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LL Theory Camp preparation takes off – Part Two: The Bremen approach to Theory Camps

March 23rd, 2014 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my previous post I informed of the initiative to work with an LL Theory Camp in the forthcoming Aachen Integration Meeting. I also informed of the start of the local follow-up in Bremen. With this post I inform of the further discussion in ITB team to the work with a wider set of themes and to continue with Theory Camps after Aachen.

Theory Camp(s) in LL project: What needs – What issues?

In the follow-up discussions of the LL teams of ITB and Pont  we welcomed the approach to work with ‘theory camp’ but we had several questions, how this could best be done:

a) Is the general level of discussing ‘learning theories’ enough or should we have a more differentiated look at the theoretical foundations of of our project activities?

b) Is it enough to have one joint ‘theory camp’ in the meeting in Aachen or should we have a set of ‘theory camp’ activities that can nurture each other?

c) How do we deal with the issue ‘integration’ in the theory camp activities – are we assuming that inventarisation of some ‘theories’ would give us an integrated body or do we need more work to examine the interrelations between theories, tool development and cooperation with users in the two sectors?

Contributing to the Integrative Theoretical Discussion

In the light of these discussions we started to work with the  theme “Theory camp preparation” to support the forthcoming activities. We acknowledge the central role of the Aachen event we consider it appropriate to have similar (local) events before and after Aachen. From this perspective we created the above folder “Theory Camp preparation” to provide a wider forum for the preparation(see https://drive.google.com/#folders/0B02cXf0hbQH0ZFg1eVlUM28zZ0U). In this sense we have accommodated the Innsbruck documents and direct follow-up contributions under the sub-folder “Contributions to theoretical integration debate” (see https://drive.google.com/#folders/0B3M81ETIl7QETzdZTHpMT250VG8).

Reviewing the heritage of “Work Process Knowledge network”

Concerning the scope of theories, concepts and methodologies, we concluded that the work in the Innsbruck group and in the follow-up was somewhat disconnected from the fieldwork and form the co-design processes. Our point was that the the LL project needs to inform itself of the work of “Work process Knowledge network” (FP4, TSER) and the follow-up project “Organisational Learning” (FP5, Improving Human Potential). This, to us was not only a matter of academic perfection but a matter of learning from their fieldwork and on their interaction with stakeholders. From this perspective we have created the sub-folder “Reviewing Work Process Knowledge & Organisational Learning” (see

https://drive.google.com/#folders/0B02cXf0hbQH0UDl1bmlJdjdhc2c).

Providing theoretical insights into Workplace Learning

Concerning the theme ‘Workplace learning’ we have been concerned that it has so far had a somewhat marginal role vis-à-vis themes like ‘informal learning’, ‘scaffolding’ etc. For the ITB team it has been important to bring into picture several aspects of workplace learning in the context of the German vocational education and training (VET) culture – including the integrative concept ‘Beruf’, cooperation between learning venues and the role of working and learning tasks.  For these themes we created the gDrive folder “Workplace Learning: Contexts, Processes, Tasks, Outcomes” (https://drive.google.com/?authuser=0#folders/0B3HPtAul4vyHSzB0RzJIUnJwVTA ).

Reviewing different approaches to ‘action research’, ‘accompanying research’ and ‘interactive research’

Another major need for similar work was to clarify our concept of participative design processes, e.g. by reflecting different positions in the field of participative research. In ITB and in the VETNET network of EERA-ECER there is a longer tradition of discussing the relations between the general genre of ‘action research’ and the more specific forms as ‘accompanying research’ or ‘interactive research’ that support innovation programmes in education/training and working life and/or specific pilot projects. The reviewers’ recommendation to widen the scope was taken into account and the thread ‘transdisciplinary action research was spotted. For this work we created the gDrive folder “Reviewing Action research – Accompanying research – Interactive research” (see

https://drive.google.com/#folders/0B02cXf0hbQH0NzB2QV9EY3MxWFk ).

In the following posts I will give insights into the two themes that we have prepared for Aachen – Work Process Knowledge, Workplace Learning. Then, I will add some remarks, how we can bring these themes into common discussion in Aachen.

More posts to come …

 

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