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Students' experiences of Workplaces as Learning Environments in Vocational Education and Training in Finland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVocational Education & Training - The World of Work and Teacher Education
Subtitle of host publicationEmergent Issues in Research on Vocational Education & Training Vol. 3
EditorsPetros Gougoulakis, Marianne Teräs, Lazaro Moreno Herrera
PublisherStockholm University Press
ISBN (Print)9789186743888
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018
Publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


The currently implemented reform of vocational upper secondary education aims to increase workplace learning in vocational education and training (VET) in Finland. Consequently, understanding workplaces as learning environments has become more and more important. This study focuses on students’ experiences of learning in the workplace within different forms of VET and varying vocational fields. Specifically, the study examines workplace curriculum or pedagogic practices that relate to how learning through practice occurs and is supported. The student sample (N = 23) was collected in 2017 and included both apprentices (n = 11) and students in school-based VET (n = 12) in the social and health care and construction sectors. The thematic analysis was used to investigate the data from semi-structured interviews. In line with earlier research, the results suggest that workplaces vary considerably as learning environments. Participation in everyday work tasks is considered essential, whereas intentional learning strategies and planning receive less focus. The study identifies themes and key issues that are related to the structuring of practices and learning experiences in different VET fields and workplaces.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland