The workplace as a site for learning: challenges and possibilities

Mark Tennant, Catherine McMullen

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

In recent times increasing emphasis has been given to the need for contemporary workers to be highly-skilled, adaptable and flexible, able to readily apply existing knowledge and skills to new situations, and prepared and capable of engaging in new learning as circumstances warrant. Universities have been challenged in these circumstances to respond with 'work ready' graduates and with curriculum and pedagogy that is more relevant to the workplace. One response from universities has been to explore ways in which the workplace can be more effectively integrated into the university experience through cooperative programs with industry. The workplace is thus increasingly present as a learning resource and a site of learning in the university sector. This paper explores the role of current literature on workplace learning in informing the implementation of workplace learning - either work placements, internships, or activities drawing upon students' workplace experiences for learning. Drawing on the work of a range of authors in this field, including Eraut (2004), Kemmis (2005) and Billett (2006), we examine the nature of workplace learning and explore the challenges and possibilities of the workplace as a site for learning. The convergence between work-related skills and knowledge, and work-related personal dispositions is highlighted and pedagogical implications arising from this are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWACE-ACEN Asia Pacific
Subtitle of host publicationInternational conference on Work Integrated Learning: Transforming futures - practice, pedagogy, partnerships
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherACEN-WACE
Pages501-508
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780980570601
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventWorld-Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) International Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 30 Sep 200803 Oct 2008

Conference

ConferenceWorld-Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) International Conference
CountryAustralia
Period30/09/0803/10/08

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  • Cite this

    Tennant, M., & McMullen, C. (2008). The workplace as a site for learning: challenges and possibilities. In WACE-ACEN Asia Pacific: International conference on Work Integrated Learning: Transforming futures - practice, pedagogy, partnerships (pp. 501-508). ACEN-WACE.