Note on differences between practical skills and work experiences
The curriculum differentiates between practical skills and work experiences. There is however some overlap.
Practical skills are developed in a training facility, i.e. in a controlled or simulated work environment in a learning institution or actual workplace in preparation for applying them in the workplace. Work experiences can only be offered in the real- time, real-life context of specific working environments provided by employers.
What differentiates the practical skills and work experiences is the nature and purpose of the learning, the relationship of the ‘teacher or instructor’ to the learner and the way in which the learning is assessed. The following table summarises some of these differences:
|Practical Skills||Work Experience|
|1||Linked to individual learning tasks or activities.||Linked to more comprehensive occupational tasks.|
|2||Separate practical tasks in isolation resulting in a product or service.||Tasks / activities as part of an overall delivery of products or services.|
|3||Overseen and supported by an instructor or trainer.||Overseen by the supervisor or manager (perhaps with some support through coaching or mentoring).|
|4||Developing techniques.||Developing occupational practice through|
|5||Linking specific theory and applied/practical knowledge to practical tasks.||Linking contextual and specialised knowledge to|
situated occupational practice.
|6||The task or activity is conducted in terms of a learning plan.||The task or activity is conducted in terms of an instruction or an occurrence.|
|7||Outputs are used for purposes of assessment.||Outputs contribute to the work of the organisation.|
|8||The learning is about the application of rules and standardised actions and responses.||The learning is about reading the occupational context and understanding situational cues and clues.|
|9||The learning is about building an understanding of the link between general theory and practical application in narrower contexts.||The learning is about building an understanding of the link between specialised theory and practice in broader contexts.|
|10||The learning is about mastering procedures.||The learning is about understanding the contextual environment and assessing, when, where and how to respond.|