Work Based Learning
A core component of the learning experience in any Linked Learning pathway is work-based learning. Work-based learning allows students to apply their classroom learning in professional settings and gain real-world experience in the process. Students learn what it takes to thrive in the professional world through partnerships with local employers that offer internships, mentoring, job shadows and similar opportunities. This adds depth and meaning to students’ education, as classroom learning becomes more meaningful and relevant to students when paired with opportunities to experience the subject matter firsthand. Students become more engaged and excited about their education and future prospects because they are able to answer the question: “Why do I need to learn this?” (Source: Linked Learning Alliance)
The Work-Based Learning Continuum provides a way of visualizing and organizing the continuum of high quality experiences that help students to identify and explore their career interests and prepare for those career options through practical experience. The continuum outlines some of the many activities, both in and outside the classroom, which enable students to connect academic and technical content to its ‘real world’ application, and to build 21st century career readiness skills and competencies.
This Knowledge Brief by the Stanford Center for Opportunity in Education (SCOPE) provides more information about work-based learning: Preparing 21st Century Citizens: The Role of Work-Based Learning in Linked Learning (SCOPE, August 2013)