An Exploratory Study on Knowledge Acquisition in Work-based Learning

Authors : B.M.S.S. Balasooriya

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 5 - May

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This study is an inquiry into the nature of the knowledge and skills acquired by trainees during teaching practicum, which provides the trainees with exposure to the prospective working situations to gain professional knowledge. This knowledge is reproached at times when the scenario of learning through work is held questionable. Therefore, the study aims to explore the nature of the knowledge acquired by the teacher trainees relating to the identification of types of knowledge, means of knowledge acquisition, and ways the knowledge is used by the trainees. As the study is explorative, a qualitative case study methodology was adopted. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews from a purposive sample of 25 teacher trainees who are undergoing the teaching practicum of the Higher National Diploma in English program. In the analysis of the findings using the thematic analysis technique, two major global themes were devised i.e. potential for knowledge acquisition and potential for effective knowledge use, that are illustrated using thematic networks. The first global theme comprised two sub-global themes, ‘acquisition of a variety of knowledge’ and ‘variety of means for knowledge acquisition, each containing three sets of organizing themes identified from the basic themes emerging from data. They are service requirement, exposure, feedback, work culture, professional knowledge, trainee attitude that are respectively based on the means, and types of knowledge acquisition. The second global theme was deduced from eight organizing themes representing the ways the knowledge is used. They are the teachinglearning process, students’ evaluation, extra-curricular works, dealing with pupils and co-teachers, handling special need pupils, classroom management, office works, and survival in the field. A comparison of the two global themes on the potential for knowledge acquisition and potential for effective knowledge use concludes the study with an implication to the complementary nature of the relationship between the acquisition and the use of knowledge and skills during the practicum.

Keywords : Acquisition, Knowledge, Practicum, TeacherTrainees, Work-based Learning.


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