Learning through practice
There is a growing interest in practice-based learning in countries with both advanced and developing economies. Much of this interest is directed towards augmenting students" learning within vocational or higher education programmes of initial occupational preparation or those for professional development (i.e., further development of occupational knowledge across working life). The worth of contributions from practice settings and experiences with authentic instances of occupational practice, of course, has been long acknowledged in the major professions and trades . Indeed, most trades and professions have a requirement for individuals to engage in an extensive period of practice prior to being accepted as a tradesperson or professional. So, there is now a growing interest in occupationally specific higher education programmes providing these kinds of experiences for novice practitioners. However, beyond their use in initial occupational preparation, there is a wider set of considerations about the utility of practice-based experiences to promote ongoing development across working life. In particular, occupational practice and experiences in practice settings are now being used as a vehicle for professional development. Increasingly, educational programmes organised by universities, technical colleges, and professional bodies, are often either premised upon or partially based within the learner's occupational practice. Hence, at this time, there is a wide and growing acceptance that the experiences provided in practice settings, usually workplaces or work settings, are essential for developing the knowledge required to effectively practice occupations.
Billett, S. (2010)., Learning through practice, in S. Billett (ed.), Learning through practice, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 1-20.
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