Discuss the contribution of the work related learning programme to the professional socialization of the learner.
Due Date: 30 October 2013
Work related learning is increasingly becoming a very important component in the learning system particularly for tertiary and higher education in Zimbabwe and abroad. It is now mandatory for al graduates to go for work related learning in their 3rd year for at least 10 months during their four year programme. As defined by DCSF (2009) work related learning is a planned activity that uses the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, useful in work, including learning through the experience of work, learning about work and working practices, and learning the skills for work. Work related learning can be termed, work place learning, work integrated learning or work focused learning. According to Macintyre, Murray and Teel (2009) professional socialization is the process by which individuals acquire the specialized knowledge, skills attitudes, values, norms and interest needed to perform their professional roles acceptably. In a broader sense Weidman, Twale and Stein (2001) define professional socialization as the process by which persons acquire knowledge, skills and disposition that makes them more or less effective members of society. Work related learning programme contributes to professional socialization of the learner in that it helps develop learner employability skills, provide learners with the opportunity to‘ learn by doing’ and to learn from experts. Work related learning programme also motivates and boosts self-confidence of students, develop career awareness and improve learner understanding of the economy, enterprise, finance and the structure of business organizations and how they work. A detailed discussion of these contributions of work related learning to professional socialization of the learner is given below. Professional identity formation
Work related learning programme that has been adopted by tertiary institutions helps in professional identify formation. Collin (2009) defines professional identity as a sense of self that is connected to a particular vocation. Cohen (1981) also defines it as an aspect of personal and social identity that develops in professional personnel as a result of their wok activities. Trede (2012) added that professional identity can only develop in engaged students and this takes place through careful critique of current practices and values. Engaged students involve themselves in debates about practice decisions and about practice experiences because this will enable them to act consciously and actively form their professional identity. Professional identity also involves change of oneself individual concept to such an extent that an identity develops within and for the profession (DCSF,2009). Different professions have various identities and it is through work related learning when such identities are actively formed. For example workers in the Tourism and Hospitality industry are identified by being smart, flexible calm, friendly, sharp memory etc. The learners for this industry are therefore supposed to have these characteristics. When students are on work related learning these characteristics develop within them replacing the ones they already had hence being professional socialized. Provides students an opportunity to “learn by doing”
Work related learning program contributes to professional socialization of learners through enrichment the learner education. Institutions of higher learning are always seeking for ways to ensure that students apply their acquired knowledge to practice, this way they learn by doing (DSCF, 2009). Students in a range of fields including teachers, media professionals and social workers believe they learn more during their placement than from their classes. They also find the experience rewarding because they address real problems and the...
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