Studies in Continuing Education

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1470-126X
Print ISSN: 0158-037X
‘Recognition of Prior Learning' (RPL) is usually associated with assessment processes prior to entry into an educational programme. This paper considers the recognition of prior learning in post-entry pedagogy (referred to here as ‘rpl' lower case). The focus is on informal learning or experience in courses in Labour Law at two universities in South Africa. Transcripts of interactions between lecturers and students are viewed in the light of three common perspectives on RPL and then in terms of a proposed new disciplinary-specific approach. This approach exhorts adult educators to consider the nature and structure of a discipline or field of study and the relationship between formal and informal knowledge within that structure to ensure the authenticity of a programme and the success within it of students with extensive practical experience but limited formal qualifications.
This paper reports on a case study on the implementation of â-˜language gamesâ-™ as a pedagogical tool for analyzing, assessing and promoting the quality and the level of collaborative knowledge building in online learning dialogues. Part of the overall objective is to explore the use, strength, weaknesses, and limitations of using the method in the context of an online senior level university course (on-campus and off-campus continuing education) on Global Change. In this investigation, the insight from using a theoretical perspective of language games is elucidated and discussed in relation to the benefits of other theoretical approaches. Applying an analytical perspective of language games, sequences of online dialogues are analyzed in order to understand their specific characteristics and to diagnose the quality of the collaborative knowledge-building processes. To what extent do language games reveal true knowledge building in an online learning environment? Results of this study suggest that language games may function as a tool for diagnosing quality in online collaborative knowledge-building processes. Furthermore, their possible use as an instructional tool for promoting more authentic collaborative online learning is discussed.
This paper focuses on learnersâ-™ experiences of text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) as a means of self-expression, dialogue and debate. A detailed case study narrative and a reflective commentary are presented, drawn from a personal, practice-based inquiry into the design and facilitation of a professional development course for which a networked learning approach was adopted. Learnersâ-™ perspectives and experiences relating to both asynchronous (bulletin board) and synchronous (MOO-based) conferencing are explored, and the case narrative traces in particular the acclimatization experiences and perspectives of newcomers to networked learning. Implications are highlighted in relation to four dimensions of design and facilitation practice for networked learning: task design, socio-technical design, information design, and tutoring strategy. It is also suggested that case narratives such as the one presented in the paper may have value as learning resources to support experiential approaches to â-˜learning to learnâ-™ in networked environments.
Mentoring has become a popular form of staff development for women at Australian and New Zealand universities, with a number now running some form of initiative. Improved access to mentoring, it is argued, enhances the career prospects of women, and leads to an increase in the number of women in senior positions. For this reason mentoring programmes are widely supported by women in universities at all levels. However, despite the widespread introduction of mentoring initiatives, and a substantial international literature on mentoring programmes and benefits, the processes of mentoring are largely under-theorized. In late 2002 the author interviewed 17 Australian women academics about their academic lives and their experiences of mentoring. This paper draws on one of those interviews with 'Karen' to investigate how academic women construct identities through mentoring. In her engagement with discourses of academic careers and mentoring, Karen moves constantly between two key subject positionsthe position of the active subject, developing herself through mentoring as a suitable academic subject for the times. The second is the position of one who is 'taken on board' and acted upon by others through mentoring. The author suggests that these two, on the face of it, contradictory subject positions sit alongside one another in a theorization of mentoring. Further, these two elements are necessarily present in mentoring, in that mentoring requires an active subject, whilst also embodying a desire to be acted upon by others. Through the uptake and practices of mentoring, women academics self-regulate to develop the appropriate attitudes and dispositions required of academics in contemporary universities. This analysis has implications for how we understand mentoring for the professional development of women academics, and its place as a vehicle for generating more inclusive institutional cultures for women in universities.
Achieving organisational development through the enhancement of workplace learning is a popular recent strategy advocated in the management and business literatures. Yet what is learned is highly dependent on the workplace context. A lean production/just-in-time manufacturing environment is characterised by extreme time pressures. This paper outlines findings on how action learning was experienced in a manufacturing company employing lean production practices. An action learning program was implemented to foster learning in this company. Using a sociocultural framework, we describe how the production discourse surrounding lean production interacted with attempts to introduce reflective action and learning into that environment. The findings are that action learning practices were accommodated to a certain extent into the work routine during times of production stability, but were largely abandoned during times of crisis. Our analysis demonstrates that the cultural meaning of "work" in this lean production environment excluded all forms of "meaning" that were not visible, physical and targeted at immediate production needs. While there was evidence of individual personal and professional development achieved in this setting, there was little evidence to date of organisational development. The cultural hostility to non-urgent work hindered the reflective activity that could address the systemic issues that in turn could generate organisational development.
This paper discusses research premised on the view that new employees' necessary learning actions may be said to constitute a sociocultural constructivist epistemology of necessity. It examines the work and learning activities of three new employees during their first months at a wholesale fruit and vegetable company. It proposes that what new employees must 'do', is engage in a range of working and learning activities, epistemic actions, that may be conceptualised as their exercising epistemological agency. That is, they are necessarily engaged in the practice of personally managing the diversity of factors that mediate their construction of knowledge. In doing so, they control the social suggestion of their workplace within their need to learn what is necessary for work. The paper further suggests these mediating factors constitute a workplace learning agenda that comprises the priorities of the new employees' actions at work. This agenda is identified across five interrelated action sets. These sets emerge from data analysis as major mediators of the new employees' learning. Additionally, it suggests that change in this agenda may indicate what learning is being undertaken and how the development of workplace intersubjectivities or shared understandings, may subsequently occur. These suggestions place new emphasis on the individual in determining their contribution to the social nature of learning. They begin to more fully account for the personal purpose and consequence of learning at work. Yes Yes
Includes sections written by seminar participants: "Prologue,""Participatory Action Research (PAR)--What Is It?" and "Overall Narrative" (Greenwood); "Gender and Issues of Power" (Matthews, Strubel); "Issues in PAR Pedagogy" (Greenwood); "Participatory Evaluation" (Thomas); "Confronting: The Study of PAR" (Martin); "International Comparisons" (Elvemo); "The Evaluations" (Martin); and "Reflections on Participation, Action, and Research in the Classroom" (Whyte). (SK)
With the evolution of new forms of adult education practice there is a need to re-examine the place of disciplines in adult education as a field of study. In this paper the place of disciplines as epistemological foundations is explored and rejected. Instead, a case is presented that disciplines are already ‘in’ adult education in the form of power-knowledge discourses which constitute adults as ‘objects’ of investigation, intervention and regulation. The most influential contemporary discourse of this kind in adult education is based on the disciplinary knowledge of psychology. It is argued that adult education as a field of study cannot be located in disciplines without negating its own aims of empowerment. To reject disciplines as foundations does not however imply that disciplines have no place. If their knowledge claims are approached critically, disciplines can be empowering in so far as they provide a means of countering the subtle regulation of ‘self-centred’ discourse. Adult education as a field of study is therefore best located in adult education as a critical practice. This involves ‘deconstructing’ the effects of disciplinary power, being reflexive as adult education practitioners, and emphasising ‘subjugated knowledges’. Practical knowledge is discussed as an example of the latter and a place is suggested for disciplines that is neither one of foundations nor of mastery.
This article focuses on the idea of entrepreneurial subjectivity and the ways in which it is shaped by the entrepreneurial discourse in adult education. As a result, we argue that educational practices related to adults form a particular kind of ideal subjectivity that we refer to as entrepreneurial. In order to understand how this entrepreneurial discourse in adult education works, we will analyse how the young adults we have interviewed engage in the discourse and what effects this has for the construction of their subjectivities. Our joint empirical analysis is based on discourse-analytic methodology and on our previous empirical studies. Our research results suggest that participants in adult education end up constructing their subjectivities within the limits and possibilities of the entrepreneurial discourse that are made available to them. Embracing the entrepreneurial discourse construed in terms of autonomy and freedom, young people are expected to make a project out of their own subjectivities. As an effect, education as well as young adults’ autonomy is limited to a question of speaking in accordance with what is expected.
The philosophical and theoretical background of this article is the recent debate in conventional education, highlighting problems with the subject‐person of education (e.g., Oelkers, 1987). This debate has its origins in the questioning by philosophers of the project of modernity, of its future (e.g., Habermas, 1985; Wellmer,1985), and of its subject‐person (e.g., Frank et ah, 1990). The philosophy of education is affected by this debate primarily for two reasons: first, the subject‐person is at the core of the project of modernity and therefore of the inseparably linked idea of conventional education. Second, modernity is in itself an educational project (e.g., Oelkers, 1983), for, if education fails to bring forth the enlightened and emancipated subject‐person, modernity also fails. Therefore, if there is today, as is generally admitted, a crisis of modernity, conventional education and its conception of the subject‐person, as well as the corresponding learning model are inevitably affected. This also applies to adult education, in so far as adult education refers to models of the subject‐person that are still deeply rooted in conventional education.
Self‐directed learning has attracted intense interest among researchers, theoreticians and practitioners in adult education and human resource development. This paper explores some general reasons for this, before examining several different perspectives on self‐directed adult learning. The main theme is that attention needs now to be focused less on process and more on the self‐directed learner. The key element in self‐directed learning, it is argued, is reflection. This concept is analysed and implications drawn for the educator of adults.
Adult learning cannot be separated from the life and the life history of the adult person. As such, adult learning is intimately tied to an overall, lifelong process of adult transformation. Research on adult transformation should therefore seek a better understanding of how, why and for what adults transform themselves during their lives. A deeper understanding of adults’ transformative processes, though badly needed, is methodologically difficult to achieve. That is why I will outline, in a first section, the main characteristics of a human science research approach I have developed, called the “Biographical Method”. In a second section I will present some preliminary findings from research using this method.
The impetus to broaden the scope of research education is not new. Since the 1970s, concern has been expressed about the suitability of research education as preparation for a research career outside academe. Universities have been criticized for producing over-specialized research graduates, who struggle to apply their expertise to new workplace problems and agendas. These concerns have been heightened by the demands of the knowledge economy. One approach that may begin to address these concerns is to design a systematic program to develop research students' graduate attributes. While much attention has focused on developing undergraduate generic attributes, it is only recently that universities and governments have sought to identify and develop research higher degree students' graduate attributes. This article seeks to explore the development of a research student portfolio process (called RSVP), which was originally developed in the Advanced Wastewater Management Centre (AWMC), and subsequently modified and applied across an Australian research-intensive university.
Drawing upon a research study on lifelong learning, citizenship, and fiction writing, this paper explores issues around identity and learning in becoming a fiction author. Five main thematic areas are discussed: (1) envisioning a writing career, (2) compelled to write, (3) learning the craft, (4) getting published, and (5) online identity. The challenges, hurdles, and motivational factors in pursuing a career in a field as tenuous as fiction writing are explored. The paper argues that fiction writers, like many people who work in the creative sector, have a strong desire to engage in work that they consider to be meaningful. Those who succeed demonstrate great perseverance. As the impact of new technologies and social media shape and change the publishing sector, there are new challenges as well as opportunities that writers will need to learn about and address as they develop their career trajectories.
This paper reports data from a three-year self-study of teaching two types of students: science method students in the BEd program at Queen's University (Canada), and grade 12 physics students in a secondary school. By returning to the secondary school classroom after many years, I had the opportunity to revisit personally some of the challenges and dilemmas awaiting those beginning their careers as physics teachers. By listening closely to my students, I studied their experiences of learning as I experienced my own re-learning. One goal of my return to the secondary classroom was to explore ways in which I could model in my own teaching the processes of learning from experience that I wanted to convey to those learning to teach. From this self-study has emerged the construct of ‘authority of experience’ (Munby and Russell, 1994) as a term that can inform reflective practice by suggesting to teachers that they give attention to their own voices and to those of their students, and generally consider the ways in which experience has authority in relation to other sources of authority about teaching and learning to teach. The paper provides data to illustrate this construct and its potential value to those learning to teach. It also considers ways in which this stance toward teacher education represents a reconstruction of educational theory.
The characteristics of lifelong learners have been extensively discussed in the literature and generally encapsulate two broad dimensions; skills and abilities related to learning, and beliefs about learning and knowledge. This study examined the factors that may predict such characteristics and thus an individual's propensity to engage in lifelong learning in a sample of university students. Together, openness to experience, change readiness, approaches to learning, self-efficacy and epistemological beliefs significantly predicted lifelong learning characteristics. In particular, the unique contribution of epistemological beliefs to the profile of a lifelong learner was supported. Results indicate that these beliefs may be a key predictor of lifelong learning. Yes Yes
In recent years, the concept of public pedagogy has increasingly influenced the study of continuing education, drawing attention to ways in which adults access resources from popular culture and learn without the involvement of educational institutions. Reading relationship self-help books has become a prominent component of popular culture. There are two predominant scholarly interpretations of relationship books for women. One argues that such books have ‘abducted’ feminism, because, while cloaked in egalitarian rhetoric about relationships between men and women, they actually encourage women to adopt characteristically male approaches to relationships. The other claims that such books are ‘anti-feminist,’ because they encourage women to nurture satisfying relationships by adopting traditional feminine roles. We explore these interpretations through reporting the results of twenty-four qualitative interviews. Only a minority of readers reported experiences consistent with existing interpretations of the genre. Most readers displayed complex combinations of learning experiences – some of which were consistent with feminist principles, while others reflected a subtle normalization of gender inequalities. We conclude that understanding the impact of self-help books, among other forms of public pedagogy, requires moving beyond textual analysis, to engaging readers in conversation about how reading has influenced their sense of themselves and their relationships.
There is a current consensus in the literature and policy documents on postgraduate supervision that positions mentoring as the most effective supervision strategy. Authors suggest that this approach to supervision overcomes some of the problematic, hierarchical aspects embedded in supervision as a pedagogical practice. They portray supervision as an innocent and collegial pedagogy between autonomous, rational supervisors and students. However, mentoring is a powerful form of normalization and a site of governmentality. Therefore, I argue that rather than removing issues of power from the supervision relationship, describing effective supervision as mentoring only serves to mask the significant role played by power in supervision pedagogy. I have applied Devos' investigation of mentoring to postgraduate supervision to highlight the work that mentoring does as a form of academic and disciplinary self-reproduction that can have paternalistic impulses located within it. In particular, I argue that supervisors need to be conscious of the operations of power in postgraduate supervision despite their best intentions. I have also begun to explore what implications this more nuanced understanding of supervision might have for people such as me, who are charged with the responsibility of providing academic development programs on supervision.
Research in Australian business education continues to emphasise the importance of students learning teamwork as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum. However, entrenched conceptual and practical confusion as to what the term ‘teamwork’ means and how it ought to be enacted remains a vexed issue capable of distorting and diminishing teamwork, learning and related pedagogy. In this paper, we critically re-examine the view that developing teamwork in an undergraduate business degree equips students for work in the real world. By focusing on the ‘real world’ metaphor-in-use in a cross-disciplinary business capstone subject, we interrogate the spatio-temporal dimensions of teamwork and its realist conceptions and performance. The research draws upon the perceptions of interviewed academics conducting teamwork activities in undergraduate business courses and the lived experiences of the authors. The findings highlight how the use of multiple models of teamwork, constructed by competing discourses and linked to the dualities and invocations constructed by ‘the real world’ metaphor, further exacerbate confusion. We suggest re-viewing and re-valuing student teamwork as the performance of situated, social practices opening new spaces for student teamwork, learning and pedagogical practice.
Several studies show that how patients have difficulties in changing lifestyle even though such changes are essential because they are suffering from a life-threatening disease. Coronary artery disease (CAD) patients met 13 times during a year and used problem-based learning (PBL) to improve their empowerment and self-efficacy in making lifestyle changes. District nurses functioned as tutors, helping patients to formulate issues and to state self-care goals. To identify and describe the enactment of PBL, an ethnographic approach was used, including, for example, participant observations and interviews, all derived from six sessions of the education programme. Five different enactments were found, metaphorically expressed as: ‘The study circle’, ‘The classroom’, ‘The expert consultation’, ‘The therapy session’ and ‘The coffee party’. The education programme did not always function as it was supposed to according to the model, but perhaps this should not be seen as a failure of the pedagogical intervention since these enactments as a whole seem to be a way for the patients to be able to make healthy lifestyle changes. The metaphors can broaden the understanding of what can happen when implementing problem-based learning in health care practice.
In light of the significant changes happening in all sectors of our society, we in the education sector and in particular in the universities, have adopted a number of innovative ideas for delivering education. Many of these innovations deal with procedural aspects related to learning and consequently little concern has been shown to individuals’ beliefs about knowledge and dispositions for learning. Beliefs and dispositions are powerful tools to effect a more meaningful and sustainable change to how individuals engage in learning. This paper discusses some recent findings from research into university students’ beliefs about the nature of knowledge and their conceptions of learning, and identifies the implications for a learner-centred university education. Learners’ beliefs both informal and formal may influence the way they approach learning. Do they learn to apply, or learn to understand? The effort they make to learn depends on their perception of how the learning will reward them. The paper also explores the cross-cultural beliefs about knowledge and conceptions of learning.
There is substantial literature on new work practices and the associated skills required of workers in the 'new capitalism' but very few consider workers’ perspectives on the advocacies. The study reported here involved 39 participants aged 40 plus who were interviewed to obtain data in relation to their conceptions of work and learning at work. This was conducted with consideration given to the changing work practices occurring around them. The participants were from a medical service and an engineering organization. The data were analyzed qualitatively and results indicated four and five hierarchical conceptions of work, and learning at work, respectively. It became apparent that a significantly large number of older workers conceived of work and learning at work in quantitative terms and as separate entities. The data were further analysed to ascertain how the conceptions mapped with the participants’ AQF levels. This analysis indicated some dissonance between AQF levels and conceptions. The findings of this study provide baseline data to understand older workers’ behaviours in light of the current changes in work practices.
Professional development for academics in higher education is increasingly important in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Promoting better teaching practices through professional development is part of the drive for quality and excellence. However, the focus has been on teaching as a "technical" activity, defined as competence in a particular domain of practice. This has obscured the social and discursive practices through which a very particular sort of teacher identity is produced. It is possible, therefore, to examine the ways in which the standards of competence operate to normalise and fashion what it means to be a "good teacher". In this article, we examine extracts from course documentation produced by a UK university through which the professional standards of those working in higher education are being constituted. Our focus is not the quality of these particular materials but the work the documentation performs in building up a particular notion of what characterises a professional teacher in higher education.
This paper suggests that complex practice dilemmas call for thick stories of masterful practice that don't ignore the tensions and ambiguities involved. The paper draws on an Australian study of policing as a fruitful example. Academic commentary suggests policing is beset with practice dilemmas unique in their complexity. However, empirical studies suggest that stories of mastery dominating police culture are heroic, simplistic accounts from which the doubts and tensions of dilemma have been removed. The study reported here explored interviews with 50 serving police officers for indicators of whether they describe their work in similarly limited ways. In total, 351 separate dilemma statements were identified and a further 252 statements offered glimpses of how officers deal with dilemmas. These statements offer multiple clues as to what more comprehensive stories of complex practice mastery might look like. It is suggested that workplace learning and continuing education should actively encourage the construction of such stories. Similarly, for other domains of practice, it is suggested that stories of masterful practice describe, in plain language, constructive engagement with the wicked and unresolvable, in order to be helpful in an age of super-complexity in which liquid learning presents both challenges and opportunities.
A policy consensus has emerged in Australia that there is a workforce literacy and numeracy crisis, similar to many other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. The study informing this paper examined this framing of crisis by interviewing and observing production workers in three manufacturing companies. Each company was implementing new lean production methods, known as ‘competitive systems and practices', based on a visual workplace management system. In this paper, we look at what is visible and invisible in production workers' literacy and numeracy practices at Hearing Solutions, one of the companies in the study. We begin by considering the overarching policy discourse around workers' literacy and numeracy before exploring the underpinning rationale of the new expression of lean manufacturing, in particular, its implementation through the Visual Workplace Management System. Detailing an example of the literacies used in producing hearing aid shells, we discuss the under-valuing by workers and managers of the skills being used; and the hidden process of industrial relations, reward and remuneration. Using an ethnographic and social practices approach, what emerges is a better understanding of the complex range of vocational knowledge and social skills being used that go unrecognised by policy makers, lobbyists and managers, and even by the workers themselves.
The use of stories from professional experience in continuing professional education has been on the rise in many fields, often aimed at bolstering capacity through sharing professional knowledge and/or supporting reflective practice. Practice stories are also suggested to be beneficial in supporting professional learning of new concepts. These uses of practice stories are not evident in public natural resource management (NRM) continuing professional education. In light of greater public involvement in NRM practice over the last 20 years, however, the use of practice stories could now be particularly beneficial to NRM professionals. This study examines the use of practice stories in workshops aimed at deepening public NRM professionals' understanding of social science concepts suggested to be valuable in making sense of the social and political complexity intertwined in public involvement practice. Feedback from workshop participants suggests that practice stories may be able to support NRM professionals in reflecting on previous experiences, learning from colleague's practice experiences and serving as a springboard for learning by fostering linkages between social science knowledge and practice. The study also finds that the perceived benefits of sharing practice stories were comparatively less for some more experienced participants.
This paper presents a model dealing with the teacher as manager of self-directed and interactive learning programs and discusses the value of this model for educators working within continuing and professional education contexts. It provides a framework for the planning, implementation and evaluation of learning programs which promote self-directed and interactive learning and comprises an outline of phases of learning programs and the roles of teachers (and learners) in these programs. Major goals related to the process of continuing and professional education today include: promotion of the learners' ability to work and interact effectively together, fostering their commitment to lifelong learning and development of their self-directed learning skills. The model presented in this paper is a means of promoting the achievement of these goals. It emphasises the development of skills of independence, self-direction, interaction, communication, leadership, group membership and conflict resolution. Such skills can be transferred to the workplace to enable adults to accomplish their tasks effectively, achieve their goals, work co-operatively in teams as leaders and team members and take greater responsibility for their work and continued learning.
Incl. graphs, and bibl. references This book is concerned with how the systems of higher education have changed in the Nordic countries over the past two decades in response to multiple demands, which include expansion, diversification, accountability, quality control, internationalization and globalization.Internationally there is an interest in how Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have handled such demands, at the same time as experiencing fiscal pressures, and striving to maintain quality and increase equity. Within the Nordic countries, policies and reforms in higher education are the subject of much debate.The study examines the role of the market and the state in the five Nordic countries, as higher education and research are regarded as important political tools in the development of national and regional economies. An overview and analysis of recent changes in the systems of higher education is provided in the light of global and European developments. Finally, the book looks at how the different countries consider the tradition of lifelong education, the barriers between university and non-university institutions and the participation in higher education by men and women.
This paper focuses on dualities in both the process and outcomes of participation in work. Firstly, the process of participation in work activities and interactions draws on contributions of both individuals and the social world in ways that are variably interdependent, that is, relational. The affordances of workplaces shape the array of experiences individuals are able to access and, they in turn, elect how they engage, construe and construct what is afforded them. Both the social and individual contributions are exercisable with different degrees of intensity, focus and intentionality, thereby making the process of participation in work a relational one. Secondly, and onsistent with these processes, the outcomes of workplace participation also comprise dualities. These are individuals' learning or change, on one hand, and the remaking and transformation of cultural practice that comprises work, on the other. In illuminating and elaborating these concepts, this paper draws upon the initial findings of an inquiry that is mapping the working lives of groups of three workers in each of four workplaces. The aim is to understand how these relational interdependences shape the participation, learning and remaking of work practices in these workplaces. Further, the paper identifies the exercise of both affordances and engagement for each participant within their workplaces. The findings emphasise the distinctive bases by which the groups of workers engage with their work and construct meaning and remake practice as a result of that engagement. Yes Yes
In 2000 the UK Government launched a major new initiative, the UK eUniversity (UKeU), to capitalize on the potential of e-learning. With over £60 million of investment the UKeU was created to act as a broker between existing universities in terms of marketing online degrees from British universities. The UKeU represented the most important foray into e-learning yet undertaken in the UK and was also certainly one of the most significant internationally. As Conole et al. quoted:At its launch the then secretary of state proudly announced that: ‘… it is clear that virtual learning is an industry which is striding forward all around us …’ (Blunkett, 2000). When it collapsed only five years later, Sheerman suggested the investment had been ‘… a disgraceful waste of public money …’ (Sheerman, 2005). Its early demise sounds a warning note to all of us involved in e-learning. It is important that we learn from this experience so as not to replicate its mistakes, but also not to allow its failure on some levels to drown out the enormous potential and good practice which it instituted on other levels.
In the shift to a more clearly economic imperative for universities than social good, the relationship between higher education teaching and professional practice has become increasingly apparent. It is seen in the courses offered by universities, and the relationship with employment and employers advocated by government and funding agencies. From a social realism perspective, this paper envisions all high-level vocational education as professional and discusses how an understanding of the phenomenology of practice could help to define how it might be structured and by whom it may be best delivered.
This analysis of current developments in online learning for vocational education and training uses Ivan Illich's book Deschooling Society as a frame. Illich argued that formal educational institutions are flawed; that a mix of compulsion, indoctrination, certification and education creates an authoritarian atmosphere. Key benefits of online learning include its flexibility and its capacity to support dialogue between learners. On the basis of the capabilities of online technologies, and current developments in education, the authors predict that vocational learning will be profoundly changed. Inevitably, these developments will also challenge established colleges and universities, including their current dominance in major areas of vocational education and training. Education will probably become more pluralistic and more international. This paper calls for an inclusive approach—which makes the elements of an online course available to informal learners and free to people who cannot afford course fees.
This study investigated the efficacy of a reflective process designed to enhance novice professionals’ capacity to critically reflect on their practice. One hundred and eighteen (118) final-year behavioural science students participated in an action learning based subject that simulated the roles (e.g. client–consultant) and demands of professional practice. Student consultants completed, and evaluated the effectiveness of, a self-managed reflective workbook process designed to scaffold their critical reflection on a self-nominated critical incident. Findings suggest that the process facilitated metacognitive learning and that students experienced all stages of the structured process as personally and professionally valuable and psychologically safe. Students reported the greatest value from the aspects of the process that linked insights from the critical incident to wider patterns of behaviour.
This paper focuses on the issue of emancipation in education practices in general and in vocational education and training (VET) in particular. The principal aim is to contribute to the discussion of particular traditions of emancipation in education in connection with VET practices. The exploration of ongoing educational debates on VET policy-making and the issue of emancipation in VET reveals that, ultimately, emancipation in VET is understood as a specific function for socio-economic integration. The paper discusses this functionalist orientation and contrasts it with a vision on emancipation as a feature of an educational process rather than an educational outcome. Freire's and Rancière's core concepts of emancipation guide the discussion regarding the latter interpretation of emancipation in VET practices.
This paper draws on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Norman Fairclough to show how dialogue is central to the construction of identity in networked management learning. The paper is based on a case study of a networked management learning course in higher education and attempts to illustrate how participants negotiate issues of difference, inclusivity and belonging through relational dialogue.
The arguments against the well-entrenched dichotomy between vocational education and general education are economic, technological, and educational. First, "nonvocational" general education is also preparation for work and can contribute to economic growth. Second, technological changes in the workforce are making specific skill training obsolete. Third, academic and vocational skills are better developed when taught in an integrated fashion. (SK)
The professional supervision of new graduates to ensure both their effectiveness with clients and their personal learning and development is a common feature of a range of human services contexts. This study investigated psychology supervisees' perceptions of relationship processes and outcomes in professional supervision. The relationship constructs of supervisor support, challenge and openness were investigated and related to the outcome variables of supervisee anxiety and perceived effectiveness of supervision. Psychology graduates (n=261) involved in the process of professional supervision for registration responded to a mail survey regarding the quality of their supervisory relationship. Findings established the relationship dimensions of levels of supervisor challenge, supervisor support and supervisor openness as independent but related constructs. Supervisees' perceptions of supervisor support and openness predicted their perceptions of supervisor effectiveness. Supervisees' perceptions of level of supervisor challenge predicted their self-reported levels of evaluative anxiety or defensiveness in the supervisory process. Yes Yes
This exploratory study investigates the distributed nature and complexity of professional expertise by examining the patterns of cognitive processes in novices and experts who are using ultrasound technology to make diagnoses. The study aims to identify and provide an explanation for such patterns in light of the recent debate on the locus of control underpinning human cognition. A distributed model of professional expertise based on the relationships between the four elements of socio-cultural disposition, tools and artefacts, strategies, and domain knowledge, is used to discuss the results. The findings illustrate the complexity of professional expertise, particularly when individuals depend on sophisticated tools to assist their thinking and reasoning.
Many students in New Zealand are now of mature age, female, and mothers of dependent children (Allister et al. 2006). These students typically experience the challenge of sharing themselves between their children, partners, extended families and their fellow students, lecturers and studying. This research explored how a group of student-teachers who were also mothers experienced these dual roles and sought to document their beliefs, motivations, attitudes to these roles from the time they had entered teacher education. The following key themes emerged from the in-depth interviews with the women: strong motivation for wanting to become primary school teachers; the impact this decision had on the lives of their children, partners and extended families; the particular issues they faced as they tried to navigate the roles of mother and student-teacher; and the suggestions they had for continuing education and tertiary institutions to improve opportunities for other mothers wanting to study. This last theme is perhaps the most pertinent, as it offers implications for continuing education institutions wanting to attract and retain these students, who, as a group, represent a growing demographic trend in the student population.
Incl. graphs, and bibl. references This book describes the transformational processes at work in Russian universities, which have had to adapt very quickly to conditions more adverse than any other major university system has faced.Since the fall of communism the Russian university system has suffered the most serious financial downturn together with one of the most dramatic expansions of any European country. As a result it is often portrayed as chaotic. But economic and social pressures have also been a forcing house for change, causing many Russian universities to transform themselves in the process.This book shows, through a series of case studies, how Russian universities have ridden the storm of marketization and how, in the process, they have created new original forms and structures, new ways of financing themselves with much less dependence on the state and new partnerships with regional state agencies and industries. They demonstrate that entrepreneurialism can be transformational and that the new organizational features that are emerging may offer important new models for other advanced industrial economies.
A distinction between interpersonal and content interaction was identified in the literature, and applied in research undertaken on a selection of 36 courses. These courses differed in both the kinds of interaction offered and its integration in the teaching and assessment. They included different combinations and use of conferencing, email, interactive software and the Internet. Student comments on their perceptions of the positive and negative contributions of these computer-mediated elements are presented. The perceived benefits of interpersonal and content interaction are distinctive, and both can also have negative effects. Students value content interaction and interpersonal interaction for different reasons, and it is not helpful to privilege one form of interaction over another.
In this essay I will describe how the notion and reality of experience plays out in a multitude of ways in educational situations I myself encountered in my own primarily white, middle‐class university, and in some racially and economically segregated inner city areas. By putting these different sites on a continuum I will address their geographical and social connectedness as well as separation, and how this mirrors larger social divisions and hierarchies. I will discuss how social and cultural conditions not only shape an individual's understanding or interpretation of her or his experience, but also how certain experiences embody vital knowledge, and how this knowledge can be confirmed and made accessible to others in educational situations. I will describe my own attempts of structuring learning processes in a way which makes it possible to tap the power of personal narratives, but also point to various difficulties or sources of conflict.
This paper explores the significance and effects of contemporary moves towards ‘flexible learning’ within Australian institutions of education and training. Arguing that there is a tendency within discourses of pedagogy and policy to assume that flexible learning signifies merely a ‘better'form for the delivery of learning, the possibilities that it may be a practice that changes the content or outcomes of learning itself are discussed. A ‘story’ is developed which suggests that flexible learning may have the potential to change both the identities of learners and teachers and knowledge itself in quite unsettling ways.
This paper examines how identity and learning are constituted and transformed at work. Its central concern is how individuals engage agentically in and learn through workplace practices, and in ways that transform work. Drawing upon recent research into work and participation in workplaces, the negotiated and contested relationship between workplace practices and individuals' identity and intentionality, and learning is illuminated and discussed. For instance, aged care workers and coal miners acquire work injuries that are almost emblematic of their work identity. Only particularly dramatic events (i.e. serious illness or workplace accidents) wholly transform their identity and views about work practice - their subjectivities (Somerville 2002). However, it is through the agentic actions of these individuals - that workplace practices are can be transformed. Yet, individuals' agentic action is not necessarily directed to the abstracted and de-contextualised economic and civic goals (Field 2000) privileged in lifelong learning policies (Edwards, Ranson & Strain 2002). Instead, there is relational interdependency between the individual and work that can act to sustain or transform both self and their work. Individuals' agentic action is exercised within these relations in ways directed by their subjectivities. So these relations and that agentic action has policy and practice implications for the conduct of work and learning through and for work. Yes Yes
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