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Work Integrated Learning

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Saved by PBworks
on October 8, 2007 at 8:14:07 pm
 
The term Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is not in common use in the UK and most academics would think it was goobledygook because the words do not automatically convey an intuitive coherent concept. Furthermore, the term seems to privilege ‘work’ above other learning contexts.
I understand WIL to mean a higher education learning experience that seeks to combine and integrate to varying degrees academic study, work, formal and informal learning and social interaction in institutional, work and perhaps virtual learning environments. The integration of learning in these different contexts is crucial to the achievement of the learning outcomes for a programme and the development of the learner and their identity. But the ways in which academic, work and other social/experiential contexts are combined, and the levels of integration and connectivity, are quite varied. This diversity makes it difficult to convey what WIL means in a simple way.
 
Legitimate peripheral participation: One distinction that can be made within the plethora of WIL curricula is whether the higher education experience intentionally sets out to enable learners to experience working with others in real work situations at a level where they become part of the community of practice that sustains the work activity. Jackson (2007) identifies a continuum of experience designs from those that do not permit this, to those that permit a degree of engagement in workplace communities to those that require newcomers to move toward full participation in the socio-cultural practices of a community.

 

 

 

 

"Work Integrated Learning combines professional work experience with classroom studies in many forms to include: internships, study abroad, co-operative education, clinical rotations community service and student teaching" WACE. The ideals of WIL are to integrate learning in academic and work environments but there are great differences in the extent to which WIL is interpreted and implemented in both philosophical and curriculum design senses.

 

Some institutions e.g. Queensland University of Technology, see the idea of WIL (one which seeks to gain learning from both work/community and academic contexts) as sitting within a broader concept of a curriculum for real world learning: a view that is consistent with our emergent ideas about learning for a complex world.

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