This book collects the main results of a three-year National research project (2013-2017) funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) whose main goal was to design new strategies in higher education to support students and young adults during an employment emergency, as a response to the socio-economic crisis. This book is focused on the modernisation of higher education to support students’ employability. The purpose is to foster new strategies, methods, practices and theoretical constructs that can enhance the capability of the University to support faculty development and students’ learning processes required by the labour market. The results of our research include examples, new theoretical and practical models that can inform universities, faculty, career services, administrative staff, and stakeholders in their job of designing learning activities including programs, guidance processes, placement, and tutoring actions. Each chapter provides research results and discusses them in the light of the current literature. The authors come from similar higher education contexts, but they each take a different approach to the research involving students, teachers, administrators and stakeholders. They all share the same willingness to transform teaching and learning practices, work-related processes, and guidance. The book tackles topics that cover students’ academic experiences from the beginning to the end, and beyond: Career Calling, Educational Guidance, Participatory and Work-Related Teaching and Learning Methods, Internship and Experiential Learning, Employability, etc. The rst chapter An Integrative Model of Career Calling and Meta-analyses of its Nomological Network provides an analysis of the dimensions of Career Calling and meta-analyses of its relations with both antecedents and outcomes, among which are motivation, satisfaction, engagement and well-being in life and at work. The chapter provides an integrative model of career calling that proposes a grouping structure over its many dimensions. In addition, the chapter quantitatively analyses calling’s nomological network by providing * Vanna Boffo, Monica Fedeli, Francesco Lo Presti, Claudio Melacarne and Michelangelo Vianello. xi Teaching and Learning for Employability meta-analytic estimates of its relations with predictors and outcomes. Career calling has frequently been de ned as a subjective orientation toward a speci c life role, in a work or non-work domain. De nitions of calling differ with regard to the very nature of the construct. Two of the most famous de nitions of calling de ne it as “a consuming, meaningful passion people experience toward a domain” (Dobrow & Tosti-Kharas, 2011, p. 1005) and “a transcendent summons, experienced as originating beyond the self, to approach a particular life role in a manner oriented toward demonstrating or deriving a sense of purpose or meaningfulness, and that holds other-oriented values and goals as primary sources of motivation” (Dik & Duffy, 2009, p. 427). Yet, a different operational de nition of calling can be found for almost each study on career calling in the literature. The authors of this chapter argue that the lack of consensus among scientists regarding the very nature of a calling are slowing down the construction of a coherent corpus of empirical results from which to derive a solid theory on this rapidly emerging construct. Hence, they conducted an extensive theoretical analysis to understand what constitutes a calling and how it should be measured, providing a summary of the research outputs currently available with regard to the relationships between the dimensions of calling and important outcomes in the area of career development and well- being. They integrate previous empirical accounts of calling in one single view that emphasises commonalities across different contributions. The chapter closes discussing how future research can take advantage of this extensive analysis of what we know and what we should know about career calling. The second chapter The Pedagogical Approach of Guidance in Higher Education. An Educational Research Experience in Italian Universities focuses on the particular segment of guidance, as one of the focal points that substantiate the effectiveness of a higher education system. In particular, it describes and assumes, a particular point of view about guidance, as a strategic action that needs an inherently educational quality (Bruner, 1990, 1996; Dewey, 1946; Gardner, 1983; Morin, 2013, 2015). In recent decades the direction that best seems to characterise the transformation, both theoretical and in its repercussions on designing guidance interventions, focuses attention on the individual and his active and aware participation in a personal and professional project: a common theoretical thread blends most common approaches into a progressive reinterpretation of the role of the individual faced with the choice: rst actor, then agent, nally author (Guichard, 2005; McAdams & Olson, 2010; Savickas, 2005). In fact, the latter conception asserts an educational interpretation of guidance process, because it directs guidance actions starting from the individual and his interpretative paths, building knowledge and meaning. The research is fed from this conception and aims, therefore, to de ne and xii integrate, putting basic theoretical constructs in a pedagogical perspective and taking, as its speci c object, guidance in the Italian University System. The goal is both to describe the approaches and practices actually in use, verifying their possible educational quality, and to highlight signi cant theoretical-methodological elements to merge them into phenomenological- constructivist educational planning (Husserl, 1913, 1950; Von Foerster, 1982; Von Glasersfeld, 1981), aimed at the development of guidance best practices. Speci cally, the research is divided in two phases. The rst reports on an initial qualitative exploratory study aimed at examining in depth, through interviews with privileged witnesses of the Italian university context (delegates and practitioners), the inspirational horizons of university guidance, seeking the meaning, logics and educational dimension underlying the practices; the second describes the design and implementation of critical-re ective guidance paths, constructed by the focus group and speci cally directed at the students, in order to identify their guidance needs and the individual and deeper aspects at the base of their choices and life-designing, as well as the possible guidance strategies to apply. The re ections generated by both studies are intended to provide information and data to identify theoretical-methodological elements to be used for building and implementing an application model for the training of guidance professionals through a pedagogical approach. The third chapter Fostering Participatory and Learner-Centered Teaching in Higher Education focuses on how and to what degree, in accordance with the students’ perspectives, Italian university faculty engage students in participatory and learner-centered teaching and learning methods and the related implications for work-related learning. The chapter is based, rst, on European documents on the modernisation and innovation processes of the higher education system (Commission of the European Communities, 2006, 2008, 2009; European Commission, 2011, 2013, 2016), and, second, by several bodies of literature including learner-centered teaching (Cranton, 2016; Weimer, 2013), personalised learning (Hartley, 2003, 2007; Shaikh & Khoja, 2012; Waldeck, 2007), student voice (Cook-Sather, 2002; Czerniawski & Kidd, 2011; Fielding, 2004, 2012; Flutter & Rudduck, 2004) and work-related learning (Cooper, Orrell, & Bowden, 2010; Dirkx, 2011; Gardner & Barktus, 2014) forming the rationale for exploring how and in what ways faculty engage students in the higher education classroom. Based on a literature review of recent university teaching and learning method trends, the researchers created a questionnaire to obtain insight about teaching in Italian higher education across a variety of students, disciplines, settings, and universities. A larger aim of this study is also to identify and present essential ways to improve and modernise university didactics through engaging student voices, to overcome the dichotomy xiii Introduction Teaching and Learning for Employability between the university and work settings, to develop and reinforce the skills of university students to more effectively enter the labour market, and to create solid research results as basis for promoting faculty development in Italy. The fourth chapter Supporting Situated Learning in Higher Education Internships focuses on the different planning and managing models of internship activities. The speci c objective is to identify the best Italian and international practices in order to help and support university decision makers in planning effective and operational Job Placement Practices. Starting from a re ection on the Informal Learning perspective, the chapter uses the results of three surveys (2000 questionnaires have been collected and analysed) to answer the questions: Why is internship a core element for students and organisational learning? What do students think about learning by doing in their internship experience? How can we support student learning through internship programs? Furthermore, internship activities are considered good practices to support students entering their working life (Susan, Matthew, Rosanne, Taylor, & Ellis, 2012). Each University tries to plan internship programs with both expectations: supporting student learning process and increasing their employability. The objectives of this chapter are to discuss some different approaches to planning internship programs and to show how these approaches can be developed on the basis of data collection. The main question of the survey presented in the last chapter Employability Processes and Transition Strategies in Higher Education: an Evidence-Based Research Study is based on the problem of understanding the transition process for young graduates from their degree course to seeking and entering employment. How do graduates look for work, how do they prepare for the transition phase, and, above all, how do they build their employability during their years of university studies? Providing the backdrop are some lines of theory that pedagogical literature has touched on marginally, or not at all, such as the topic of competencies, re-interpreted through the concept of capability and the topic of employability, reviewed according to a de nition of the concept which still has a remarkably rich variety of nuances (Harvey, 2001, 2003; Yorke & Knight, 2003, 2006). The epistemological context of the research is of an ecological-naturalist type in which the ontological-relational dimension supports the survey. The interpretative approach is dictated by the need to analyse education and training and must be backed by a critical-phenomenological attitude of the researcher. The survey adopts a qualitative method and, since it aims to grasp xiv the phenomenon according to a map that is under constant adjustment, uses the grounded theory approach. The research adopts a case study strategy, hence providing precise indications on the procedures to follow in order to conduct the investigation process. The data collected from the graduates selected can be used in countless ways, i.e., to understand self-perception as a future re ective professional and the competencies to build this perception. But what the research is interested in above all is the possibility of understanding the ways, desires and capacities of young people to become serious professionals, who are also quali ed as responsible future citizens. So, rather than providing answers, the book asks questions of the research in the eld of higher education, touching on several of the most important key topics of the educational paths of rst students and then citizens. Our intention was to conduct research that would stimulate the scienti c and academic community and rst think and then act on preparation for work and professional life by developing strategies, methods and tools for reforming the institution of the University. We thank all the collaborators who made up the ve research groups and all the students of our courses and universities who allowed us, with a rare sense of collaboration, to develop and carry out this work in recent years.

Melacarne, C., Barbieri, B., Bonometti, S., & Szpunar, G. (2017). Supporting situated learning in higher education internships. In M.F. V. Boffo (a cura di), Teaching and Learning for Employability: New Strategies in Higher Education (pp. 123-136). Torino-Milano : Pearson.

Supporting situated learning in higher education internships

Melacarne Claudio.
;
Barbieri Barbara.;Bonometti Stefano.;Szpunar Giordana
2017

Abstract

This book collects the main results of a three-year National research project (2013-2017) funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) whose main goal was to design new strategies in higher education to support students and young adults during an employment emergency, as a response to the socio-economic crisis. This book is focused on the modernisation of higher education to support students’ employability. The purpose is to foster new strategies, methods, practices and theoretical constructs that can enhance the capability of the University to support faculty development and students’ learning processes required by the labour market. The results of our research include examples, new theoretical and practical models that can inform universities, faculty, career services, administrative staff, and stakeholders in their job of designing learning activities including programs, guidance processes, placement, and tutoring actions. Each chapter provides research results and discusses them in the light of the current literature. The authors come from similar higher education contexts, but they each take a different approach to the research involving students, teachers, administrators and stakeholders. They all share the same willingness to transform teaching and learning practices, work-related processes, and guidance. The book tackles topics that cover students’ academic experiences from the beginning to the end, and beyond: Career Calling, Educational Guidance, Participatory and Work-Related Teaching and Learning Methods, Internship and Experiential Learning, Employability, etc. The rst chapter An Integrative Model of Career Calling and Meta-analyses of its Nomological Network provides an analysis of the dimensions of Career Calling and meta-analyses of its relations with both antecedents and outcomes, among which are motivation, satisfaction, engagement and well-being in life and at work. The chapter provides an integrative model of career calling that proposes a grouping structure over its many dimensions. In addition, the chapter quantitatively analyses calling’s nomological network by providing * Vanna Boffo, Monica Fedeli, Francesco Lo Presti, Claudio Melacarne and Michelangelo Vianello. xi Teaching and Learning for Employability meta-analytic estimates of its relations with predictors and outcomes. Career calling has frequently been de ned as a subjective orientation toward a speci c life role, in a work or non-work domain. De nitions of calling differ with regard to the very nature of the construct. Two of the most famous de nitions of calling de ne it as “a consuming, meaningful passion people experience toward a domain” (Dobrow & Tosti-Kharas, 2011, p. 1005) and “a transcendent summons, experienced as originating beyond the self, to approach a particular life role in a manner oriented toward demonstrating or deriving a sense of purpose or meaningfulness, and that holds other-oriented values and goals as primary sources of motivation” (Dik & Duffy, 2009, p. 427). Yet, a different operational de nition of calling can be found for almost each study on career calling in the literature. The authors of this chapter argue that the lack of consensus among scientists regarding the very nature of a calling are slowing down the construction of a coherent corpus of empirical results from which to derive a solid theory on this rapidly emerging construct. Hence, they conducted an extensive theoretical analysis to understand what constitutes a calling and how it should be measured, providing a summary of the research outputs currently available with regard to the relationships between the dimensions of calling and important outcomes in the area of career development and well- being. They integrate previous empirical accounts of calling in one single view that emphasises commonalities across different contributions. The chapter closes discussing how future research can take advantage of this extensive analysis of what we know and what we should know about career calling. The second chapter The Pedagogical Approach of Guidance in Higher Education. An Educational Research Experience in Italian Universities focuses on the particular segment of guidance, as one of the focal points that substantiate the effectiveness of a higher education system. In particular, it describes and assumes, a particular point of view about guidance, as a strategic action that needs an inherently educational quality (Bruner, 1990, 1996; Dewey, 1946; Gardner, 1983; Morin, 2013, 2015). In recent decades the direction that best seems to characterise the transformation, both theoretical and in its repercussions on designing guidance interventions, focuses attention on the individual and his active and aware participation in a personal and professional project: a common theoretical thread blends most common approaches into a progressive reinterpretation of the role of the individual faced with the choice: rst actor, then agent, nally author (Guichard, 2005; McAdams & Olson, 2010; Savickas, 2005). In fact, the latter conception asserts an educational interpretation of guidance process, because it directs guidance actions starting from the individual and his interpretative paths, building knowledge and meaning. The research is fed from this conception and aims, therefore, to de ne and xii integrate, putting basic theoretical constructs in a pedagogical perspective and taking, as its speci c object, guidance in the Italian University System. The goal is both to describe the approaches and practices actually in use, verifying their possible educational quality, and to highlight signi cant theoretical-methodological elements to merge them into phenomenological- constructivist educational planning (Husserl, 1913, 1950; Von Foerster, 1982; Von Glasersfeld, 1981), aimed at the development of guidance best practices. Speci cally, the research is divided in two phases. The rst reports on an initial qualitative exploratory study aimed at examining in depth, through interviews with privileged witnesses of the Italian university context (delegates and practitioners), the inspirational horizons of university guidance, seeking the meaning, logics and educational dimension underlying the practices; the second describes the design and implementation of critical-re ective guidance paths, constructed by the focus group and speci cally directed at the students, in order to identify their guidance needs and the individual and deeper aspects at the base of their choices and life-designing, as well as the possible guidance strategies to apply. The re ections generated by both studies are intended to provide information and data to identify theoretical-methodological elements to be used for building and implementing an application model for the training of guidance professionals through a pedagogical approach. The third chapter Fostering Participatory and Learner-Centered Teaching in Higher Education focuses on how and to what degree, in accordance with the students’ perspectives, Italian university faculty engage students in participatory and learner-centered teaching and learning methods and the related implications for work-related learning. The chapter is based, rst, on European documents on the modernisation and innovation processes of the higher education system (Commission of the European Communities, 2006, 2008, 2009; European Commission, 2011, 2013, 2016), and, second, by several bodies of literature including learner-centered teaching (Cranton, 2016; Weimer, 2013), personalised learning (Hartley, 2003, 2007; Shaikh & Khoja, 2012; Waldeck, 2007), student voice (Cook-Sather, 2002; Czerniawski & Kidd, 2011; Fielding, 2004, 2012; Flutter & Rudduck, 2004) and work-related learning (Cooper, Orrell, & Bowden, 2010; Dirkx, 2011; Gardner & Barktus, 2014) forming the rationale for exploring how and in what ways faculty engage students in the higher education classroom. Based on a literature review of recent university teaching and learning method trends, the researchers created a questionnaire to obtain insight about teaching in Italian higher education across a variety of students, disciplines, settings, and universities. A larger aim of this study is also to identify and present essential ways to improve and modernise university didactics through engaging student voices, to overcome the dichotomy xiii Introduction Teaching and Learning for Employability between the university and work settings, to develop and reinforce the skills of university students to more effectively enter the labour market, and to create solid research results as basis for promoting faculty development in Italy. The fourth chapter Supporting Situated Learning in Higher Education Internships focuses on the different planning and managing models of internship activities. The speci c objective is to identify the best Italian and international practices in order to help and support university decision makers in planning effective and operational Job Placement Practices. Starting from a re ection on the Informal Learning perspective, the chapter uses the results of three surveys (2000 questionnaires have been collected and analysed) to answer the questions: Why is internship a core element for students and organisational learning? What do students think about learning by doing in their internship experience? How can we support student learning through internship programs? Furthermore, internship activities are considered good practices to support students entering their working life (Susan, Matthew, Rosanne, Taylor, & Ellis, 2012). Each University tries to plan internship programs with both expectations: supporting student learning process and increasing their employability. The objectives of this chapter are to discuss some different approaches to planning internship programs and to show how these approaches can be developed on the basis of data collection. The main question of the survey presented in the last chapter Employability Processes and Transition Strategies in Higher Education: an Evidence-Based Research Study is based on the problem of understanding the transition process for young graduates from their degree course to seeking and entering employment. How do graduates look for work, how do they prepare for the transition phase, and, above all, how do they build their employability during their years of university studies? Providing the backdrop are some lines of theory that pedagogical literature has touched on marginally, or not at all, such as the topic of competencies, re-interpreted through the concept of capability and the topic of employability, reviewed according to a de nition of the concept which still has a remarkably rich variety of nuances (Harvey, 2001, 2003; Yorke & Knight, 2003, 2006). The epistemological context of the research is of an ecological-naturalist type in which the ontological-relational dimension supports the survey. The interpretative approach is dictated by the need to analyse education and training and must be backed by a critical-phenomenological attitude of the researcher. The survey adopts a qualitative method and, since it aims to grasp xiv the phenomenon according to a map that is under constant adjustment, uses the grounded theory approach. The research adopts a case study strategy, hence providing precise indications on the procedures to follow in order to conduct the investigation process. The data collected from the graduates selected can be used in countless ways, i.e., to understand self-perception as a future re ective professional and the competencies to build this perception. But what the research is interested in above all is the possibility of understanding the ways, desires and capacities of young people to become serious professionals, who are also quali ed as responsible future citizens. So, rather than providing answers, the book asks questions of the research in the eld of higher education, touching on several of the most important key topics of the educational paths of rst students and then citizens. Our intention was to conduct research that would stimulate the scienti c and academic community and rst think and then act on preparation for work and professional life by developing strategies, methods and tools for reforming the institution of the University. We thank all the collaborators who made up the ve research groups and all the students of our courses and universities who allowed us, with a rare sense of collaboration, to develop and carry out this work in recent years.
9788891903372
Melacarne, C., Barbieri, B., Bonometti, S., & Szpunar, G. (2017). Supporting situated learning in higher education internships. In M.F. V. Boffo (a cura di), Teaching and Learning for Employability: New Strategies in Higher Education (pp. 123-136). Torino-Milano : Pearson.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/1004513