Comparing Learners’ Perceptions and Expectations in Professional Training and Higher Education: The German Perspective

Thomas Richter
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany


Culture, at least to some extent, is related to particular (individual and collective) experiences. In terms of education, this means that a learner, who experienced particular services in his/her past, might perceive such services as usual for educational culture and thus, expect them to be delivered in any kind of learning scenario. In German universities, education is meant to be a full-time job and usually is designed to provide a broad basis of theoretical and methodological knowledge. Achieving methodological competences is a core goal of German academic education: Once a student leaves the university, he/she is expected to decide about appropriate methods for any kind of problem (in the field of study and beyond) and how to modify the known methods in case of need. In contrast, in professional training, the learners have to study in extra-occupational situations (time is a serious issue) and might expect training that pointedly prepares them for very specific tasks.

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