Developing Workplaces as Learning Environments: Towards a Learning Curriculum

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Billett, Stephen
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1996
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Gold Coast
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Abstract

This paper draws on a program of research into workplace learning to advocate an approach to the organisation of workplace experiences aimed at making workplaces effective learning environments. The program of research, conducted in the coal, transport, secondary processing, retail and other industries, aimed to determine how individuals learn through participation in everyday work practice and how arrangements might be structured in workplaces to provide access to the types of knowledge required for vocational expertise. From these studies and associated inquiry the notion of the learning curriculum (Lave, 1990) is used to guide thinking about developing expertise in workplaces. This approach is premised on organising guided participation in the everyday activities of the workplace, while moving from a peripheral to a full role in the activities of the workplace. The literature which underpins the arguments in this paper represent a convergence between cognitive and sociocultural constructivist perspectives The paper addresses issues associated with: the types of knowledge required for vocational expertise which are viewed as goals for learning; a view about what learning is; the potential and weaknesses of the workplaces as learning environments and a model of a learning curriculum is advocated. It is proposed that these ideas will contribute to discussions on adults and literacy learning.

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© 1996 Qld Council for Adult Literacy. Use hypertext link to access the publisher's website. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
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