The role of collaborative learning on training and development practices within the Australian Men’s Shed movement: a study of five Men’s Sheds
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This study examines the role and impact of collaborative learning on training and development practices in Australian Men's Sheds. We use a case study approach, underpinned by Peters and Armstrong's theoretical framework of collaborative learning in adult education, to investigate five Men's Sheds. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Men's Shed co-ordinators, and five focus groups with a total of 61 members. In this study, vocational education and training is extended in a way to bridge the gap between work and retirement for many men in Australia. Three main themes emerged: the importance of training and development [beyond the workplace] for an individual response to member participation; a shared learning experience between men who teach and men who learn in the Sheds; and the collaborative learning that impacts on the learning of individual and groups. We discuss the urgent need for Shed co-ordinators to develop guidelines for training and development policies and use collaborative learning practices within the Sheds. The key message of the paper is that collaborative learning is critical to ensure effective training and development of men in Men's Sheds. We also highlight the implications of poor training and development practices for Shed growth, legal compliance and member participation and men's well-being. The findings will be of interest to other countries dealing with populations of retired men and others seeking membership in Sheds.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training
© 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Vocational Education and Training on 06 Jun 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13636820.2014.922119
Human Resources Management