The contributing learner?

As part of the transnational session in Liège (Belgium) from June 5 to 6, 2023. Some reflections were made on the ApprEUnance project.

By consulting the official documents making references in the field of education and professional training, we see that they are borrowed from objectives which are intended to meet the societal challenges of the moment and of tomorrow.

This is the case for the guidelines of the States and Ministries concerned, but also for the recommendations of the European institution.

Thus, as CEDEFOP attempts to measure (information note of 20 March 2023), member countries are required to implement training policies in line with the priorities of the European Union for 2030. A know :

Better adapt to the needs of the labor market

Propose a digitized and ecological training offer

· Ensuring equal opportunities for learners.

Task institutions and training engineers in member countries with implementing training systems that meet the objectives and provide the necessary learning.

But behind these laudable priorities (although perhaps restrictive?), rare are the moments when it is given to the people concerned by these training systems, that is to say the learners themselves, to express their needs and feelings. (beyond surveys related to "quality" standards) and ultimately to contribute to engineering.

How are the training courses intended to respond to institutional priorities lived? Are they operational? What are the learners' needs and expectations? What could facilitate learning? How to promote informal and non-formal learning? … are examples of questioning that deserve to be invested.

To use media theories (BRUNS.A, 2009) or initially those of public health (DONABEDIAN.A, 1992), this listening time could be positioned as a first step towards a “user-contributor” logic ( "produce").

Thus, for all training courses, how can we imagine an engaged consumer (the learner) who participates in the content he consumes (the training program)?

How can the "ApprEUnance" program contribute in its own way to opening the way for partner institutions to (re)invest the margins of freedom offered within training systems by placing the learner at the heart of educational engineering approaches?

A first step towards “the contributing learner”? :

It is this desire to move towards a “contributing eco-system” that has led each partner of the “ApprEUnance” program to collect the words of learners.

The questioning wanted to differentiate the learning that takes place in the 3 "places of life of the learners"; social, professional, and academic.

In summary, 4 same questions asked in the 3 different spaces

1. Give a concrete example of a situation where I think I learned?

2. How do I learn?

3. What am I learning?

4. What are the favorable conditions for learning?


The disruption of the school form:

"You don't learn the piano by listening to a virtuoso" ALAIN, 1932.

Within the school, the crisis linked to the pandemic has highlighted problems that predate it. Nothing really new, then, but whether it's about learning, relationships, activities, etc., learners seem to favor school forms that move away from the traditional academic model. The demand from the educational team is therefore much more multifaceted and when the process of transmitting knowledge is put forward by the students, it is always in the case of a positive relationship established by the trainer.

The role of peers:

“I miss you, my alter ego” AUBERT. JL, 2001

Whether they are teenagers or young adults, the importance of “the alter” (the other) is central.

Educational team (and not only the trainers) in the training centre, internship and apprenticeship supervisors, colleagues within the company, friends and family in the social environment; adults (in particular) promote the conditions of self-confidence, well-being and learning (“The Good Fairies” ALTER.N, 2023).

This is all the more important since, as we have pointed out, learners navigate in a complex universe (in the sense of MORIN.E, 1991) between the environment and the training centre.

In this context, the family is a “safe haven” and occupies a privileged place in the support of learners.

Learning by doing:

"Experience is not what happens to us, it's what we do with what happens to us" HUXLEY.A, 1932

In everyday life, in the company of course and even within the training organization through educational projects, putting into action is acclaimed by learners.

Thus, listening to them, we decipher the favorable conditions for transforming an experience into learning:

Live the experience in a favorable context,

Be active and involved

practice repeatedly,

Apply lessons learned in other situations,

Receive constructive feedback

· Reflect on lived experiences.


In an approach that takes into account the "learner-contributor", this approach will now make it possible to revisit the pedagogical intentions issued by the

studied in the first part of the "ApprEUnance" project and to compare them with the aspirations of the learners.

Already, we see some avenues that deserve to be explored in order to offer enabling environments.

Proposals for a learning pedagogical organization:

Listening to learners and the now numerous works around the concept of learning (for example CRISTOL.D, since 2019), give us indications on the conditions favorable to a learning context and allow us to group them around 3 dimensions:

· Affective (affects, feelings, emotions, ..., felt in contact with knowledge, the trainer, the tutor, experience, ...)

Conative (dispositions to engage in action; "affordance")

Cognitive (ability to manage one's learning; knowing, being able, wanting to learn)

In this context, doesn't the concept of learning invite training engineers and pedagogues to take a fresh look at the act of learning?

Because learners encourage us to focus more on themselves and on their capacities and motivations to learn rather than on our own action as a pedagogue.

The pedagogical relationship is thus reversed: they do not ask as a priority to transmit knowledge but to be accompanied in seeking knowledge in their environment (school, socio-professional). So, how does the pedagogue give priority to a look at the learner and his learning context?

Especially since with work-study, this learning context is not limited to formal and intentional training alone. The learner learns all the time, at any time, in any place.

Learning is therefore not only the attitude towards training, but more generally towards learning.

Thus learners invite to think about the role of trainer by giving full place to the learner and by promoting the conditions for the emergence of “enabling” environments (“capabilities” – SEN.A, 2008).

In summary: The training center and particularly the trainers must mediate between the resources and the learner, stimulate the motivation to learn without forgetting to support the life projects of the learners and animate the community of partners (families, teachers internship, apprenticeship, etc.).

In short, an impossible mission?

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