Transfer of learning in Swedish technical vocational education

Authors Nina Kilbrink, Veronica Bjurulf, Liesbeth K.J. Baartman, Elly de Bruijn
Published in Journal of Vocational Education & Training
Publication date February 2018
Research groups Vocational Education
Type Article


One of the most important issues in vocational education is the interaction between learning at school and at different workplaces. Students need to transfer what they have learned in and between these different learning arenas. However, little agreement exists among researchers on how to conceptualise and empirically study transfer of learning. This article aims to enhance our understanding of this process in technical vocational education by adding a new perspective on transfer: the phenomenological lifeworld approach. Eleven interviews with students enrolled in the Energy and Industry programmes at a Swedish upper-secondary school were conducted. Three transfer themes emerged from the data: learning for new situations, variation and integration of theory and practice. The student perspective, based on the lifeworld approach shows that the different learning arenas – the school and workplaces – can complement each other. The learning arenas offer different opportunities for learning, and learning in both arenas is necessary in order to prepare for an unknown future, according to the students in this study.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Journal of Vocational Education & Training
Year and volume 70 3
Key words vocational education, transfer, upper secondary school, students’ experiences, school and workplace learning, technical vocational education
Digital Object Identifier
Page range 455-475

Vocational Education