Learn by doing: Why work-integrated learning works

Anne Sado, Tom Jenkins, Elizabeth Cannon, iPolitics, Jul 11, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Certainly I am in support of the idea that work and learning ought to be more closely linked. So I am in general supportive of the idea that "post-secondary students should have access to some form of work-integrated learning." But I believe the push should come in the opposite direction from that proposed by these authors from the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, particularly with respect to the role of business. They should be trying to find more ways provide access to education to people who are already employed or who are seeking employment, rather than access to work for people who are enrolled in higher education. Why? because this is where the most need is, and this is where business especially has been sorely lacking in willingness to invest. As for the higher education students, I would emphasize workplace less and practical experience more - student-initiated social development projects, for example, are equally viable. And as one commenter notes, this should not become some sort of intern program exploiting students.

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