Students’ Vocational Learning: Enabling Conditions for Putting Knowledge to Work

  • Maria GustavssonEmail author
  • Daniel Persson Thunqvist
Reference work entry


The purpose of this chapter is to contribute knowledge about school-related and workplace-related conditions that enable students’ vocational learning during workplace-based learning within vocational education. The research underpinning the chapter draws on evidence from a research project on students’ vocational learning in the industrial vocational education program at six different Swedish upper secondary schools. The theoretical concept of recontextualization contributes to uncovering the dynamic conditions that enable students’ vocational learning as they bring knowledge from the school context to the workplace context and back in vocational education programs. The argument is that both school- and workplace-related conditions must support putting knowledge to work in the workplace context. The ways in which different types of knowledge are put to use form the basis for examining how school-related and work-related conditions can support students in their vocational learning. The students’ ways of making sense of workplace-based learning as an extension of their educational program and of putting knowledge to work in the workplace are connected with their identity formation processes. Students use different learning strategies to bridge school-based and workplace-based knowledge that support changes in the workplace. The implications of this study are discussed in terms of potential changes in practices for vocational learning in the context of vocational education.


Vocational education Workplace-based learning Vocational students Recontextualization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, and HELIX Competence CentreLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen Evans
  • Natasha Kersh
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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