Presentation T O19

T O19 (Oral Presentation):
Utilization evaluation of a work integration program for adolescents with learning difficulties

Presented by: Marie Laberge


Laberge M1,2,4,5, MacEachen E3,4, Tondoux A2, Calvet B2,5

  1. University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  2. Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, Montreal, Canada
  3. School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Canada
  4. Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Canada
  5. CINBIOSE research group, UQAM, Montreal, Canada



Transition from school to labour market is a critical stage in work disability prevention for adolescents with learning difficulties. Job training must include general socio-professional skills and also particular occupational health & safety (OHS) skills. This presentation shares results from an implementation study of how OHS learning tools developed by Laberge (2011) were used in practice by teachers involved in the Quebec Work-Oriented Training Path (WOTP), a vocational program for adolescents with special needs. The tools were developed using social constructivist theories in education


Ten teachers participated in a one-year implementation study. The study design is a multiple case study using a Utilization-focused Evaluation approach and the analytical frame draws on activity theory. Teachers participated in a training session and were then free to select and implement any of the seven OHS learning tools with their students. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews, direct observation, various log books and follow-up grids, verbatim transcripts of three follow-up meetings and one wrap-up meeting. The analysis considered tools chosen, time of the year, utilization strategies, tool adaptation, obstacles, facilitators, and context


Eight teachers implemented OHS tools. The most popular were those that could be used in classroom without commitment of the workplace stakeholders. All the teachers adapted tools to fit specific student needs. However, when doing this they often changed the pedagogical intention, and created a behavioral rather than a socio-constructivist scheme. Teachers were apprehensive about using tools that involve workplace parties because it was hard to find work placements and they were reluctant to place demands on work sites


Social constructivist theories stipulate for knowledge to be useful, it must be situated in a relevant or authentic context, and that learning is a collaborative activity. The utilization evaluation showed that teachers are not always comfortable applying this theory, in particular when it needs to create worthwhile learning situations that involve workplace stakeholders. The value of this kind of evaluation is that it identified specific obstacles that can be solved, rather than rejecting the entire theory. In this study, it provided insights for policy makers, teacher training and tool improvement

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
13:45 - 15:15 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (T O13 - T O24 and Seminar 5)
Session: Work disability in younger workers
Room A