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ERIC Number: EJ1071806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1874-785X
How Often and for What Purposes Apprentices Seek Help in Workplaces: A Mobile Technology-Assisted Study
Gurtner, Jean-Luc; Cattaneo, Alberto; Motta, Elisa; Mauroux, Laetitia
Vocations and Learning, v4 n2 p113-131 Jul 2011
In the "dual" system of vocational training, working in company represents the major part of training. At the workplace, apprentices are expected to acquire the typical skills of their profession but, at the same time, to contribute to the production of the company. For this reason apprentices are expected to carry out activities on their own from early on in their training and to ask for help only when they need it. Learning to ask questions and to seek help appropriately is, therefore, an important competence for learners to acquire during vocational training, just as it is important for the company to offer the learner every opportunity to ask for help when needed. In this study, we used mobile phones to follow at a distance 19 apprentices in car mechanics at the workplace. We then analyzed a corpus of approximately 77 hours of work, in search of all questions and requests they addressed during this time. Data show that requests for information are twice as frequent as requests for assistance (i.e. intervention or physical help) and that all together, requests are introduced more often by more advanced apprentices than by those in the early stages of their training. These findings are linked with the facts that: a) bringing apprentices to be autonomous early in their work is a deciding factor of the philosophy of work in many of the enterprises training apprentices, b) more advanced apprentices are given more complex tasks to work on, c) more advanced apprentices work more is often undertaken in collaboration with an expert car mechanics and d) questions and requests for help are more likely to be addressed when working collaboratively than when working alone. These findings are interpreted as evidences of a natural regulation which takes place at the workplace between the learner's engagement and the workplace affordances.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A