An important trend in Dutch Vocational Education and Training (VET) to ensure the curriculum continuity of sequential educational programmes is the design of continuing pathways encompassing more than one qualification level. These continuing pathways are characterised by different design formats and differences in learning environment characteristics that are regarded as powerful. In this study, the variety in design formats and powerful learning environment characteristics of existing continuing pathways, and the relationships between design formats and powerful learning environment characteristics on the one hand and student performance and satisfaction on the other hand were examined. Participants were five co-ordinators and 161 students from five so-called Green Lycea – each of which comprises a two-level (i.e. ‘Pre-Vocational Secondary Education (vmbo)’ and ‘Secondary Vocational Education (mbo)’) agricultural VET trajectory. There are preliminary indications that students benefit most from continuing pathways in which vmbo and mbo elements are truly interwoven, as these have relatively more powerful learning environment characteristics than those of separate pathways. When separate vmbo and mbo programmes are simply stuck together, the pathways seem to be relatively less powerful and to lead to lower satisfaction scores and a decrease in learning performance.
|Journal||Journal of Vocational Education and Training|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- continuing pathways
- powerful learning environments
- student performance
- student satisfaction