A lifespan perspective on cooperative education learning: A grounded theory


Linn, P. (2015). A lifespan perspective on cooperative education learning: A grounded theory. Asia Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 16(4), 301-326.


Patricia L. Linn


learning process lifespan development learning outcome qualitative analysis grounded theory APJCE co-operative education


This qualitative study sits at the intersection of two trends in vocational education. The first trend is a narrative approach to understanding cooperative education learning; the second is a movement away from career development theories toward the view that individuals use work experiences to help construct their lives. Both trends view learning as situated in social contexts and suggest narratives to discover the meanings individuals make of work experiences. A lifespan approach using interviews at or near retirement was employed to add a long developmental trajectory to the study of how cooperative education learning served one group of students across decades. A grounded theory of cooperative education learning was discovered through analysis of two sets of archived data. The theory explored the phenomenon via causal conditions, attributes, strategies, and consequences. The lifespan approach supports other literature in questioning some current practices in cooperative education and emphasizes some of the important contributions that co-op makes to long-term learning.

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