Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Continuing Education; Corporate Education; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attainment; Educational Demand; Employment Qualifications; Foreign Countries; Informal Education; Lifelong Learning; Postsecondary Education; Underemployment; Canada; United States.

Livingstone, D. W. (2000). Exploring the icebergs of adult learning: Findings of the first Canadian survey of informal learning practices. NALL Working Paper No. 10. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


See Chapter 1.2

Livingstone, D. W. (2001). Basic patterns of work and learning in Canada: Findings of the 1998 NALL Survey of Informal Learning and Related Statistics Canada Surveys. NALL Working Paper No. 33. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


See Chapter 1.2

Livingstone, D. W. (2002). Working and learning in the information age: A profile of Canadians. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks.


See Chapter 1.2

Livingstone, D. W., & Sawchuk, P. (2000). Beyond cultural capital theory: Hidden dimensions of working class learning. Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, 22(2), 203-221.


This paper argues that working class people are at least as active as adult learners beyond schooling as those in the affluent classes, and that the collective capacity for creative cultural production and critical learning is alive and well in the organized core of the working class in advanced capitalist societies. After identifying the limitations of current theories of class cultures, especially as they relate to education and learning, the paper suggests an alternative theoretical perspective grounded in the activity theory of social learning. Its critique of cultural capital theory and proposed alternative perspective is based on participatory action research with several groups of organized Canadian workers and is illustrated here with evidence from ethnographic studies, as well as related social surveys.
KEY WORDS: Working Class; Adult Education; Cultural Production; Critical Learning; Capitalist Systems; Industrialized Economics; Learning; Underemployment; Ethnographic Studies; Social Surveys.

Livingstone, D. W., & Sawchuk, P. H. (2004). Hidden knowledge: Organized labour in the information age. Aurora, ON: Garamond Press.


The issue of workers' role in the increasingly "knowledge-based" economy and the need to create a "lifelong learning culture" in every workplace has been the focus of official studies in industrialized countries around the world over the past ten to fifteen years. These studies, as Livingstone and Sawchuk write, "impl[y] that most workers suffer from a deficit of necessary skills and knowledge which must be rectified by greater education and training efforts." This book details a sophisticated study that explicitly challenges these assumptions. Working with Canadian unions, the authors conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews with workers in five different industries: auto, chemical, college, small-parts sector (automobile components), and garments. The sites vary not only by industrial sector, but also by wage level, training, managerial practices, employment situation, and union strength.
KEY WORDS: Learning; Unions; Underemployment; Knowledge; Working Class; Information Age; Information Society.

Lynch, R., Leo, S., & Downing, K. (2006). Context dependent learning: Its value and impact for workplace education. Education & Training, 48(1), 15-24.


This paper aims to describe how a management development program based on situated learning theory resulted in change for individuals, organizational culture and performance. Using a case study approach, the authors illustrate how new understandings about learning in the workplace and in higher education point towards the need to take account of the context in which learners utilize their knowledge and skills. Using both quantitative and qualitative strategies, the study finds that positive cultural change was a significant benefit to the host organization from the training program. It was apparent that training can move beyond individual development to bring about organizational gains.
KEY WORDS: Educational Policy; Organizational Culture; Performance Levels; Workplace Learning.

Manning, S., Ed; , Griffiths, T., Ed; , & Oliveira, T., Ed. (2002, September 11-14). Current research in European vocational education and human resource development. Paper presented at the European Conference of Educational Research (ECER), Lisbon, Portugal.


This document contains the papers from a conference on current research in vocational education and training (VET) and human resource development in Europe.
KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Adult Students; Apprenticeships; Case Studies; Vocational Education; Vocational Education Teachers.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research. (2003). What makes for good workplace learning? At a glance. Leabrook: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.


Workplace learning, both formal and informal, is taking on an increasingly important role in the education and training of the workforce. Based on an analysis of recent research on workplace learning in Australia, in an 'ideal' workplace learning situation enterprises would have in place the elements outlined in the following key findings: (1) workplace learning is aimed at increasing innovative capacity in enterprises; (2) organizational culture supports and values training and learning; (3) training and learning are a part of doing business and are included as an integral part of the strategic planning cycle; (4) training and learning in all forms are valued and used according to the appropriate circumstances; (5) training is customized to individuals and to increase work capability; and (6) networks, partnerships, and supply chains are used to facilitate training. Workplace learning arrangements are important for employers in developing innovative capacity in enterprises. The main issues are developing a culture of learning; linking training to business strategy; valuing all forms of training; customizing training to increase skill levels; and importance of networks and partnerships.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Developed Nations; Education Work Relationship; Educational Indicators; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Informal Education; Organizational Culture; Partnerships in Education; Strategic Planning; Values; Vocational Education; Workplace Literacy; Work and Learning.

Pillay, H., Boulton-Lewis, G., Wilss, L., & Rhodes, S. (2003). Older and younger workers' conceptions of work and learning at work: A challenge to emerging work practices. Journal of Education & Work, 16(4), 427-444.


Thirty-nine participants aged over 40 and 16 participants aged under 40 from a medical organization and a transport organization, were interviewed to obtain data regarding their conceptions of work and learning at work amid changing workplace practices. A phenomenographic approach was adopted to analyse the data. Frequency distributions of conceptions and a comparative analysis between the two age groups were also carried out. In addition, an analysis of the implications of these conceptions was conducted to understand workers" behaviours in light of current changes in work practices and to assess the potential implications for knowledge creation and use. The results indicated that there were four and five hierarchical conceptions for work and learning at work respectively and that these were spread across Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels and workplaces. There were also differences between the two age groups and their distribution across the conceptions.
KEY WORDS: Employee Attitudes; Learning; Personnel; Working Conditions.

Portelli, J., & Solomon, R. P. (Eds.). (2001). The erosion of democracy in education. Calgary: Detselig.


This book brings forth issues in education and public policy that are most pertinent to Canada in the wake of rapid globalization. As well, this book continues the debate on the erosion of democracy in education in a Canadian perspective.

KEY WORDS: Education; Work and Learning; Social Aspects; Educational Sociology; Canada.

Raelin, J. A. (2000). Work based learning: The new frontier of management development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.


Promoting a return to what he describes as an earlier model than the classroom, the author explores how managers and corporate educators can facilitate learning in the work environment. The author also looks at theoretical considerations and suggests practical steps.
KEY WORDS: Executive Training; Employee Training; Organizational Learning; Work and Learning.

Rainbird, H. (2000). Training in the workplace: Critical perspectives on learning at work. New York: St. Martin's Press.


This book is part of the “Management, work and organisations” series, which is designed for post-graduate students and human resource professionals. This volume provides some background on the topics for those who are unfamiliar with them; the tone of the chapters is critical and analytic.
KEY WORDS: Employee Training; Workplace Learning; Unions; Adult Learning; Work and Learning.

Raseev, S. (2002). Trends in the new configuration of the labor force in Europe. Revista Romana de Sociologie, 13(5-6), 515-522.


Trends in the European labor market are discussed, with attention to European Union labor policies and problems, such as demographic decline & disparities in professional qualifications - the most significant problem is in emerging technology fields, like information technology and communications. Argued is that much investment is needed, and that the American MBA track is worth emulating, as the need for training of new elites is pronounced (eg, estimated that in 2010, only 17% of Germans will have a university or polytechnic degree). Also discussed are issues in occupational modeling, such as cognitive pyramids, the 24-hour society, changing workflow & work life patterns and their future impact on Europe & Romania. In conclusion, Europe as a whole needs a coherent strategy for labor policy & training.
KEY WORDS: Labor Market; Labor Force; Labor Policy; Romania; European Union; Job Training.

Robertson, S., & Dale, R. (2002). Local states of emergency: The contradictions of neo-liberal governance in education in New Zealand. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23(3), 463-482.


The authors argue that neoliberal governance regimes are deeply contradictory and that these contradictions are increasingly evident in the education sector. Drawing on a case study of the consequences of restructuring in education in New Zealand, arguably a paradigm case of neoliberal governance, the authors suggest the state is faced with a dilemma about how best to manage these tensions and contradictions within the framework of the political rationality itself. One strategy is to isolate these problems in order to manage and contain the risks associated with them. The authors identify five variants we argue can broadly be viewed as local states of emergency.
KEY WORDS: Governance; Neoliberalism; New Zealand; Education; Policy; Reforms; Work and Learning.

Salminen-Karlsson, M. (2006). Situating gender in situated learning. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 22(1), 31-48.


This article brings together situated learning approach to the study of organizational learning with the 'doing gender' approach in the study of gender in organizations. The authors argue that studies of situated learning have not taken sufficient account of gender aspects. Gender appears to be highly relevant to the situated learning approach whereby learning is perceived as socialization in the context of a community of practice. That is, according to the 'doing gender' approach, all socialization implies learning to 'do gender' in an appropriate way. The present article discusses how and why gender is neglected in studies of situated learning in organizations and exemplifies ways in which the inclusion of gender aspects could affect the basic assumptions and conclusions of the approach.
KEY WORDS: Situated Learning Theory; Gender; Organizational Studies; Socialization; Identity; Inequality.

Sanchez, F. (2003). Skills for a knowledge-based economy. Leadership, 33(2), 30-33.


This paper describes what schools must do to prepare students for jobs in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.
KEY WORDS: Educational Objectives; Elementary Secondary Education; Job Skills.

Sawchuk, P., Duarte, N., & Elhammoumi, M. (Eds.). (2006). Critical perspectives on activity. New York: Cambridge University Press.


The last two decades have seen an explosion of interest throughout the world in theories of mind, culture, and activity. This unique collection of essays is the first to explicitly reach back to the tradition’s original critical impulse within which the writings of Karl Marx played such a central role. Each author pushes this impulse further to address leading contemporary questions. It includes a diverse array of international scholars working from the fields of education, psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, communications, industrial relations, and business studies. Broken into three main sections - education, work, and everyday life - each chapter builds from an analysis of practice and learning as social cultural participation and historical change in relation to the concept of activity, contradiction, and struggle. This book offers insight into an important complexity of overlapping practices and institutions to shed light on broader debates over such matters as the ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘lifelong learning’.
KEY WORDS: Marx; Education and Work; Knowledge Economy; Lifelong Learning.

Singh, M. E. (1999). Adult learning and the future of work. Hamburg: UNESCO, Institute for Education.


This book contains 15 papers: "Introduction" (Madhu Singh); "Adult Learning and the Transformation of Work" (Paul Bélanger); "Future of Work and Adult Learning" (Ettore Gelpi); "The Obligation of Education in the Face of Globalisation" (Nicole Arnaud); "Lifelong Learning and Vocational Education and Training: A Teacher's and Trade Union View" (Hilde Borgir, Renate Peltzer); "Trends of Active Populations: Context and Scope" (J.A. Bofill); "Ethical Implications of Contemporary Trends in Work and Adult Vocational Learning" (Richard G. Bagnall); "Work, Technology and Lifelong Education: Training the Trainers" (Rafael E. Ferreyra); "Technical and Vocational Education, Lifelong Learning and the Future of Work in Zimbabwe" (Charles M. Nherera); "New Competence--A Reform in Norway" (Hilde Borgir); "Traditional Non-formal Vocational Education: The Indian Experience" (C.J. Daswani); "The Potential, Actual and Social Demand for Adult Learning in Argentina: The Situation of Educational Risk and Cumulative Advantage" (Maria Teresa Sirvent); "Social and Cultural Contexts of Vocational Learning in the Informal Sector: Implications for Vocational Education and Training Systems" (Madhu Singh); "Competencies for Innovative Entrepreneurship" (Gunter Faltin); and "UNIFEM [United Nations Development Fund for Women] Programme in Entrepreneurship Development for Women: An Experience from Lebanon" (Randa el Husseini). Concluding the book is the document "Proposals for Discussion on the Future of Work and Adult Learning," which was contributed to the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education by the 15-member informal working group on the future of work and adult learning.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Adult Learning; Competence; Education Work Relationship; Educational Change; Educational Environment; Educational Needs; Population Trends; Strategic Planning; Systems Approach; Teacher Attitudes; Trend Analysis; Unions; Vocational Education; Women's Education; Work Environment.

Solomon, N. (2001). Workplace learning as a cultural technology. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 92(Winter), 41-53.


This article explores some of the challenges and complexities presented by the new discourses on work and workplace learning, particularly those that serve as foreground to questions of culture.
KEY WORDS: Discourse; Workplace Learning; Work; Culture.

Solomon, N., Boud, D., & Rooney, D. (2006). The in-between: Exposing everyday learning at work. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25(1), 3-13.


Much has been written about how space and time are integral to understanding social relations, in particular about associations between space and understanding learning in workplaces. Drawing from a research study exploring everyday learning at work, this paper looks beyond what is generally understood as work situations by turning to those spaces and times where "social" and "work" overlap, such as breaks in tearooms. These spaces are not so work orientated that they can be described as "workspaces", nor are they entirely social. The nexus between work and the social, of being a worker and a social being, of engaging in legitimate work and socializing are put forward as rich expanses for everyday learning. The paper draws on interviews and observational data from four work sites within one organization. It undertakes an exploration of the intersection of space, time and informal learning with regard to the social/work spaces located at work. It argues that a key location for everyday learning at work is at the points of intersection between work and social spaces and that it is necessary to abandon simplistic dichotomies between work, social and learning space.
KEY WORDS: Space; Time; Learning; Work; Informal Learning; Lifelong Learning; Adult Education.

Symes, C. E. (2000). Working knowledge: Productive learning at work. Proceedings of the International Conference, Sydney, Australia. December 10-13, 2000.


These conference proceedings contain 65 presentations and 3 colloquiums from a conference that dealt with knowledge at work and knowledge that works and with how education can be successfully integrated into work and work into education.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Apprenticeships; Certification; Computer Mediated Communication; Cooperative Education; Developing Nations; Education Work Relationship; Vocational Education; Work Environment; Work Ethic; Workplace Literacy.

Te Riele, K., & Crump, S. (2003). Ongoing inequality in a 'knowledge economy': Perceptions and actions. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 13(1), 55-75.


The concept of the 'knowledge economy' is increasingly used to underpin education policy in developed countries. In Australia, it has been applied to post-compulsory education policy, with efforts to increase retention in senior secondary education and reform of vocational education in the senior years. The article draws on two research projects with senior secondary schools. Many students (and their teachers and parents) perceived qualifications not so much as providing the knowledge considered necessary by government policy for the contemporary economy, but rather as a 'screen' used by employers to sort and select. Knowledge of opportunity structures and access to resources, while not only defined by social class, operated to create differential access to available choices in the educational market place. Despite ongoing inequality, the article argues that the hope many students expressed in relation to education can be fulfilled in practice.
KEY WORDS: Information Society; Educational Policy; Educational Reform; Secondary Education; Vocational Education; Opportunity Structures; Educational Inequality; Social Reproduction; Student Attitudes; Australia.

Thery, M., Roussel, P., & Zygmunt, C. (2002). A European approach to lifelong learning: Goals and realities. Training & Employment, 49(October-December), 1-4.


Comparison of company practices regarding continuing training of employees shows great diversity among the 15 European Union member states. In 11 countries, over 70 percent of companies are "training involved" (TICs). South European countries have a low percentage of TICs; the proportion of TICs in north European countries is over 80 percent. The proportion of companies offering training sessions is greater than that of those offering less formal training. As to formal training sessions, four groups of countries are distinguished in terms of employees' rates of access, average length of sessions, company size, percentage of companies conducting such sessions, company financial participation, and cost of training per trainee. The percentage of employees participating in a training session varies by proportion of TICs in the country. Comparing training session length with proportion of TICs, in countries with little training, average length of sessions is rather long, which is to the detriment of access; in TICs, rate of access is high but training is of short duration. With regard to other forms of training, three groups of countries emerge. In Denmark and Finland, self-training, lectures, and workshops play an important role. Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands mainly use inservice training. Ireland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, and Sweden show greater recourse to job rotation. The conclusion is that a European approach to lifelong learning remains to be created.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Comparative Analysis; Comparative Education; Continuing Education; Corporate Education; Developed Nations; Employees; Employer Employee Relationship; Foreign Countries; Industrial Training; Informal Education; Inplant Programs; Lifelong Learning; Participation; Personnel Management; Personnel Policy; Program Length; Training Methods.

Tomusk, V. (2002). The rise of the transnational capitalist class and World Bank 'aid' for higher education. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 12(3), 335-352.


This article looks at globalization as a process of replacement of the global political order of nation states with the global economic order of transnational corporations. It is argued that this process carries far-reaching consequences, in which a growing number of spheres, including education, are subjected to the interests of the global economic order. Under the disguise of global economic development activities, the new world system strives toward maximizing the short-term profits of the transnational capitalist class. Following Sklair's global systems theory, this article looks at the World Bank as a transnational organization. Based on recent World Bank higher education reform loan projects in Eastern Europe, it is argued that the primary outcome of the World Bank loan projects is the redistribution of the resources of the so-called "recipient countries" to the transnational capitalist class.
KEY WORDS: Globalization; International Economic Organizations; Higher Education; Educational Reform; Eastern Europe; Foreign Aid; Educational Policy; World System Theory.

Toronto Training Board. (2002). Training in Toronto's "new economy". Toronto: Toronto Training Board.


This community Perspectives Series originates from the March 2001 forum and contains statements made by four participants about the new economy in Toronto. Defined by the moderator, the new economy was "an economy that emphasizes knowledge and technical processes put to the production of goods and other outputs so that an individual's knowledge is viewed as a factor in determining economic productivity." Access diminished: A report on women's training and employment services in Ontario" (Karen Lior) describes how legislation and funding decreases that have resulted in a fragmentation of services and the business community's lack of commitment to play an active role in training have resulted in decreased opportunities for women and their families. "The Temporary Economy" (Deena Ladd) suggests that the promotion of flexibility as a positive outcome of the economy can in fact result in a lack of stability that means low-paying, temporary jobs for many workers. "Preparing Ourselves for the New Economy" (Karen Lawson) suggests that women must become technologically savvy in order to take advantage of opportunities in the new economy. "The Young and the Enterprising" (Sandra Tam) presents some of the issues facing young workers in the new economy and describes school-to-work transitions that can help youth who are at-risk.
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