Workplace formation: how secondary school students manage structured workplace learning

Pasco John Putrino

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] Changes in the international and Australian economies and labour markets during the 1980s and early 1990s substantially reduced employment opportunities for young people, causing higher education participation and increased school retention rates. Schools responded to these pressures and to Government policy with the development of Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs that integrate school-based learning with industry training, resulting in rapid growth in the participation of senior secondary students in such programs in recent years. Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is an integral part of many such programs. How students manage their learning in these new environments was the focus of this study . . . The central finding of the study was the theory of ‘Workplace Formation’ that explains the processes students use to manage their workplace learning during the first year of workplacement. ‘Workplace Formation’ is comprised of five categories of processes – preparing, familiarising, committing, adapting, and building. Each category is comprised of two or more processes. While students generally proceed through each category sequentially, there is a degree of overlap between them. This general sequential progression can be disrupted if circumstances change. The extent of ‘Workplace Formation’ may vary from one student to the next. The theory of ‘Workplace Formation’ provides a new perspective on how school students manage their learning in the workplace while still at school and adds to the theoretical literature in this field. Implications of the findings for further research, and for policy and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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