Everyday learning at work: communities of practice in TAFE.

Leontios, Maria and Boud, David and Harman, Kerry and Rooney, Donna (2003) Everyday learning at work: communities of practice in TAFE. In: The sixth Australian VET Research Association Conference : The Changing Face of VET, 9-11 April 2003, Australian Technology Park, Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

Ongoing restructuring, new types of students, changes in systems and the movement of staff within sections and institutes are only some of the daily challenges facing practitioners in many areas of TAFE as they grapple with the notion of organisational flexibility and customer responsiveness. This paper looks at how members of four workgroups based in two metropolitan institutes are dealing with challenges through informal learning. This paper draws from preliminary findings of an Australian Research Council collaborative research project concerned with determining the significance of informal learning and its contribution to organisational performance. The project is currently midway through and has completed interviews and held feedback sessions with members of four workgroups undertaking quite different types of work. While the project is based in an educational organisation, the major focus of the research project is on TAFE as a workplace. Wenger has written extensively on communities of practice and his work provides a new perspective for viewing learning occurring in workplaces (Wenger, 1998). This paper draws from Wenger’s theoretical work and views the four workgroups from the point of view of communities of practice. In doing so, it enables many of the everyday work practices of the workgroups to be articulated as ‘learning’. This offers potential for learning and development because it begins to foreground practices within TAFE that may foster informal learning environments and strengthen what is already occurring in these communities.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:Institute for Work Based Learning
ID Code:7780
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Deposited On:03 May 2011 12:56
Last Modified:14 May 2014 10:25

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