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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Improving Incentives to Learning in the Workplace

Grant reference: L139251005

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Conference paper/presentation details

TLRP: Individuals as learners in communities of practice: a case study of two school-teachers
In the teacher development literature there is a tradition of narrative studies, focussing on the ways in which a teaching career evolves (Lacey, 1977), and the ways in which life histories and life studies can contribute to our understanding. There are several different foci for such work, including, for example, the changing nature of teacher professionalism (Goodson and Hargreaves, 1996) and the partnership approach to teacher development (Day, 1998). On the other hand, the dominant modes of theorising about learning in the workplace adopt a social perspective. Lave and Wenger (1991) stress the significance of belonging to communities of practice. Engestrom (1999, 2001) sees learning happening within activity systems, as they face internal and external contradictions and tensions. From these and other similar perspectives, learning is a ubiquitous process, often sub-consciously undertaken, for example through normal working practices. Any separation between the person learning and the context in which they learn is artificial (Brown et al., 1989). It is not just that each person learns in a context, rather, each person is a reciprocal and mutually constitutive part of the context. In this paper, and the one which partners it in this symposium (Hodkinson & Hodkinson, 2002), we wish to explore ways of incorporating and integrating aspects of both approaches, in the tradition of much Scandinavian research into workplace learning (e.g. Jorgensen and Warring, 2002). In order to simplify our task, we focussed initially upon the theorising of Lave and Wenger (1991), as a vehicle to attempt to do that.
Original Document

Primary contributor

Author P Hodkinson

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