• Mette Flensburg Olesen
4. term, Master of Learning Processes (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
In recent years there has been a focus on lifelong learning across Europe. In Denmark, the Ministry of Education has developed a strategy for lifelong learning. As a result we see a wide variety of AMU courses now available in Denmark today. The AMU courses provide; adult education and skills upgrading, continuing training and on-the-job competence development.
Specifically, there has been an increase in the number of educational courses for social and healthcare assistants. This training is provided by Social and Health College and consists of 11 individual AMU courses with a duration of 7-10 weeks. The training is provided as standalone courses and left to the adult students to connect knowledge and actions from one AMU course to the next. This is a didactic approach, which can cause barriers for students.
The purpose of this Master project is to investigate whether the problem-based learning, as a pedagogical approach, could help establish a link between the different AMU courses available for training and be translatable into practical action competence development. For the purpose of this Master project, practical action competencies are considered to be ones in which they are investigating their own practice
The theoretical foundation of the Master project is based upon Roar Pettersen’s study on problem-based learning, and supplemented by studies from Ole Dibbern Andersen and Verner Larsen, who both have studied the problem-based learning in business schools and commercial colleges in Denmark.
The learning theoretical perspective in the project is based on John Dewey's pragmatic learning theory. In his theory, John Dewey challenges the fact that there is a prior knowledge, which is determined in advance. Knowledge is in the pragmatic understanding of a common concern; where through our experiences and actions, assess whether the knowledge obtained has a use in a practical context.
The methodological basis of the project is action research. This is described with a background in Greenwood and Lewin's descriptions. The Master project has undertaken a smaller action, where there have been taught on the basis of case-oriented problem-based learning.
The main findings of the project indicate that experience has a huge importance in an adult students ability to learn. It is also important for adult students that they have a say in relation to the content of the education. Additionally, ambivalence was found to occur among the adult students and the trainer. Ambivalence among adult students is seen in relation to their previous experience with how they themselves consider that they learn best. This is compared to how adult students from a theoretical perspective learn best and the results obtained in the project. The teacher's ambivalence occurs as an unspoken expectation of how they consider that the adult students should be taught in conjunction with how the teacher experiences that the adult students learn best.
These dilemmas are compared to a discussion about how the adult students and teachers are caught in a split between education and practical, theory and practice. This discussion also considers the idea that the theoretical knowledge prevails over the practical knowledge. In this, there is a view that learning occurs when the teacher manages and determines. This distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge seeks the problem-based learning to cope with, as its fundamental idea is that there should be equality between learning situation and practice situation.
The project concludes that the problem-based learning, can contribute to the connection between the different areas of knowledge, and this could be translated into practical action competence. The project also concludes that the teachers should take an active approach to their understanding of learning, as it can be a barrier when working with problem-based learning
SpecialisationDidactics and Professionalisation
Publication date18 Dec 2014
Number of pages48
ID: 207053091