Interdependencies at work: reflection, performance, dialogue and reward
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This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the relationship between the social and the individual as it is enacted in personal learning and the remaking of cultural practices through work. It discusses progress in a two-year study of the work, working lives and learning of twelve workers. They comprise four groups of three workers in an emergency service, gymnasium, restaurant and IT help desk work settings. The concept of relational interdependence between individual and social agency (Billett 2006), is used to understand how their participation, learning and remaking of cultural practices that comprises their work progresses. In identifying and elaborating bases of these interdependencies and their consequences for changes to individuals' cognitive experience and sense of self (i.e. learning), and the remaking of cultural practices (e.g. workplace practice), four linked and overlapping bases for understanding the processes of interdependencies emerge. These bases are: (i) reflection and review (i.e. reflection); (ii) performance roles (kinds of selves developed in the workplace); (iii) prospects for dialogue (i.e. opportunities for interpersonal interactions); and (iv) how conceptions of rewards and recognition are constructed. In different, but distinct, ways these four bases provide a means to elaborate interdependencies at work, thereby providing a platform to analyse processes of individual learning and the remaking of work practices and concepts throughout working life.
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education
Copyright 2006 National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This journal is available online, use hypertext links