and Lifelong Learning Resource Base
Materials for Teaching,
Research and Policy Making
Investigator: David W. Livingstone
M. Raykov, K. Pollock, F. Antonelli
4: Work and Learning
Employment and Informal
Education/Informal Learning [PDF]
1. Ashton, D. N.,
& Sung, J. (2002). Supporting workplace learning for high
performance working. Geneva: International Labour
objectives of this book are twofold. The first objective is to increase
the awareness among governments, employers and unions of the importance of
workplace learning as a means of enhancing both work performance and the
quality of working life. The second is to explore the ways in which public
policy can be used to encourage organizations to make more effective use
of the skills of all their employees.
High Skills Society; Workplace Culture; Workplace Learning;
Work Performance; Quality of Working Life; Equity; Employer Employee
Relationship; Productivity; Government Role; Theory.
2. Ashton, D. N. (2004). The
impact of organisational structure and practices on learning in the
workplace. International Journal of Training and Development, 8(1),
main thrust of the research effort into workplace learning has been to
identify the characteristics of workplace learning as experienced by the
learner. The impact of the wider organisational process in which that
learning is embedded has been played down. This paper, building on the
work of Koike and Darrah, uses research conducted in a major multinational
corporation (MNC) in South-East Asia, to explore the impact of the wider
organisational structures on the process of learning. The model it
develops not only shows how these processes impact on workplace learning
but also helps explain why workers acquire different levels of skill.
Workplace Learning; Workplace Characteristics;
Organisational Process; Process of Learning; Skill.
3. Barber, J. (2004). Skill
upgrading within informal training: Lessons from the Indian auto mechanic.
International Journal of Training & Development, 8(2), 128-139.
Informal training is known to be the dominant skill acquisition strategy
for the majority of workers in India and many other economically
developing countries and there is much benefit in understanding the
strengths and weaknesses of this form of training. This article uses a
participant observation case study in northern India to investigate these
strengths and weaknesses as well as to search out causes and influences
that may be of benefit to those that seek to understand the process of
Skill Upgrading; Informal Training; Skill Acquisition
Strategy; Indian Auto Mechanic; Developing Countries.
4. Billett, S. (2002).
Workplace pedagogic practices: Co-participation and learning. British
Journal of Educational Studies, 50(4), 457-481.
paper advances tentative bases for understanding workplace pedagogic
practices. It draws on a series of studies examining learning through
everyday work activities and guided learning in the workplace. These
studies identified the contributions and limitations of these learning
experiences. However, whether referring to the activities and interactions
arising through work or intentional guided learning, the quality and
likely contributions of these learning experiences are underpinned by
workplace participatory practices. These practices comprise the reciprocal
process of how workplaces aford participation and how individuals elect to
engage with the work practice, termed co-participation. Workplace
experiences are not informal. They are a product of the
historical-cultural practices and situational factors that constitute the
particular work practice, which in turn distributes opportunities for
participation to individuals or cohorts of individuals. That is, they
shape the conduct of work and learning through these practices. However,
how individuals construe what is afforded by the workplace shapes how they
elect to engage in that practice and learn. There is no separation between
engaging in conscious thought - such as when participating in socially
derived activities and interactions and learning. Learning is
conceptualised as an inter-psychological process of participation in
social practices such as workplaces. It is not reserved for activities and
interactions intentionally organised for learning (e.g. those in
educational institutions). Nevertheless, particular kinds of activities
are likely to have particular learning consequences, regardless of whether
they occur in the workplace or in educational institutions. The
significance of co-participation is discussed in terms of the affordance
of the workplace and individuals' construction of that affordance and
subsequent engagement. Co- participation is proposed as a platform to
build an understanding of workplace pedagogic practices. This includes
understanding the likely contributions of learning through everyday work
activities and the use of intentional workplace learning strategies, such
as guided workplace learning (e.g. modelling, coaching, questioning,
etc.). Instances of co- participatory practices are illustrated and
discussed. Following this, a tentative scheme, founded in socio-historical
activity theory, is advanced as a means for describing the requirements
for work and bases for participation. The scheme comprises two dimensions:
activities and interdependencies.
Workplace Learning; Pedagogic Practices; Participatory
Practices; Workplace Pedagogy; Learning Through Work.
5. Billett, S. (2002). Toward
a workplace pedagogy: Guidance, participation, and engagement. Adult
Education Quarterly, 53(1), 27-43.
article proposes bases for a workplace pedagogy. Planes of intentional
guidance and sequenced access to workplace activities represent some key
workplace pedagogic practices. Guidance by others, situations, and
artifacts are central to learning through work because the knowledge to be
learned is historically, culturally, and situationally constituted.
However, the quality of learning through these planes of activities and
guidance is ultimately premised on the workplace's participatory
practices, which shape and distribute the activities and support the
workplace affordance workers and from which they learn. Situational and
political processes underpin these workplace affordances. Yet
participatory practices are reciprocally constructed because individuals
elect how to engage in and learn from what workplaces afford them. A
workplace pedagogy is founded in these coparticipatory practices and needs
to account for how workplaces invite access to activities and guidance and
how individuals elect to participate in what the workplace affords.
Adult Learning; Interpersonal Relationship; Learning
Processes; On-the-Job Training Transfer of Training; Work Environment.
6. Billett, S. (2004).
Workplace participatory practices: Conceptualising workplaces as learning
environments. The Journal of Workplace Learning, 16(6), 312-324.
Arguing against a concept of learning as only a formal process occurring
in explicitly educational settings like schools, the paper proposes a
conception of the workplace as a learning environment focusing on the
interaction between the affordances and constraints of the social setting,
on the one hand, and the agency and biography of the individual
participant, on the other. Workplaces impose certain expectations and
norms in the interest of their own continuity and survival, and in the
interest of certain participants; but learners also choose to act in
certain ways dependent on their won preferences and goals. thus, the
workplace as a learning environment must be understood as a complex
negotiation about knowledge-use, roles and processes - essentially as a
question of the learner's participation in situated work activities.
Workplace Learning; Employee Participation.
7. Boud, D., & Middleton, H.
(2003). Learning from others at work: Communities of practice and informal
learning. Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(5), 194-202.
Interviews in four worksites with tiling teachers, educational planners,
human resources officers, and off-campus trainers found that learning was
strongly influenced by the nature of the work and workplace. However, only
some of the learning networks fit the concept of communities of practice;
other conceptualizations are needed to reflect the process accurately.
Adult Education; Informal Education; Learning Processes;
Social Networks; Teamwork; Workplace Learning.
8. Brockman, J. L. (2004).
Problem solving of machine operators within the context of everyday work:
Learning through relationship and community. Dissertation Abstracts
International, 65-04A, pp.1282.
Informal learning constitutes much of the learning that occurs within the
workplace and occurs most often when an individual’s job scope expands.
Organizations are increasingly expecting their frontline employees to
solve problems, creating a "new" space for learning to occur.
Problem-solving provides the opportunity for creating experiences that
lead to informal learning. But, problem solving represents one of the most
neglected areas of research in the workplace, particularly within the
context of manufacturing. Also, neglected in the literature from the
standpoint of the workers themselves, the intersection between the gaining
popularity of knowledge management and the increased expectation for
frontline employees to solve operational problems on their own. The
purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the informal learning
associated with the problem solving process of machine operators within
the context of their everyday work. Hence, the research question: What is
the nature of the informal learning associated with the problem solving
process of machine operators within the context of their everyday work?
Using the critical incident technique, twenty machine operators from three
manufacturing organizations were interviewed individually, with 8 of the
twenty participating in a follow-up focus group session.
findings show that first, learning is perceived by machine operators to be
intimately bound up with problem solving. Second, the problem solving
process is triggered by an incident which leaves them frustrated, confused
and uncomfortable. The process of regaining equilibrium or certainty is
inherently social in nature and is guided by personal strategies to
achieve balance. Third, problem solving and learning are part of an
ongoing process of becoming a machine operator, with three definable
phases. Fourth, the consequences of the learning process result in several
kinds of knowledge. The main conclusion of this study was that nature of
informal learning of machine operators is shaped by the dialogic
relationship between the worker, the task and the machine, within a
broader community of practice.
study has enhanced the understanding of the informal learning associated
with the problem solving process of machine operators within the context
of their everyday work. This enhancement of understanding has implications
for both theory and practice. Recommendations for further research touch
upon both methodology and theory.
Education; Industrial Education; Vocational Education;
Sociology; Industrial and Labor Relations.
9. Dawe, S. (2003).
Determinants of successful training practices in large Australian firms.
Leabrook: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
determinants of successful training practices in large Australian firms
were examined. The study's three phases were as follows: (1) a review of
existing literature; (2) a meta-analysis of previously conducted case
studies of 49 large Australian firms in 14 industrial sectors; and (3) a
comparative analysis of the findings of the past studies with those of 5
follow-up cases studies from 4 industries (wine production, tourism,
electrical accessories manufacturing, and government). The following
elements were identified as major contributors to successful training
practices: (1) having an organizational culture that supports learning;
(2) sourcing formal training within the organization itself; (3) adopting
accredited training; (4) decentralizing training within the organization;
(5) increasing the diversity of training and learning approaches; (6)
responding to individuals' needs; (7) increasing the use of informal
training; (8) responding to change within and external to the
organization; (9) linking training to major features of a business
strategy; and (10) obtaining feedback from workers, managers, trainers,
customers, and other stakeholders. The follow-up case studies supported
these elements and established that items 1, 8, and 9 are the most
Adjustment (to Environment); Adult Learning; Case Studies;
Comparative Analysis; Competence; Competency Based Education; Contract
Training; Corporate Education; Definitions; Education Work Relationship;
Feedback; Followup Studies; Foreign Countries; Glossaries; Industrial
Training; Informal Education; Inplant Programs; Instructional Design;
Instructional Effectiveness; Job Skills; Literature Reviews; Nonformal
Education; Organizational Culture; Performance Factors; Postsecondary
Education; Strategic Planning; Success; Training Methods; Work
Environment; Australia; Learning Organizations; National Training Packages
(Australia); Training Effectiveness; Training Needs; Work Based Learning.
10. Devins, D., Smith, V., &
Holden, R. (2001). Creating "learning" industrial estates: Addressing
lifelong learning in small and medium enterprises. Research in
Post-Compulsory Education, 6(2), 205-221.
Establishment of learning centers in British industrial estates was
evaluated through telephone and mail questionnaires, focus groups, and
case studies. The objective of learning networks was not fully realized.
Tensions between the needs and interests of employers, learning providers,
and individual workers was found.
Adult Education; Educational Improvement; Employer Employee
Relationship; Foreign Countries; Lifelong Learning; Small Businesses;
11. Ellis, K. (2003). Top
training strategies: New twists on familiar ideas. Training, 40(7),
Provides examples of how companies are using the following strategies in
innovative ways: knowledge sharing using knowledge-management portals,
informal learning, real-time learning, competency-based learning linked to
business strategies, calculation of the return on investment in learning,
and academic-corporate partnerships.
Competency Based Education; Corporate Education;
Educational Strategies; Informal Education; Partnerships in Education;
12. Elsey, B., & Sirichoti, K.
(2002). The learning facilitation role of agricultural extension workers
in the adoption of integrated pest management by tropical fruit growers in
Thailand. Studies in Continuing Education, 24(2), 167-180.
sample of 120 Thai fruit growers reported that agricultural extension
workers were influential in their adoption of integrated pest management,
which balances cultural tradition and progressive practice. Extension
workers used discussion and reflection on practical experience, a
participatory and collaborative approach to the adoption of innovations.
Adoption (Ideas); Adult Education; Change Agents;
Educational Strategies; Extension Agents; Foreign Countries; Innovation;
Nonformal Education; Pests; Thailand.
Enos, M. D., Kehrhahn, M. T., & Bell, A. (2003).
Informal learning and the transfer of learning: How
managers develop proficiency. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 14(4),
paper examined how the extent to which managers engaged in informal
learning, perceptions of support in the transfer environment, and level of
managerial proficiency related to transfer of learning in twenty core
managerial skills. The results suggested that informal learning is
predominantly a social process and that managers with high levels of
proficiency who experience low levels of coworker, supervisor, and
organizational support learn managerial skills mostly from informal
learning and transfer learning more frequently. New perspectives are
offered on the interrelationship between informal learning and transfer of
learning, the role of metacognition and self-regulation in informal
learning, and the influence of informal learning in the development of
Informal Learning; Support Perceptions; Learning Transfer;
Core Managerial Skills; Managerial Proficiency; Organizational Support;
14. Eraut, M. (2000).
Non-formal learning and tacit knowledge in professional work. British
Journal of Educational Psychology, 70(1), 113-136.
paper discusses professional education and learning in the workplace and
the conceptual and methodological problems that have occurred from its
empirical investigations. The author discusses nonformal learning and
tacit knowledge, the importance of tacit knowledge for professional work
and the issues affecting the use of different approaches of cognition in
professional work, and the respective roles of individual and social work.
Theory of Knowledge; Nonformal Education; Learning;
Psychology of/Cooperative Learning; Professional Education;
Employees/Training; Work and Learning.
Eraut, M., Maillardet, F., Miller, C., Steadman, S., Ali, A., Blackman,
C., et al. (2003, Apr). Learning in the first
professional job: The first year of full time employment after college for
accountants, engineers and nurses. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting
of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) "Accountability
for Educational Quality: Shared Responsibility" 84th, Chicago, IL, April
Learning in the first professional job was examined in a study of 40
nurses, 27 engineers, and 16 accountants who were in their first full year
of full-time employment after college in hospitals and firms located in
the United Kingdom. Data were collected through the following activities:
(1) interviews with the respondents; (2) 1- to 2-day visits to their
workplaces; and (3) interviews with their managers/mentors and significant
others in their workplaces. The first few months of full-time employment
presented very different challenges and experiences across the three
sectors. The accountants had 3-year contracts that included both training
for professional examinations and work-based induction into the profession
through a tightly structured apprenticeship system. Although the nurses
had already qualified for their profession, they still faced a difficult
transition because of their sudden assumption of extensive responsibility
and immersion into a highly demanding, high-pressure environment with a
very heavy workload. The engineers' workplaces all had accredited graduate
training schemes. Across the occupations, informal support proved more
important than formal support and social relationships were a significant
factor in learning.
Accountants; Apprenticeships; Case Studies; College
Graduates; Competence; Education Work Relationship; Employment
Qualifications; Engineers; Entry Workers; Environmental Influences;
Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Influences; Informal Education; Job
Performance; Job Skills; Learning Motivation; Learning Processes; Mentors;
Nurses; Peer Relationship; Prior Learning; Professional Occupations; Skill
Development; Work Environment.
16. Eraut, M. (2004). Informal
learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, 26(2),
article focuses mainly on theoretical frameworks for understanding and
investigating informal learning in the workplace, which have been
developed through a series of large- and small-scale projects. The main
conclusions are included but readers are referred to other publications
for more detailed accounts of individual projects. Two types of framework
are discussed. The first group seeks to deconstruct the 'key concepts' of
informal learning, learning from experience, tacit knowledge, transfer of
learning and intuitive practice to disclose the range of different
phenomena that are embraced by these popular terms. The second group
comprises frameworks for addressing the three central questions that
pervaded the research programme: what is being learned, how is it being
learned and what are the factors that influence the level and directions
of the learning effort?
Professional Socialization; United Kingdom; Work Based
Learning; Work and Learning.
17. Figgis, J., Alderson, A.,
Blackwell, A., Butorac, A., Mitchell, K., & Zubrick, A. (2001). What
convinces enterprises to value training and learning and what does not? A
study in using case studies to develop cultures of training and learning.
Melbourne: Australian National Training Authority.
authors examined the feasibility of using case studies to convince
enterprises to value training and learning. First, ten Australian
enterprises were studied in sufficient depth to construct a comprehensive
picture of each enterprise, its culture, and the strategies it uses to
develop the skills and knowledge of individual employees and the
organization as a whole. Next, the case study findings were presented to
ten different enterprises. Those enterprises were asked to identify what
in the materials convinced them that rethinking their own approaches to
training and learning might prove profitable. Most enterprises considered
informal strategies for skill development more important and effective
than has been acknowledged by Australia's vocational education and
training sector. The enterprises also liked the cost-effectiveness and
flexibility of informal strategies. The following were among the key
findings: (1) real and detailed examples should be used when attempting to
convince enterprises to rethink their approach to training and learning;
(2) although enterprises are concerned with calculating returns on
investment in training and learning, they do not necessarily need to see
the impact directly in dollars in their bottom line; and (3) personal
interaction is the most effective channel of communication with
Attitude Change; Case Studies; Change Strategies; Cost
Effectiveness; Definitions; Educational Attitudes; Educational Research;
Employer Attitudes; Feasibility Studies; Foreign Countries; Guidelines;
Informal Education; Job Training; Learning Processes; Marketing; Models;
Organizational Change; Organizational Climate; Postsecondary Education;
Research Methodology; Research Utilization; Role of Education; School
Business Relationship; Secondary Education; Training Methods; Training
Objectives; Vocational Education; Australia; Educational Marketing;
18. Foley, G. (1999). Learning
in social action: A contribution to understanding informal education.
Global perspectives on adult education and training. New York: St.
book argues the importance of the incidental learning that can occur when
people become involved in voluntary organizations, social struggles, and
political activity. Chapter 1 introduces the case studies of informal
learning in social struggle used to develop the argument and outlines the
theoretical framework within which the case studies are located. Chapter 2
argues that unlearning dominant discourses and learning resistant
discourses are central to emancipatory learning, and applies theoretical
insights on ideology and discourse to three case studies of women's
learning in community and workplace struggles in the United States.
Chapter 3 examines a successful campaign to preserve a rainforest in
eastern Australia and the learning that occurred. Chapter 4 looks at the
dynamics of community-based adult learning by examining informal learning
in two neighborhood centers in an Australian city. Chapter 5 examines
education and learning in the current process of global economic
restructuring, and how and what workers learn as they negotiate workplace
change. Chapter 6 examines the learning dimension of women's movements in
Brazil from 1964-89. Chapter 7 examines whether political education and
learning in the Zimbabwe national struggle promoted democracy and
socialism, or whether the country was too weak. Chapter 8 discusses
application of the analysis developed, reviews and relates the theoretical
framework to a broader body of adult education theory, and suggests
further research on the relationship of emancipatory struggle and
learning. The book contains 257 references and an index.
Social Action; Adult Education; Experiential Learning;
Informal Education; Teaching Methods.
19. Frazis, H., Joyce, M., &
Gittleman, M. (2000). Correlates of training: An analysis using both
employer and employee characteristics. Industrial and Labor Relations
Review, 53(3), 443-462.
Training incidence and intensity was analyzed using employer and employee
data from the 1995 Survey of Employer-Provided Training. Education was
positively related to receipt and intensity of training. Companies with
generous fringe benefits and innovative work practices also provided more
formal and informal training.
Employer Employee Relationship; Fringe Benefits;
Innovation; Training; Training Allowances.
20. Gopee, N. (2002). Human
and social capital as facilitators of lifelong learning in nursing.
Nurse Education Today, 22(8), 608-616.
Interviews and focus groups with 27 nurses revealed the influence of
health care professionals and nonprofessional acquaintances on
participation in lifelong learning. Substantial informal learning occurs
through work-based contexts, supported by other significant individuals.
These factors constitute human and social capital, a significant enabler
of professional learning.
Human Capital; Influences; Informal Education; Lifelong
Learning; Nurses; Professional Development; Social Capital.
20. Guile, D., & Griffiths, T.
(2001). Learning through work experience. Journal of Education and
Work, 14(1), 113-131.
Analyzes how students learn and develop through work experience. Presents
a typology of work experience that identifies five models: traditional,
experiential, generic, work process, and connective. Suggests that
connectivity may provide the basis for a productive and useful
relationship between formal and informal learning.
Education Work Relationship; Individual Development;
Informal Education; Learning Theories; Models; Secondary Education; Social
Environment; Work Environment; Work Experience Programs.
21. Henderson, M. E. (2003).
Career women: Managing learning and overcoming obstacles through
lifelong learning concepts. Paper presented at the American
Educational Research Association, Chicago.
qualitative study focused primarily on career women, managing learning,
and the application of lifelong learning concepts. The main purpose of the
study was to discover how lifelong learning concepts may have been
instrumental in influencing the vision, attitude, and goals of the 20
career women included in this inquiry (two women were interviewed in
person, while 18 women completed a survey). Further, learner-managed
learning, motivational theories, and reading reviews have been included in
the study to establish a framework from which to identify the lifelong
learner. This study identified the importance of promoting lifelong
learning in society.
Career Development; Females; Interviews; Learner Controlled
Instruction; Learning Motivation; Lifelong Learning; Qualitative Research;
Surveys; Social Learning Theory.
22. Hu, Y. M., Kazuo. (2005).
Schooling, working experiences, and human capital formation. Economics
Bulletin, 15(3), 1-8.
capital is a composite of 2 types of knowledge and skills: one is
accumulated by formal education in schools and the other is accumulated
through working experiences in production activities. Introducing the
concept of human capital into the standard Lucas-Uzawa model of endogenous
growth, we show that a higher rate of long-run growth is not necessarily
associated with a higher level of education attainment.
Analysis of Education; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational
Choice; Labor Productivity; Formal Training Programs; On-the-Job Training;
Growth Models; Education; Growth; Human Capital; Schooling; Skill
23. Kilpatrick, S., & Falk, I.
(2001). Benefits for all: How learning in agriculture can build social
capital in island communities. Tasmania: Centre for Research and
Learning in Regional Australia.
Social capital helps communities respond positively to change. Research
into managing change through learning in communities and in small
businesses, particularly farm businesses, has highlighted the importance
of relationships between people and the formal and informal structure of
communities to the quality of outcomes experienced by communities.
Communities can be geographic communities or
communities-of-common-purpose, such as agricultural commodity
organizations or discussion groups. This paper reviews research into
managing change through learning and social capital, presents a model of
the simultaneous building and use of social capital, and explores the ways
in which learning as part of an agricultural community can be used to
bring benefits to isolated geographic communities. The model presented
stems from studies in Tasmania (Australia) of the informal learning
process that builds resilient communities. The two-stage model
conceptualizes the way in which social capital is used and built in
interactions among individuals. The first stage depicts social capital at
the micro level of one-on-one interactions, focusing on knowledge
resources and identity resources (identification with and commitment to
the community). The second stage of the model outlines the
interrelationship of micro-level social capital processes with
community-level and societal-level social capital resources.
Access to Information; Community Change; Community
Development; Community Resources; Experiential Learning; Farmers; Foreign
Countries; Human Resources; Informal Education; Interpersonal
Relationship; Models; Organizations (Groups); Rural Areas; Rural
Development; Social Capital; Social Networks Australia (Tasmania).
Lans, T., Wesselink, R., Biemans, H. J. A., & Mulder, M. (2004).
Work-related lifelong learning for entrepreneurs in
the agri-food sector. International Journal of Training & Development,
article presents a study on work-related lifelong learning for
entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector. Accordingly, learning needs,
learning preferences, learning motivation and conditions in the context of
lifelong learning were identified. The results indicate that technology,
IT and entrepreneurial competencies will become of increasing importance
in the future. Non-formal and informal learning seem to play an especially
important role in the competence development of entrepreneurs. Supporting
learning in a personal way is a critical factor in stimulating lifelong
learning. The results might provide some important starting points for the
support of lifelong learning in practice. Investment in new, different,
long-term work-related learning arrangements than have been undertaken
hitherto is a high priority. Workplace learning for entrepreneurs in the
context of lifelong learning should take place in settings where (new)
knowledge is constructed in dialogue with the entrepreneurs' environment
and where personal competence development is facilitated by experts in
Workplace Learning; Lifelong Learning; Entrepreneurs; Agri-Food
Sector; Learning Needs; Learning Preferences; Learning Motivation;
Learning Conditions; Entrepreneurs Competence.
25. Lantz, A., & Friedrich, P.
(2003). Learning in the workplace - An instrument for competence
assessment. Learning Organization, 10(3), 185-194.
competence assessment instrument that measures cognitive complexity used
structured interviews to investigate means-goal relationships in different
work activities. Validity and reliability were confirmed by two tests of
inter-rater reliability and six tests of validity.
Competence; Interrater Reliability; Interviews; Lifelong
Learning; Measures (Individuals); Test Reliability; Test Validity.
26. Macneil, C. (2001). The
supervisor as a facilitator of informal learning in work teams. Journal
of Workplace Learning, 13(6), 246-253.
Supervisors who are effective facilitators use their own learning and
interpersonal skills to encourage informal learning in work teams. Use of
facilitation skills can be inhibited by lack of organizational support and
reluctance to change power relationships.
Educational Environment; Informal Education; Interpersonal
Competence; Supervisor Supervisee Relationship; Supervisors; Teamwork;
27. Mau, D. C. (2002).
Survivors of downsizing: Informal learning of older adults who remain in
the workplace after their organization experiences a downsizing.
Unpublished Dissertation (Doctor of Education), Teachers College, Columbia
dissertation is a qualitative study of the informal learning experienced
by older adults who retain their jobs after a downsizing in their
organizations. The problem which prompted the study is that companies are
struggling with the negative effects of downsizing and the need to create
and retain a competent, motivated workforce from their surviving
employees. The study addresses the question of how older survivors learn
to adjust to a new psychological employment contract which doesn't
recognize loyalty or engender trust between companies and their employees.
research explored the experience of middle managers in two global
companies which have experienced numerous downsizing initiatives. It
sought to answer: (1) how survivors perceived the reasons for downsizing,
(2) how they describe their behavior and attitudes related to downsizing,
(3) what learning strategies they use and how they learn informally after
a downsizing, and (4) how their company facilitated or impeded their
ability to maintain productivity levels.
gathering methods included surveys, semi-structured interviews with
subjects, and a follow-up web-based questionnaire. Responses were compared
to literature on survivor syndrome and reactions to change in the
workplace. Findings from this research illustrate both the resiliency and
fragility of downsizing survivors. Over time they have learned much about
themselves, their careers, and their companies. Four descriptive
categories of survivors emerged from this study. These were identified as
"Bailing Out," "Hanging On," "Cautiously Committed," and "Strongly
Committed." Each describes the subjects' cognitive and emotional reactions
to their experiences with downsizing. Though they express it in different
ways, the subjects in this study demonstrated informal learning as a
necessary outcome of surviving downsizings. This learning could be
captured and shared with both young and older workers in order to develop
the resilience needed in a workplace dominated by downsizing and change.
Companies also need to recognize the value of survivor learning as a
necessary component for a healthy and productive organization.
Adult Education; Continuing Education; Occupational
Psychology; Management; Middle Management; Organizational Learning;
Downsizing; Older Workers; Studies.
28. Quarter, J., & Midha, H.
(2001). Informal learning processes in a worker co-operative. NALL
Working Paper No. 45. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work,
OISE/UT. Available at: http://www.nall.ca/.
study was conducted to understand the informal learning processes of the
members of a worker natural foods store cooperative, The Big Carrot, in
Toronto. Eight members with central roles in the natural foods retailer
were interviewed. In addition, key documents and other writings on the
cooperative were examined. The data indicate that members of the
cooperative acquire the knowledge that is needed to perform their roles
using informal learning processes. Processes most often used were the
following: (1) learning from experiences (learning by doing); (2)
discussions (either one-on-one or during meetings); and (3) questions to
internal experts and other members. The study concluded that the success
of the informal learning processes at the Big Carrot may be due in part to
the "social capital" in place as a result of the cooperative structure in
which workers play a more integral role than in more common capitalist
Business Administration; Collegiality; Cooperatives;
Developed Nations; Discussion; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries;
Informal Education; On-the-Job Training Ownership; Participative
Decision-Making; Postsecondary Education; Program Effectiveness; Social
Capital; Success; Ontario (Toronto).
29. Reardon, R. F. (2004).
Informal learning after organizational change. Journal of Workplace
Learning, 16(7), 385-395.
inductive, qualitative study investigates how learning took place among
nine experienced engineers in an industrial setting after a major
reorganization. A thematic analysis of the transcripts revealed that the
learning was informal and that it fell into three distinct categories:
learning new workflows, learning about the chemical process, and
developing engineering expertise. The participants also describe five
limitations to the learning in this context. The dynamic context of this
study had a strong influence on the learning that took place.
Informal Learning; Organizational Change; Professional
Education; Workplace Learning.
30. Schugurensky, D. (2000).
The forms of informal learning: Towards a conceptualization of the
field. NALL Working Paper No. 19. Toronto: Centre for the Study of
Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: http://www.nall.ca/.
paper shows that as an analytical category, if the concept of informal
learning is used without distinguishing its internal forms, researchers
may easily fall into conceptual confusion. The concept of informal
learning is useful but still is too broad, as it encompasses different
types of learnings which are usually conflated. This leads to a question:
is it possible to develop a taxonomy of informal learning? The author
suggests that by using two main categories (intentionality and
consciousness), it is possible to develop a taxonomy which identifies
three forms (or types) of informal learning: self-directed learning,
incidental learning and socialization.
Informal Learning; Taxonomy; Self-directed Learning;
Incidental Learning; Socialization.
31. Singh, M. (2000).
Combining work and learning in the informal economy: Implications for
education, training and skills development. International Review of
Education, 46(6), 599-620.
systems of education and training to cater to both formal and informal
labor markets. Identifies the following components of such efforts: (1)
taking into account the traditions and values of the system of vocational
learning in working life; (2) accommodating local development needs; and
(3) building on the competencies that people in the informal economy want
Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Conference Papers;
Education Work Relationship; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Informal
Education; Nonformal Education; On-the-Job Training Technical Education;
32. Skule, S. (2004). Learning
conditions at work: A framework to understand and assess informal learning
in the workplace. International Journal of Training & Development.
Special Workplace Learning, 8(1), 8-20.
purpose of this article is to develop a framework to understand and assess
the quality of learning environments in the workplace. It is argued that
indicators used to measure and assess informal learning at work, at both
the national and the enterprise level, are underdeveloped. Consequently,
current frameworks to measure and benchmark learning are heavily biased
towards education and formal training. A new framework is developed, based
on a quantitative survey representative of the private sector in Norway.
The framework consists of seven learning conditions, which have
significant effects on informal learning at work. Implications for further
research, policy and practice are discussed.
Informal Learning; Learning Environments; Learning
33. Smaller, H., Clark, R.,
Hart, D., Livingstone, D., & Noormohammed, Z. (2000). Teacher Learning,
Informal and Formal: Results of a Canadian Teachers' Federation Survey.
NALL Working Paper No. 14. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and
Work, OISE/UT. Available at: http://www.nall.ca/.
part of a larger national study examining informal learning practices
across the general population, a representative random sample of
elementary and secondary school teachers across English Canada were sent
English language questionnaire forms in October of 1998, inquiring into
their practices and opinions concerning their own on-going learning.
Respondents (N=753) were asked to comment on any informal learning they
may have done in the past year in their workplaces, their homes and their
communities. They were also asked to report on any formal learning
activities in which they participated in, including courses, workshops or
conferences. Most questions replicated closely those asked in the 1998
national telephone survey (N=1562) of Canadian adults’ learning practices
(see Livingstone 1999).
85% of all teachers indicated that they had engaged in formal courses and
workshops in the previous year, as compared to 49% of the entire Canadian
labour force, and 67% of those in the labour force with university level
education. Similarities and differences among teachers' responses were
examined, based on gender, age, region, elementary/secondary school
placement, urban/rural residence, position in the system. Teachers
reported spending an average of over eight hours per week engaged in their
own formal learning activity (including course time, reading and preparing
assignments). In addition to this formal learning, teachers reported that
they also spent an average of 4 hours per week in informal learning
related to their jobs and an average of 10 hours per week devoted to
informal learning activities generally (related to their employment,
housework, community volunteer work and other general interests). Again,
there were variations among teachers as well as within the general labour
force. As one example, 89% of teachers, as compared to only 61% of the
overall labour force and 77% of employed professionals, had engaged in
informal learning of computers in the previous year.
Courses; Elementary/ Secondary Education; Informal
Education; Inservice Teacher Education; Teacher Attitudes; Teacher
Participation; Formal Education.
34. Smaller, H., Hart,
D., Clark, R., & Livingstone, D. (2001). Informal/formal learning and
workload among Ontario secondary school teachers. NALL Working Paper
No. 39. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT.
Available at: http://www.nall.ca/.
Teachers' work in Canada, as elsewhere, is undergoing considerable change.
Increasingly, standardized syllabi, curricula, assessment, student testing
and reporting regimes are being imposed by central departments of
education, and judging from reports on these interventions, provision for
teachers to engage in formal workshops or training sessions to help
understand and implement these initiatives has been uneven. While
teachers, like all employees, have always engaged in incidental and
informal learning with colleagues and others, the nature and extent of
these recently imposed schooling reforms have raised questions about the
ways in which teachers’ “on-the-job” learning practices might also have
Following up on an earlier national survey study of teachers’ formal and
informal learning practices and interests, this paper covers two
subsequent phases of the study undertaken by members of the same research
group. For seven consecutive days in November/December 1999, and again the
following February/March, thirteen Ontario secondary school teachers kept
detailed logs of their day and evening activities, along with notations
about what, if anything, they may have learned as a result of engaging in
each of their numerous activities. Following an analysis of these diaries,
lengthy telephone interviews were conducted during September 2000 with
four of the diarists, for the purpose of exploring more thoroughly their
engagement in formal and informal learning practices, particularly as they
pertained to several province-wide schooling reform initiatives which were
being introduced by the provincial government at the time. The 23 diaries
revealed an average teacher workload of 48.7 hours per week, comparable to
that found in similar teacher workload studies in other jurisdictions.
Based on the data
from the subsequent interviews, these teachers reported high levels of
engagement in intentional informal learning activities, both at school and
at home, in order to learn about and cope with the immense task of
implementing the reforms. The paper ends with discussion on how this new
informal learning resulted in new perceptions and beliefs about teacher
identity, professionalism and the role of teacher unions.
Informal Education; Secondary Education; Secondary School
Teachers; Teaching Conditions; Teaching Load; Formal Education.
35. Thomas, L., & Slack, K.
(2003). Developing an evaluation framework: Assessing the contribution of
community-based and work-based approaches to lifelong learning amongst
educationally marginalised adults. Research in Post-Compulsory
Education, 8(1), 19-38.
Community-based and work-based learning projects to promote lifelong
learning for marginalized British adults were compared on the following
criteria: target audience, outreach, meeting new learners' needs, student
development, sustainability, and generalizability. Systematic analysis
showed the projects were more complex than a stereotypical economic versus
progressive dichotomy. The evaluation framework could help balance
elements in project development.
Adult Education; Community Education; Educationally
Disadvantaged; Evaluation Methods; Foreign Countries; Lifelong Learning.
36. Turner, C. (2000).
Identification, assessment and recognition of non-formal learning in
Greece. Thessaloniki: European Centre for the Development of
report describes a study to provide a picture of the stage of development,
level, and nature of the debate on nonformal learning in Greece. It
describes the national debate on questions of identification, assessment,
and recognition of nonformal learning, including means, motives, and areas
of agreement and conflict. Then, it describes existing and proposed
methodologies and systems based on viewpoints and debates involving
stakeholders. Links between initiatives related to nonformal learning
assessment and the national qualification standards/framework are
explored, and reference is made to areas of importance and concern.
Finally, effectiveness, legitimacy, and validity of existing methods and
experiences are assessed, including issues of mobility and visibility.
Gaps and weaknesses are highlighted, and reflections on the future are
expressed. Findings indicate that the past 3-4 years have witnessed the
beginning of an awareness and interest by social partners and the
government in Greece to issues related to identification, assessment, and
recognition of nonformal learning. There is evidence of an initial level
of dialogue on the issue but no coordinated integrated approach. Interest
in the issues around nonformal learning focus essentially on recognition
of nonformal vocational training and regulation over time of certain
professions and trades, in a piecemeal and limited way, with inconsistent
Adult Education; Developed Nations; Educational
Certificates; Foreign Countries; National Standards; Nonformal Education;
Nontraditional Education; Postsecondary Education; Prior Learning;
Secondary Education; Student Certification; Student Evaluation; Vocational
37. Whittington, D., & McLean,
A. (2001). Vocational learning outside institutions: Online pedagogy and
deschooling. Studies in Continuing Education, 23(2), 153-167.
Illich's "Deschooling Society" as a framework, argues that online
learning's flexibility and capacity to support dialogue will profoundly
change vocational learning and challenge established institutions'
dominance in vocational education and training. Calls for an inclusive
approach involving informal learning and access for those unable to pay.
Educational Change; Informal Education; Job Skills; Online
Courses; Vocational Education.
38. Yannie, M. (2002).
Effective informal learning: Considerations for the workplace. Catholic
Library World, 72(3), 155-158.
Offers practical advice for learning more effectively on the job.
Highlights include types of communication, including written and verbal;
informal learning; a work environment that is conducive to informal
learning, including organizational culture, job responsibilities,
performance requirements, time and scheduling factors, and career stage;
motivation; and insecurity issues.
Communication; Job Skills; Learning Strategies; Motivation;
On-the-Job Training Time Management; Work Environment; Career Stages;
Informal Knowledge; Organizational Culture.
39. Zambarloukos, S., &
Constantelou, A. (2002). Learning and skills formation in the new economy:
Evidence from Greece. International Journal of Training and
Development, 6(4), 240-253.
Interviews with 26 Greek companies involved in electronic activity
revealed few major differences in recruiting information/communications
technology (ICT) specialists and extensive use of outsourcing, especially
by small firms. Those with recruiting difficulties thought ICT education
was inadequate. Informal learning was important, but lack of in-house
capability limited the amount and type.
Economic Change; Foreign Countries; Human Resources;
Information Skills; Information Technology; Job Training; Organization
Size (Groups); Skill Development; Small Businesses; Telecommunications.