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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.

Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education

Grant reference: L139251025

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Conference paper/presentation details

TLRP: Towards a cultural theory of college-based learning
This paper develops a cultural understanding of college-based learning, from a theoretical perspective. In doing so, we set out some of the ways in which such a perspective on learning differs from more well established views. We base our analysis on some of the principles established mainly in literature, which addresses learning outside educational settings. This work suggests that individual learning is inherently embodied and social, and that learning may be valuably understood as a social practice. Following Bourdieu, we argue that learning should then be understood as cultural and relational. When this approach is applied to learning within a college, commonly expressed views about the differences between formal and informal learning become untenable, as are arguments that somehow college (or school) learning is inherently inferior to everyday learning, or learning at work. The paper then explores some of the implications of adopting a cultural perspective on learning. This includes problematising what counts as ‘good’ learning, and recognising that this varies from context to context, and from person to person. It is often contested. Implications for research include the need to see learning cultures as relational ‘wholes’, rather than searching for isolatable prime causes of learning. We conclude by raising some problems that the TLC project has encountered in operationalising this sort of theoretical stance, which is then further developed in then second paper in the symposium.
Original Document

Primary contributor

Author P Hodkinson

Additional details