Guided Learning in the Workplace. In D Boud & J Garrick (eds)
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This chapter proposes that much of the knowledge required for workplace performance can be learnt through guided learning as part of everyday workplace activities. Accordingly, it examines how individuals learn as part of everyday activities, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of workplace learning, and proposes how guided learning develops further the potential of workplaces as learning environments. Central to the case presented here is the importance of the guidance of experts and others in developing individuals' knowledge. Hence, the orientation is on how best individuals can learn the knowledge required for workplace performance rather than wholly problematising this knowledge, or workplaces as sites for learning. Such an orientation is taken up by [other authors in other chapters]. Rather, the problems addressed here are associated with learning as part of everyday thinking and acting, and how this might be linked to a pedagogy of workplace learning. However, the idea that workplace learning is necessarily 'informal', 'incidental' or ad hoc, is questioned here. Rather, workplace contributions to learning are held to be of a different kind to those furnished by educational settings. It is proposed that, the particular workplace offers experiences and guidance based on its goals and activities which are authentic in terms of the workpractice where the knowledge is being deployed. Hence, workplace learning experiences and the learning outcomes are necessarily neither informal or ad hoc as they are structured by the everyday activities and goals of the workplace. Neither is workplace learning necessarily incidental as it is through engagement in actual workplace activities that individuals both deploy and extend their knowledge thereby construct the knowledge required for performance. Importantly, workplaces also provide ongoing direct and indirect guidance which assists learning in ways that are quite different from what happens in educational settings.
Understanding Learning at Work
Copyright 1999 Routledge. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This book is available online - use hypertext links.