ERIC Number: ED381666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Contextual Learning: A Critical Aspect of School-to-Work Transition Programs. Education Reform and School-to-Work Transition Series.
Weinbaum, Alexandra; Rogers, Anne M.
The term "contextual learning" refers to the type of learning that has also been called experiential learning, real-world education, active learning, and learner-centered instruction. Unlike traditional school learning, which is based on the principles of individual learning in a manner that is independent of tools and dependent on symbols, contextual learning is characterized by the following features: socially shared, thinking shaped by/engaged with tools, learning engaged with objects and events, and situation-specific learning. The practical benefits of contextual learning has been documented in case studies of contextual learning in school-based vocational education, the workplace, and the community, as well as in studies of contextual learning as "cognitive apprenticeship." Among the main contextual learning-related issues facing teachers are the following: rethinking the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; providing students with hands-on experiences in which they can learn about and participate in the workplace, providing adequate staff development for teachers and employers involved in contextual learning programs, and reorganizing school periods and providing the administrative support required to plan and deliver contextual learning programs. (Ten best practices for contextual learning and 32 references are included.) (MN)
Descriptors: Context Effect, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Needs, Educational Practices, Educational Principles, Experiential Learning, Literature Reviews, Program Development, Relevance (Education), Secondary Education, Theory Practice Relationship, Transitional Programs, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC. National Inst. for Work and Learning.