Constructing Knowledge in the Workplace: Potential and Pitfalls
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Workplace learning is commonly used as a means of securing skilful vocational knowledge. This approach to learning, which is usually characterised by guided access to authentic vocational activities, now finds support within the literature of the anthropological and sociological orientations to the study of thinking, acting and learning. It is proposed in this literature that access to a rich source of knowledge is provided by constructing knowledge in the circumstances of its utilisation. Yet imposing questions remain unanswered about both the potential and limits of informal learning processes, such as workplace learning. These questions remain central to the evaluation of learning arrangements which aim to develop skilful vocational knowledge. This paper draws on the findings of three recent studies of workplace learning conducted in Queensland, Australia. These studies are used to examine notions of guided learning situated in the workplace, through undertaking authentic vocational activities. To understand further the efficacy and limits of these arrangements, and in order to develop theoretical principles of workplace learning, the findings of these studies are examined from cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives. The paper concludes by identifying some strengths and weaknesses associated with workplace learning.
Russian Versions and English Abstracts: Continuing Education in a Free Market Economy
© The Author(s). 1994 Griffith University. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. It is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distributions permitted. For information about this conference please contact the author.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES