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The significance of individual biography in workplace learning

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Abstract:

In this paper we address a perceived gap in the workplace learning literature, for there is very little writing which successfully integrates the issues of individual learners into predominantly social theories of learning. The paper draws upon data from four linked research projects to address this problem. Following an analysis of the theoretical problems and a possible solution, the paper identifies and discussed four overlapping individual dimensions to workplace learning. They are: workers bring prior knowledge, understanding and skills which contribute to their learning; the habitus of workers influences the ways they co-construct and take advantage of opportunities for learning at work; the dispositions of individual workers contribute to the co-production and reproduction of the workplace culture; and belonging to a workplace community contributes to the developing identity of the workers themselves.

Keywords: COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE; LEARNERS; LEARNING BIOGRAPHIES; LIFELONG LEARNING; SITUATED LEARNING; WORKPLACE LEARNING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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