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Learning Environments in the Workplace : The Construction of Learning Environments in a VET-program from an Organizational Pedagogical Point of Departure

Authors
  • Johansson, Peter
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Source
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
Keywords
Language
Swedish
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Today’s research on workplace learning stresses the importance of the environment in which learning takes place. On the basis of an empirical study of a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program this thesis aims to create knowledge about how a learning environment is constructed. Theoretically, the study is based within action theory and takes an organizational pedagogical point of departure. It is rooted both in constructivist theory, as well as draws on the theory of learning as culturally and socially situated. The study is designed as a single case study. Data was primarily collected during periods of field studies through the observation of teachers’ work inside and outside classroom settings; recurring in-depth interviews with six teachers and eight participants, and reflection group interviews with the teachers. The study reveals a difference between participants’ and teachers’ educational goals and ambitions. This is important to acknowledge due to the necessity for the teachers to handle the difference. It gives information on daily work in the VET-program and the important work tasks that emerge. The program is influenced by the ideological foundations developed by its principal organizer, which comes to play as a special way of reasoning, the Yes-thought. Much of the daily work consists of an adjustable way of working and an approach that supports it. However, two tension fields can be identified in which discretion in work tasks is created. The first concerns the approach to work tasks, and is a tension between dynamic and instrumental approaches. The second concerns the organizing of work tasks and is a tension between adjustable and regulating ways of working. Micro context is introduced as a concept, referring to the context of meaning which is created around work tasks. Depending on the micro context’s position in the two tension fields, different conditions of learning can be identified. The micro contexts can then be understood as the learning environments in the work place.

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