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Professional development in real work situation: case studies in block release apprenticeship training

Abstract : This paper aims to give a better understanding of the professional training of Civil Engineering Works Foremen. We study the organisational and individual factors influencing the learning process efficacy through and at a real work situation. In a framework of block release training apprenticeship, learning periods spent at companies are good opportunities to acquire the necessary professional knowledge by working in a participatory practice and learning by work. It allows to apprentices to learn howto work in an efficient and autonomous way and to accomplish actions in relation to their professional function or field (Billett, 2001; Eraut, 2011). By observation, trial and error, projects or work realisations, they are supposed to reach the appropriation and the transmission of professional knowledge, skills and competencies. However, these learning processes take place only in an adapted symbolic and material work environment (Delbos & Jorion, 1984). In this sense, they are closely related to the participatory work practice of which they constitute a by-product (Veillard, 2017). According to Billett (2001), there are two types of factors taking part in work-based learning. Some factors depending on the work environment are related to the way it calls and makes possible the activities and the interactions in the professional context. Other ones come under the way the individuals involve themselves in working and learning according to the given resources. Hughes and Moore (1999) identified a number of contextual factors that can influence the learning process in a real work situation. This approach outlines appropriately that workplaces are far from offering standardized, neutral and systematically supporting environments (Darrah 1996, Hull 1997). Furthermore, Filliettaz and al. (2009) highlighted the importance of tutorial interactions in case of work-based learning situations. We adopted, through six case studies a qualitative research approach in order to explore and analyse the influencing factors of learning process in real work situation. Interviews with apprentices, their trainers and their tutors were proceeded. Also, we made learning process observations at apprentices’ workplace in companies. We selected out subjects on the basis of our longitudinal cohort research that we realized last seven years in this field. Our findings revealed a contrasted understanding by apprentices of opportunities and resources available at their professional working environment, and of the way they seize them. Moreover, the organisational structure of their workplace has a considerable influence on their learning process through and at work as they could have a really different consideration about the provided affordances. Consequently, their individual commitment in the practices and the available interactions is largely determined by the way they perceive these affordances inside the work context. As a conclusion, our most important finding is that the recognition by their peers and by the experienced professionals inside the targeted professional field, appear as a key element of the work-based learning process and so of their professional development.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 9:40:23 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 9:52:13 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02094887, version 1

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Souâd Zaouani-Denoux, Klara Kövesi. Professional development in real work situation: case studies in block release apprenticeship training. 9th international conference of the EARLI SIG 14 Learning and professional development, University of Geneva. Faculty of psychology and educational sciences, Sep 2018, Genève, Switzerland. ⟨hal-02094887⟩

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