Monday, 17 October 2016

Engaging disaffected learners in Key Stage 4 through work-related learning in England

an article by Caroline White (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK) and Andrea Laczik (University of Oxford, UK) published in Journal of Vocational Education & Training Volume 68 Issue 1 (2016)


Work-Related Learning (WRL) has been enthusiastically embraced by UK governments since the 1990s as a means of reengaging learners in the final years of compulsory schooling. However, recent years have seen a policy shift away from WRL towards a more academic curriculum for all young people.

Drawing on a qualitative study commissioned by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, this article explores good practice in using WRL to motivate 14- to 16-year-old learners. The article aimed to refocus discussion on the beneficial effects of WRL for disengaged young people. It argues that WRL can be a powerful engagement tool as part of a holistic approach to support learners to engage or reengage in learning.

It also highlights that any appraisal of the merits of WRL for disaffected learners should also consider the indirect benefits such as increased confidence and motivation to participate, which can potentially lead to hard outcomes of success.

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