Enterprise placements: factors which support learning and prolonged attainment in students

JOE GAZDULA, Chris Atkin

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Abstract

This article investigates the learning and academic attainment of undergraduate education students on enterprise placement projects in a longitudinal mixed-methods study. By observing the placement learning and analysing previous and subsequent attainment of a second- and third-year group it adds to the ontology of purpose for enterprise in education and concurs with the growing body of work identifying placements with sustained academic improvement. The qualitative investigation identifies five key learning factors from the placements which support improved academic attainment. These are: pressure to learn, critical personal learning events, seeing the setting as a learning environment, professional attachments, and having space to learn. These factors support the transfer of learning from one context or situation to another and using concepts of transformative learning or transitional learning, contributes to a cycle of increasing self-esteem and motivation and a sustained improvement in academic attainment. It concludes that a praxis curriculum, using self-assessments, continuous short (micro) reflections and taught awareness of the placement as a place to look for and recognise learning, would underpin these five factors and contribute to the academic processes underpinning attainment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)128-143
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date16 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017

Keywords

  • Enterprise
  • learning
  • attainment
  • placements
  • praxis curriculum

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