School industry partnerships: An innovative strategy for vocational education
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One of the challenges confronting contemporary education internationally is to ensure that students are provided with opportunities to make informed choices about future careers and to acquire the capacity to transition into these careers. Schools need to manage their curricula, teacher capacity, timetables, and diversity of student populations by offering pathways that are seen as engaging and meaningful to life beyond schooling. Traditionally, education in the senior years has privileged those students who intend to progress to advanced studies at university or in other professional careers. In more recent times, in response the need for more sophisticated technical knowledge in the trades and a growing skills shortages in these fields, schools have paid more attention to vocational education. It has been argued that the vocational aspect of the school curriculum is less well understood and poorly implemented in comparison with the traditional academic curricula. One attempt to address this issue is through the establishment of school-industry partnerships. This paper explores the process of knowledge transfer between industry and schools in these partnerships. The paper theorises how knowledge that is valued and foundational in workplace employment can inform school curricula and pedagogical practices. The paper draws on theories of organisational knowledge, workplace learning and experiential learning to explore strategies that enhance school-to-employment transition outcomes.
Proceedings of the ECER VETNET Conference
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