bothlecturers and supervisors • Development of a ’meta-didaktik’ concerningtheory-practiceconceptions and conditions of why and how.

  35. “Surprising practices”. • The idea is to inspire lecturers to become more conscious of the implicit assumptions concerning theory and practice in their teaching. • Focus on and discussion of different theory and practice relations, between lecturers inside the same program, and between programs.

  36. New forms of cooperationbetweenuniversity colleges and professional workplaces? • Possibilites for experiments> noassesment • Focus on development > not on students adjustment to university or internshipculture/TOPOS • Commonproject for lecturers, students and professionals. • Reqruitmentto the cooporation with mutual obligations and contributions.

  37. En ‘idealtypisk’ model • Undervisere og folkeskolelærere samarbejder om formulering af en problemstilling / et fælles eksperiment som undersøges/udføres i praksis/skolen • Underviseren og de studerende forbereder og bearbejder en fælles undersøgelsen/eksperiment. • Supervisor kan deltage i forberedelse/bearbejdning på uddannelsen • Underviseren og de studerende udfører ‘eksperimentet’/undersøgelsen i praksis i fællesskab i et fælles rum • Samarbejdet udspiller forskellige relationer mellem teori og praksis

  38. Perspectives in new forms of bridging • Mulighed for faglig fokusering / fordybelse i et fagligt område • Mulighed for at følge og facilitere de studerendes lære- og ‘oversættelsesprocesser’ tæt • Mulighed for at følge processer på praktikstedet • Mulighed for styrket forståelse af teori / teoriers brugbarhed • Mulighed for styrket oplevelse af praksisrelevans • Mulighed for at skærpe formål og fokus i praktikken?

  39. To talk and reflect on theory and practis • Conceptualization, thematization and discussion of different theory- practice conceptions. • Awareness of different conceptions and expectations between teachers, students and internship supervisors. • Awareness of different social- cultural related conceptions and expectations between the four educations and among the students in each of them.

  40. Third learningspaces and commonlearningplaces • Establishment of different types of "third learning spaces" between theory and practice, (Skill-labs, teaching-labs, laboratories) • Organization of ”third common learning places” for as well students, teachers and supervisors. • Establishment of reflection-spaces for theory-practice conceptions

  41. Bridging TOPOS and LOGOS as a solution? • At an individual level: • For students completing education • For better learning processes • For better professional competences • For better academic competences • At an institutional level: • For efficient and transparent organizational structures and cooperation between institutions • For development of programs and professions and newrelations between students, college lecturers and supervisors.

  42. Coherences • Biographicalcoherence: • Surveydata • Lifehistory interviews • Programme coherencein-schooland school and betweenschool and internship: • Surveydata • Observations • Interviews • Transitionalcoherence. Future focused interviews, interventions.