University of Tasmania
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Affective outcomes for students and hosts participating in school-sponsored workplace learning

posted on 2023-05-26, 09:14 authored by Welch, A
In response to growing systemic awareness of the need to prepare school students for workplace participation, school-sponsored workplace learning was established as part of the secondary school curriculum in most Western democracies by the 1980s. By the 1990s contracting youth labour markets and qualitative changes in acceptable workforce credentials accompanying economic globalisation, technological change and industry restructuring had highlighted the role of school-sponsored workplace learning in school-based vocational education and training programs. Concurrently, complementary interest has emerged about school-sponsored workplace learnings' influence on school students' affective development, particularly about its potential to motivate students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to maintain and extend their education and/or training beyond the compulsory school leaving age.\ Despite anecdotal evidence supporting claims for positive affective outcomes for students participating in school-sponsored workplace learning, relatively little empirical research has been undertaken to provide substantive evidence supporting those claims. One facet of this study seeks to address this shortfall. Using a pretest-posttest survey form of the non-equivalent control group design, the study's matched pairs analysis describes positive treatment effects for both genders in motivation for school learning at the first three levels of the Affective Domain Taxonomy (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964). Moreover, these positive treatment effects were of sufficient statistical significance and power to accept the hypothesis that socio-economically disadvantaged female high school students will report improved motivation for school learning at Level 3 (Valuing) of the Taxonomy following participation in workplace learning. In so doing, this aspect of the study contributes to closing the descriptive - correlational - experimental research loop for this field of enquiry (Rosenshine & Furst, 1973).\ \ Correspondingly, little is known of the affectivity attending workplace mentoring roles for school-sponsored workplace learning. In the second facet of this study affectivity attending host workplace mentoring roles is described by adapted forms of organizational spontaneity (George & Brief, 1992) that are structured on multiple levels of analysis (Cote,1999) based on workplace context layers (O'Connor, 1994b). Data collection of evidence for workplace mentors' affectivity adopted a positivist approach and, through combined quantitative and qualitative analyses, showed that positive affect in the workplace was attended by mentoring activities such as helping co-workers, developing oneself, and spreading goodwill. This positive affect was found to attend workplace mentoring activity at the individual, work teams or groups, work section or department, and enterprise workplace context layers. These findings add to the embryonic literature concerning host workplace mentors' affective responses to hosting school students for workplace learning. The study has implications for future research and consideration by systemic policy makers, school-level personnel, and host workplace enterprises.


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