Clarifying the subject centred approach to vocational learning theory: negotiated participation
Workplace learning research has taken what could be termed a turn to the subjective. This brings the person and agency of workers to the centre of work learning theory. Within sociocultural perspectives that emphasise participative practice as the basis of vocational learning, a key concept that emerges from this subject centred approach is 'negotiation'. This paper suggests that negotiation is insufficiently understood in sociocultural perspectives of work learning and needs to be more fully elaborated to support understandings of workers' learning practices. Workers are negotiators who manage the conduct of their work participation through sets of personal values that are transacted as personal working and learning practices. These transactions are not bargaining or deal making but ongoing processes of creating mutualities that unite worker and work as sites of personal and cultural transformation. From research with workers engaged in work based vocational learning programs, the paper explores how such understandings may offer ways of conceptualising workplace learning as a transactive process that is personally negotiated. In this way the paper helps clarify how the personal practices of workers can be better understood within the subject centred approach to vocational learning that rightfully emphasises the person as the locus of learning.
Studies in Continuing Education
Education not elsewhere classified