Work-integrated learning as remapping the spaces and places of learning?

Niall Majury, Jacqueline Waite

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


It is increasingly commonplace for HE students to have opportunities for real world, practical experiences during the course of their program. These opportunities were once most closely associated with disciplines such as the health sciences, engineering and teaching, where professional accrediting bodies required and defined particular types of work integrated learning (WIL) (e.g. clinical placements and practicums). However, for other disciplines, such as literature, politics, history and geography, WIL is increasingly being embedded within curricula to increase students’ employment prospects upon graduation. In these types of disciplines WIL comes packaged in a variety of forms, and experiences vary across disciplines, HE institutions and level of study. However, they share in common the intentional integration of theory and practice knowledge (Orrell 2011). This presentation examines the ways in which WIL has become institutionalised within geography. Drawing upon a systematic literature review of scholarship on WIL in geography, it examines how it has been understood within the discipline. It uncovers a diverse set of pedagogic practices that have, over time, become framed within the discipline as WIL and codified within benchmarking documents. The presentation reflects on the institutional settings within which these pedagogic practices have emerged and the role of SOTL in their diffusion and adaptation across different institutional contexts. It is argued that WIL, as a re-mapping of the spaces and places of learning within HE, constitutes within geography the re-affirmation of a form of praxis best described as ‘engaged scholarship’, through which a range of general and discipline specific professional competencies are supported. This builds, it is argued, upon longer standing radical critiques within the discipline on what ‘geography’ ought to be, bringing ‘knowledge, emotion and action together’ (Monk 2001). Geography, however, is indebted to SOTL for bringing together, re-shaping and articulating how this diverse set of pedagogic practices support the development of a particular type of professional ethos and acumen among its graduates.

Key words: work integrated learning, literature review, geography, engaged scholarship, graduate attributes
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2017
EventISSOTL 2017 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 11 Oct 201714 Oct 2017


ConferenceISSOTL 2017


  • work inetgarted learning
  • geography
  • graduate attributes
  • engaged learning


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