Apprenticeship – Learning Occupational Identity in Industrial Work

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In Sweden, research on apprenticeship is scarce, particularly, studies on students’ learning and development of occupational identities. 

To create good learning environments, there is a noticeable need for pedagogical knowledge that can serve as basis for apprenticeship and qualified workplace-based learning within initial vocational education.

The aim of the project is to examine conditions for learning and identity development within apprenticeship for industry work. The specific focus is on workplace-based learning within the Industrial Technology Program (upper secondary school level). 

Internationally, workplace-based learning plays a vital role in the development of vocations and young people’s socialization into different vocations. Central goals for apprenticeship within the Industrial Technology program are to strengthen the connection between school and the industry sector, and to contribute to the development of vocational knowledge and occupational identities of students. 
Departing from a situated learning perspective and previous research on vocational education, the project will explore resources and barriers for learning and identity development in specific learning environments within the educational program. Learning and development can be tracked through the students learning trajectories. The research project has a longitudinal case-study design. Using interviews and time geographical diaries, 21 students in the Industrial Technology Program at three upper secondary schools will be followed over time. 

The combination of qualitative interviews (conducted on three occasions), and time geographical diaries allow for multifaceted knowledge about the conditions for students’ learning and identity development. The project will contribute with novel knowledge about workplace-based learning and will strengthen the connection between research on vocational education and research on work-based learning.


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