Learning through work: Exploring instances of relational interdependencies
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This paper provides an account of the inter-psychological processes that constitute learning through work. It does this by drawing on deliberations about the relative contributions of the immediate social world (i.e., workplace setting) that individuals encounter and the personal premises for individuals' learning. This account is realised through analyses of workers' experiences of working and learning in both large and small enterprises. Together, these premises and their contributions are used to elaborate how learning through work proceeds as a process of relational interdependence between the affordance of the workplace and the engagement of workers. This relational process is evident in work of different kinds, from the labours of coalminers through to the entrepreneurial activities of small business operators. Instances of learning through work are elaborated through studies that identify how workplaces' affordances-those that invite workers in particular ways to participate, access support and reward-are generated and projected. These contributions to engaging in and learning through work can be conceptualised as the immediate social contribution or experience that is shaped by cultural and situational factors and the social legacies that shape how individuals construe, engage in, and learn through those practices. It concludes by discussing issues related to both the inter-psychological process and outcomes (e.g., inter-subjectivity) arising from learning through work.
International Journal of Education Research
Copyright 2008 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.