Academic Vocational Training: Bridging the gap Between Educational Space and Work Space


  • Soren Willert
  • Hanne Dauer Keller
  • Nikolaj Stegeager


innovative teaching, educational partnerships, workplace development, transfer of training, practicum, reflective practitioner, Action Research, organizational coaching


Danish society puts a high value on education which is traditionally seen as a crucial vehicle for development in all spheres of social and economic life. Large sums are spent on work‑related adult learning, an important example being academically based masters programs. Yet, the actual effects of such educational investment in terms of improved workplace efficiency remain obscure both with respect to the organization and the individual. The three authors of this article are all involved in planning, managing and teaching at masters programs at Aalborg University, Denmark. Programs are carefully designed with a view to strengthening the link between the educational space (the curriculum and academic priorities) and the students’ habitual working environment (the organizations from which they come). Starting from a theoretical viewpoint based on traditional learning theory, supplemented by research in the field of transfer of training, as well as on Donald A. Schön’s classic work on practicum as a crucial component in the training of practitioners, our article presents, and illustrates with examples, a framework for designing educational programs which can help make academic teaching relevant to production‑oriented life in organizations. The article may be read as a statement from which criteria for evaluating the said masters programs can be generated.



1 Apr 2011