Workplace learning in the professional development of vocational education teachers

Yanmin ZHAO, Yue On James KO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Workplace learning is defined variously and plays a pivotal role in the enhancement of vocational education teachers' practices. Based on a comprehensive desk-based review of the related literature, this article defines and discusses the concept of workplace learning and its contribution to vocational education teachers' continuous professional development. The article demonstrates explicitly that the existing theoretical frameworks guiding workplace learning are mainly drawn from different learning theories. Among these, Illeris's (2011) learning model is found to be theoretically sound and to provide a foundation to be extended to hypothesise about the relationships of various key concepts discussed in association with the workplace learning of vocational education teachers. Three lines of arguments have been identified for providing support to Illeris' model: (1) the significance of workplace learning practices, (2) individual and social aspects of learning situations, and (3) individual and social levels of workplace learning. In addition, based on Illeris's model and related literature on teacher professional development, the article proposes a workplace learning model for vocational education teachers and evaluates its implications for vocational education teachers' professional development, work identities, and transfer of knowledge into practice in the working situation in vocational education and training. Copyright © 2018 Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
JournalStudia Paedagogica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Zhao, Y., & Ko, J. (2018). Workplace learning in the professional development of vocational education teachers. Studia Paedagogica, 23(2), 43-58. doi: 10.5817/SP2018-2-4


  • Workplace learning
  • Professional development
  • Vocational education teachers
  • Workplace learning model


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