About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2462-2475
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

INDEPENDENT LEARNING AND APPRENTICE EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE

M. Sneyd

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
Background

Much has been said and written in recent times about the importance of the acquisition of key transferable skills by the workforce in order to be able to adapt to the rapid rate of change in the workplace as well as in society as a whole. These key transferable skills include personal self reliance skills, problem solving skills, working as part of a group, decision making skills,
creative and critical thinking, communication skills and IT skills.

Rationale

According to Candy, (1991) having had experience of independent learning the learner should have greater ability to respond to change because the skills acquired through this type of learning are transferable.

This paper will highlight and discuss some of the findings from research carried out recently among a large sample group of apprentices in three different institutions to ascertain the levels of specific independent learning activity taking place. It will also explore the hypothesis that:
there is a discernable difference in examination performance between apprentices who learn independently outside the classroom/workshop and those who do not do so.

Using the research findings the paper will further identity specific forms of independent learning which are most likely to affect examination performance.

The learning environment and curriculum design can influence the kind of approach students will adopt to their learning (Bradford, 2003:3) The paper will go on to suggest that much of the curriculum within the existing standards based apprenticeship system lies within an instructional paradigm because it is often characterised by high levels of contact time, excessive amounts of course material, little opportunity to study subjects in depth, lack of choice in how and what is studied and combined these will promote a surface approach. Those learners adopting a surface approach passively reproduce course material at a superficial level without evidence of understanding.

Independent Learning and the Learning Paradigm

Independent learning is aligned with a learning paradigm because it involves the teacher and learner in an interactive process that encourages students intellectual development and their capacity for independent and reflective judgement. If it is to be fostered then the school environment will need to
be sensitive, flexible, democratic and responsive to the needs of students.

Apprentices as Learners

Apprentices are a versatile group of learners. They are not as homogenous as other groups. For example they can come to a trade with a wide variety of academic ability and qualifications. They can also have up to four years work experience and this experience can have a major impact on how new knowledge is constructed. The working experience of apprentices can be a bountiful well to draw from in an interactive learning environment and if the experience is valued then it can have a positive effect on the self-concept of the apprentice/learner as well as having a strong motivational impact.

The paper will discuss these issues and finally it will suggest some areas of reflection for us the lecturers to assess how our teaching practice lies within the framework of a learning paradigm.
@InProceedings{SNEYD2009IND,
author = {Sneyd, M.},
title = {INDEPENDENT LEARNING AND APPRENTICE EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2462-2475}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sneyd
TI - INDEPENDENT LEARNING AND APPRENTICE EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2462
EP - 2475
ER -
M. Sneyd (2009) INDEPENDENT LEARNING AND APPRENTICE EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2462-2475.
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