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Situating Learning. The significance of workplace learning for a ‘learning society’ Karen Evans University of London, Institute of Education. ESRC Learning Society Programme A ‘learning society’ would be one in which all citizens would:

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situating learning

Situating Learning

The significance of workplace learning for a ‘learning society’

Karen Evans

University of London, Institute of Education

slide2

ESRC Learning Society Programme

A ‘learning society’ would be one in which all citizens would:

“…acquire a high quality general education, appropriate vocational training and a job (or series of jobs) worthy of a human being while continuing to participate in education and training throughout their lives. A ‘learning society’ would combine excellence with equity and would equip all its citizens with the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure national economic prosperity and much more besides…….

slide3

Cont/d….

The attraction of the term the ‘learning society’ lies in the implicit promise not only of economic development but of regeneration of our whole public sphere. Citizens of a ‘learning society’ would, by means of their continuing education and training, be able to engage in critical dialogue and action to improve the quality of life for the whole community and to ensure social integration as well as economic success.”

(Director Frank Coffield)

workplace learning
Workplace Learning
  • Initial work-based learning
  • work-based degrees and ‘foundation’ degrees
  • non-formal work-based learning
  • access to non-formal learning opportunities organised through the workplace
work based training for young people in england and wales
Work-based training for young people in England and Wales

Numbers starting training programmes (thousands)

Other training

Foundation modern

apprenticeships

Advanced modern

apprenticeships

*formerly known as Modern Apprenticeships. ** Formerly known as National Traineeships

slide6

Non-Formal Learning

Non-formal learning embraces unplanned learning in work situations and in domains of activity outside the formal economy, but may also include planned and explicit approaches to learning carried out in any of these environments which are not recognised within the formal education and training system.

slide8

Does ‘situating learning’ strengthen learning processes and prospects of enhancing learning success through ‘engagement’?

Learning and Engagement

1. Engagement is essential for learning to take place

2. Learning may be situated in three ways: - practically - in culture of the workplace

- in the social world of the participants

3. Learning which is well-situated in each of these three ways will promote learner

engagement and learning success

4. Learning which is poorly situated in any of these three respects may lack

learner engagement and limit the prospects of learning success.

improving incentives to learning at work the research network
Improving incentives to learning at work:the research network
  • Two overarching themes linking five projects - situated learning in the workplace and the ‘employment relationship’
  • The employment relationship under different regulatory frameworks (Rainbird)
  • The role of tacit skills in work re-entry(Evans)
  • Key skills in older workers and new recruits (Unwin)
  • Apprenticeship as a model of learning in contemporary society(Senker)
  • The school as a site of work-based learning for teachers (Hodkinson)
features
Features
  • Integration: practical issues, theoretical concerns, multi-disciplinary perspectives on related themes
  • Practitioner involvement and support: the role of the practitioner advisor and the advisory group
  • International links and dissemination
slide12

‘Situated Learning’ and ‘Communities of Practice’

‚Situated Learning‘ takes account of social inter -action and physical activity.

Learning is embedded in a cultural-social context of everyday activities.

Learning always takes place in relation to people and their contexts.

‚Communities of Practice‘ - the idea that learning is constituted through the sharing of a purposeful activity.

slide13

A supportive framework for workplace learning

1) creates a supportive framework for engagement and learning.

2) provides a forum for exchanging and sharing experience, knowledge, ideas and skills and for negotiating understanding

realities the employment relationship
Realities:the employment relationship
  • Intensification of work
  • differential access to informal learning opportunities and career progression
  • ‘learning poor’ v ‘learning rich’ environments
  • power relations between managers and workers
  • employee ‘voice’-heard or unheard
slide16

Non-Formal Learning

Non-formal learning embraces unplanned learning in work situations and in domains of activity outside the formal economy, but may also include planned and explicit approaches to learning carried out in any of these environments which are not recognised within the formal education and training system.

slide18

Concepts and relationships: tacit skills, knowledge and the work process

Concept of

“working knowledge”

(Klusterer, 1978)

Concept of

knowing

(Dewey, 1920)

Concept of

“knowledge in action”

(SchÖn, 1983)

Ryle: The

Intellectualist

Legend

Polanyi:

The tacit

dimension

Activity Theory

(Engestrom)

Work Process Knowledge

Situated Learning:

communities of practice

(Lave & Wenger)

Tacit skills and

HRD

Modes of cognition

(Eraut, 1999)

“indwelling”

“Life-world becoming”

(Barnett, 1994)

Concepts of competence

and qualification

Tacit Skills

Affective, social, personal factors

Learning environments

“developmental

competence”

(Ellstroem, 1997)

Social shaping of work + technology

(Heidegger, 1997)

Adapted from : Tacit-Key Projects UK

Director: Karen Evans Researcher: Bettina Hoffmann

slide21
CASE STUDIES OF PARTICIPANTS IN CVT – JOB CHANGE PROGRAMMES

Advancement oriented, work centred attitude

- predominantly males, ‘labour fore entrepreneur’ frequent job moves geared to advancement; high awareness of key competencies & know-how.

Precarious occupational biography in low graded jobs

- predominantly males; awareness of social competencies for adapting to new work situations; little confidence in ability to draw on other experiences or skills in new work situations, or recognition of their relevance.

Return to general job market after occupational break for personal (family reasons)

- predominantly stability-oriented females; awareness of key competencies gained outside work but knowledge that these are seen as equipping for helping/caring or low graded jobs (‘women’s work’)

  • for males, awareness of key competencies but these are seen as irrelevant for work re-entry: ‘in a different dimension’

Aiming for self employment

- both males and females; high awareness of key competencies, used with confidence to pursue chosen business opportunities – does not rely on accreditation by others

Resuming high skilled professional career after career break

  • focus on regaining lost technical skills and updating them – importance of key competencies gained outside work. Valued retrospectively, but irrelevant to work re-entry process.
barriers to learning
Barriers to learning

Barriers of time , money or

encouragement reported by low paid workers

  • 30% reported no barriers
  • 17% one barrier
  • 17% two
  • 34% all three barriers

(Rainbird 2001, sample 300)