Working Papers


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    Principles of Best Practice for the Inclusion of Work Experience in the Curricula of Further Education and Training Programmes
    (LCETB, 2023) Maunsell, Patrick
    This working paper presents a review of the literature on work-integrated learning and proposes key best practice principles in this area for the future. The main focus of the paper is on work experience as it relates to the Post Leaving Certificate Programme (PLC) at Levels 5 and 6 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). It is presented in the context of the ever evolving world of work and the vision for further education and training outlined in the SOLAS FET Strategy 2020-2024. The paper outlines the rationale for work experience and proposes an innovative model where is it embedded in the curriculum rather than as a separate entity in itself. This model emphasises the importance of an integrated learning approach between the practical, the theoretical and the cognitive aspects of a programme. The model also places significance on the nature of the relationship between the college and the employer. The paper recognises some of the key challenges involved in work placements and makes recommendations based on the research undertaken. It concludes by advocating for work experience to be an integral part of the development of the new Level 5 and Level 6 programmes and flags an opportunity which now exists both for the FET sector and employers to move to another level of collaboration and excellence in terms of learning at college and in the workplace.
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    Principles of Best Practice for the Integration of Transversal Skills in the Curricula of Further and Higher Education Programmes
    (LCETB, 2023) Maunsell, Pat
    The erosion of job security, technological change, globalisation and change in the economic climate has led to changing career directions and a new emphasis on employability and transferable skills. There is a consensus that the best defence for uncertainty in terms of how we prepare learners for an unknown future workplace, is to develop their transversal skills. There is broad agreement about the likely transferable skills requirements of the future, namely, collaboration skills, digital skills, self-management skills and meta-cognitive skills. How and when these skills can be identified and developed is the challenge for education institutions. Traditionally, the way of teaching these skills was context-independent, had a generic approach and often taught separately to the vocational or technical matter being delivered. More recently, education institutions are moving away from this paradigm to a more human-centric approach where the context is central and the skills are integrated into the core subjects/modules. It is suggest that the best way to teach transversal skills is to integrate them into the curriculum being designed in the form of clear objectives, learning outcomes, delivered using appropriate teaching methodologies and evaluated using appropriate evaluation tools. Transversal skills are important characteristics for the 21st century that foster a growth mindset and a love of learning for life. Not only do they contribute to an individual’s professional and work life – they can also help people live happier lives.