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7 Conclusions

The work of TLRP has begun to uncover ways to promote learning development and progression in the 14 -19 phase of education and training. However, big challenges remain, such as to how to support the learning of all learners in this phase in ways that do not undermine the different values of various kinds of education, both vocational and more academic.

Existing TLRP projects have illustrated the strengths of different routes through further education and into higher education and the workplace. New TLRP projects will take on further issues of progression and transition, and will highlight ways to increase the participation of 17-19 year olds in further and higher education and training. From a research perspective, it is also interesting that the four home countries are taking different approaches to supporting the learning and development of 14 – 19 year olds as this offers the prospect of comparative learning.

Reconciling the dilemmas posed by vocational education and training in contemporary contexts will require substantial discussion, evaluation of evidence and considered judgement over the next few years. We hope that this Commentary will contribute to such debate. Continuing findings from TLRP projects will progressively strengthen the evidence base that should underpin reform and development in this phase of education and training. For further information, please see www.tlrp.org.

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to all the staff, students, researchers and others who have contributed to the research on which we have drawn in this Commentary.

We would also like to acknowledge the editorial support of Martin Ince, TLRP Media Fellow, in the production of this publication.

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