About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5051-5057
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0220

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

A PUZZLE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES – WORKING LIFE PROJECTS AS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

A. Eskelinen, K. Kuparinen, E. Soikkeli

Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
The aim of this article is to find best pedagogical practices for working life related studies from learner point of view. We collected and analyzed students’ feedback and experiences of the implementation of project-based studies. The data was collected from students of Degree Programme in Social Services during the academic years 2014−2015 and 2015−2016.

The implementation was based on Learning by Developing (LbD) pedagogy. The LbD action model is created at Laurea University of Applied Sciences and its’ philosophy lies on pragmatism as a learning theory. The purpose of using this action model was to build a learning environment that would promote future working life needs, such as creativity, the ability to adjust oneself to different circumstances, tolerating uncertainty as well as interaction and interpersonal skills.

Degree Programme in Social Services consists of three and a half years of studies. The key themes of the third year are leadership skills, research and innovation. These themes are adaptable in working life projects and students’ input can well produce added value also to the associates.

In addition to the projects the studies consisted of theoretical approach – using literature, written assignments, lectures and workshops. The students also compiled portfolios and attended clinical supervision while in charge of their team.

During the implementation the students had opportunity to choose their projects according to their interests. The ones sharing the same interests built a team that was supported by a lecturer. The project associates were multiple non-governmental organizations and municipal institutions that offered a variation of projects, e.g. organizing events and activities for the homeless and the unemployed, producing material to raise awareness of domestic violence, managing children’s workshops against bullying and racism as well as researching an art project dealing with senior citizens at a care home.

The feedback was collected using uniform questionnaires after academic years 2014−2015 and 2015−2016. The questionnaire was composed by a team of students and the data consisted of answers of 35 students in 2015 and 29 in 2016. The students gave their opinion of 23 arguments and wrote their replies to open questions that concerned pros and cons of the implementation. In addition to the positive and negative factors the themes of the questionnaire were guidance and support, working in teams, professional development and capacity building.

The quantitative data was processed using statistical methods and the open questions were categorized. This paper will review the results focusing on professional competences and identity. It seems that prominent results of the students’ feedback deal with a puzzle: diversity of opportunities, the role of the team as an asset to learning and development of time management. As a whole, however, the pedagogical solution is likely to provide a learning environment that serves the development skills needed in working life.
@InProceedings{ESKELINEN2016APU,
author = {Eskelinen, A. and Kuparinen, K. and Soikkeli, E.},
title = {A PUZZLE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES – WORKING LIFE PROJECTS AS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0220},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0220},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5051-5057}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Eskelinen AU - K. Kuparinen AU - E. Soikkeli
TI - A PUZZLE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES – WORKING LIFE PROJECTS AS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0220
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 5051
EP - 5057
ER -
A. Eskelinen, K. Kuparinen, E. Soikkeli (2016) A PUZZLE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES – WORKING LIFE PROJECTS AS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 5051-5057.
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