Internships: Meeting Stakeholder Demand for Vocational Curriculum? Benefits and Costs of PBL-Based Practice Learning

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This chapter provides a critical assessment of the use of internships and
discusses how one model of practice learning works. Practice learning is
often mentioned as superior to pure academically based learning, and students
demand more practice elements teaching. This makes education institutions
adopt and market practice learning models uncritically as integrated parts of
their curriculum. However, there are differences in the learning effects from
different types of internships, and uncritically adopting any internship model
and any volume of learning through practice is likely to be counterproductive.
The type of university students-industry collaboration I describe is positively
evaluated by participants, and seems to spur problem-solving capacity, which
is likely to be productive in the specific collaboration, in the longer term, and
potentially in other contexts. I argue, though, that the benefits of this type of
learning are not harvested without investments and costs. Hence, perceived
benefits should be evaluated against the associated costs including the learning
that the internship substitutes. In addition to questioning the universal benefits
of internship programmes, I identify problems in measuring the outcomes of
such programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulism and Higher Education Curriculum Development : Problem Based Learning as a Mitigation Response
EditorsRomeo Turcan, J.E. Reiley
Number of pages27
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dateJul 2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-47375-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-47376-1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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