Emerging perspectives and the challenges for workplace learning
The provision of learning experiences in work settings is becoming commonly discussed, included in educational programs at all levels, and seen as means of addressing individuals' need for learning across all stages of their working lives. Indeed, they are now being directed to an increasingly broad set of personal, workplace, community and national purposes. These purposes include developing skilful occupational capacities, those required for specific workplace performance, responding effectively to ongoing transformations in occupational practice and the changing performance requirements in workplaces. Yet, there is much still needed to be understood about these learning settings and improving their learning experiences. The scope of these concerns includes the provision of experiences to sustain workers' employability across the different stages in their working lives, and for securing, sustaining and extending their learning in ways that is essential for finding employment, remaining employed and then securing advancement across working lives. Here, concerns about the constant change and lengthening working lives come together as a dual set of problems that need addressing through workplace-based learning experiences. Then, there are emerging understandings about the learning process, what it comprises and how it is shaped and what this means for learning in socially authentic settings when individuals are engaged in goal-directed work activities. Given the significance of these purposes and the importance of these concerns, it is necessary that understandings about the processes of learning and means by which that learning is realised needs to be well informed and buoyed by current developments and emerging understandings. Consequently, it is helpful at this time to set out some of the emerging perspectives and note how they might redress some of the challenges for securing effective workplace learning.
Practice-based Education: Perspectives and Strategies