Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: 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 Education; Greece.

Whittington, D., & McLean, A. (2001). Vocational learning outside institutions: Online pedagogy and deschooling. Studies in Continuing Education, 23(2), 153-167.


Using 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.
KEY WORDS: Educational Change; Informal Education; Job Skills; Online Courses; Vocational Education.

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.
KEY WORDS: Communication; Job Skills; Learning Strategies; Motivation; On the Job Training; Time Management; Work Environment; Career Stages; Informal Knowledge; Organizational Culture.

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.
KEY WORDS: Economic Change; Foreign Countries; Human Resources; Information Skills; Information Technology; Job Training; Organization Size (Groups); Skill Development; Small Businesses; Telecommunications.



Section 4.4

Unpaid Work and Learning




Barnes, H., Parry, J., & Lakey, J. (2002). Forging a new future: The experiences and expectations of people leaving paid work over 50. Bristol: Policy Press.


Increasing numbers of people are leaving employment before standard retirement ages, through a combination of factors such as choice, redundancy, health difficulties and increased care commitments. This study by Helen Barnes, Jane Parry and Jane Lakey of the Policy Studies Institute examines the experiences of people in their fifties and sixties who have left paid work. The research looked at how people came to leave their jobs, how they had adjusted to life outside the labour market, and how they were spending their time in retirement. The study found that most of those interviewed continued to make identifiable contributions to society after leaving paid work through voluntary work, learning activities, domestic work, caring for family members (including elderly relatives and grandchildren), helping out friends and neighbours, and leisure pursuits.
KEY WORDS: Older Adults; England; Scotland; Wales; United Kingdom; 50+; Middle Aged; Young Old; Work Attitudes; Retirement Attitudes; Daily Activities; Retirement; Retirement Reasons; Qualitative Research; Economic Security; Outside United States.

Cox, E. (2002). Rewarding volunteers: A study of participant responses to the assessment and accreditation of volunteer learning. Studies in the Education of Adults, 34(2), 156-170.


This article brings attention to the assessment and accreditation of learning for volunteers in the United Kingdom. It recognizes the perceived need for training in the voluntary sector, but presents evidence that many volunteers are not motivated by the need to attain qualifications. The study outlines the current policy context for the trend towards providing certificated training for volunteers. Four accredited training schemes are identified, each revealing the same completion and retention dilemmas.
KEY WORDS: Volunteering; Volunteer Learning; Assessment; Accreditation; UK; Volunteer Work.

Dickie, V. A. (2003). The role of learning in quilt making. Journal of Occupational Science, 10(3), 120-129.


An ethnography of quilt making in North Carolina where learning was identified as one of the central activities of individuals and quilt guilds. Described is learning in terms of its formal and informal characteristics and whether it is more or less social. Eight clusters of learning are developed: learning the making of a specific quilt, learning about tools and using them, learning about aesthetics, learning how to make a quilt, learning to be part of the quilt making culture, learning that one is a quilt maker, and learning to stretch oneself. Different structural elements of quilt making and quilt groups promote this learning, but taken as a whole learning is socially situated. Wenger's (1998) concept of a "community of practice" is used as an explanatory frame for the quilt maker learners in this study. In conclusion, learning is central to occupation, and may be a basic human need.
KEY WORDS: Crafts; Learning Strategies; Learning; Social Facilitation; Ethnography.
Eichler, M., & Spracklin , K. (2002). Case study: Housework and care work as sites for life-long learning. Retrieved September 25, 2006, from http://wall.oise.utoronto.ca/research/Eichler5pager.pdf
This study will focus on household work – unpaid as well as paid – and the learning that occurs through performing it. We will explore what counts as work and why, for example, bottlefeeding an infant is usually regarded as work, but is breastfeeding? (Esterik 2002; Knaak 2002) Why or why not? How does the nature of household work, and the learning associated with it, shift with macro-structural changes as well as changes at the micro level? How does performance and learning shift depending on whether the work is performed without pay or for pay?
KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Housework; Adult Education.

Eyler, J. (2002). Reflection: Linking service and learning - Linking students and communities. Journal of Social Issues, 58(3), 517-534.


While research on service-learning has been mixed, there is evidence to suggest that service-learning programs that thoroughly integrate service, academic learning and reflection promote development of the knowledge, skills, and cognitive capacities necessary for students to deal effectively with complex social issues. While there is little research in the service- learning literature that specifically addresses techniques of reflection, evidence from studies of problem-based learning, situated cognition, and cognitive development maintain that approaches to reflection will enhance the power of service-learning in attaining goals which facilitate full community participation. Concrete suggestions about this type of program are also presented.
KEY WORDS: Service-learning Programs; Students; Approaches to Reflection; Community Participation; Community Work.

Fitzgerald, J. (2001). Can minimally trained college student volunteers help young at-risk children to read better? Reading Research Quarterly, 36(1), 28-46.


This study explored the growth of 144 at-risk 1st and 2nd grade students' who were tutored by minimally trained college students. The college students consisted of volunteer work-study students who participated in the recent national America Reads initiative. 39 tutors used a 4-part instructional lesson with the students. 64 children who received the full complement of tutoring sessions were compared to 19 who received fewer sessions. The main conclusions were: (a) children made statistically significant gains in instructional reading level that could be attributed to the tutoring. (b) The greatest impact of tutoring was influencing children's ability to read words. (c) Patterns of growth in instructional reading level varied between low- and high-gains groups of children.
KEY WORDS: At Risk Populations; College Students; Reading Ability; Reading Education; Volunteers; Volunteer Work.

Fowler, C. (2002). Maternal knowledge: Beyond formal learning. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 42(2), 155-168.


Interviews with first-time mothers indicate the importance of informal, incidental, and experiential learning with peers and mentors such as their mothers. Although not always recognized as such, material knowledge is a crucial learning resource.
KEY WORDS: Incidental Learning; Informal Education; Mothers; Parent Education; Parenting Skills; Peer Teaching; Bourdieu (Pierre); Household Work.

Kohn, M., & Slomczynski, K. M. (2001). Social structure and self-direction: A comparative analysis of the United States and Poland. In A. Branaman (Ed.), Self in society (pp. 198-210). Malden, MA: Blackwell.


Effects of one's social structural position are examined, hypothesizing that this position affects psychological well-being; particularly, individuals who occupy higher social structural positions experience better cognitive functioning because they are capable of exerting greater control over their life conditions. It is demonstrated that social structural position significantly influenced an individual's occupational self-direction & the educational self-direction of his/her children. As well, it is demonstrated that the performance of complex or physically demanding housework and educational achievement both had a significant influence on one's self-direction. It is argued that the experience of self-direction itself, not occupational self-direction, is necessary for positive psychological functioning. Concluded, performing complex activities, not experiencing freedom, leads an individual to value self-direction.
KEY WORDS: Social Status; Work Orientations; Well Being; Housework; Academic Achievement; Social Structure; Comparative Analysis; United States of America; Poland; Social Stratification.

Ledwith, M. (2001). Community work as critical pedagogy: Re-envisioning Freire and Gramsci. Community Development Journal, 36(3), 171-182.


Complex times, defined by rapid sociopolitical change, call for a coherently articulated critical pedagogy concerned with issues of "social difference, social justice, and social transformation" (Mayo, 1990, p. 58). A pedagogy of transformative change, or liberation education, is rooted in praxis, and located in educational sites of resistance, such as, community work, youth work, social work, community education, adult education, and schooling. The political nature of education situates educators either as agents of the state or as agents of transformative change, either perpetuating the status quo or creating the context to question. An argument is made for community work as critical pedagogy, located as it is in the very essence of people's lives, at the interface of liberation and domination. Some of the key concepts of Gramsci and Freire are explored in the current context of globalization and within the notion of difference.
KEY WORDS: Social Change; Political Change; Education; Change Agents; Gramsci, Antonio; Freire, Paulo; Globalization; Community Involvement.

Livingstone, D., W. (2003). Hidden dimensions of work and learning: The significance of unpaid work and informal learning in global capitalism. Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(7/8), 359 - 367.


Over the past two centuries capitalist social relations and their underlying dynamics have become increasingly pervasive in the spaces of human life, and in particular in the relationships between employment and organized forms of education. The massive scope of this commodification has tended to obscure the enduring significance of other aspects of social practice, especially unpaid work and informal learning and their interrelations with education, employment and each other. These hidden dimensions continue to constitute large parts of our social lives and represent very substantial resources for progressive change in established forms of paid work and formal education. This paper develops this argument and provides some supportive evidence from a Canadian national survey on learning and work.
KEY WORDS: Working Class; Adult Education; Cultural Production; Critical Learning; Capitalist Systems; Industrialized Economics; Learning; Underemployment; Ethnographic Studies; Social Surveys.

Livingstone, D. W. (2001). Worker control as the missing link: Relations between paid/unpaid work and work-related learning. Journal of Workplace Learning, 13(7/8), 308-317.


Explores relations between workers’ extent of control over their paid and unpaid labour processes and the incidence of different types of organized and informal learning. Activity theory is used to posit relations between power and knowledge acquisition in different spheres of work. The sources of evidence are recent Canadian national surveys. Implications of the findings for more democratic organization of paid workplaces and educational institutions are briefly noted.
KEY WORDS: Employee Attitudes; Employee Benefits; Learning; Salaries; Working Conditions.

Mellow, M. (2007). Hospital volunteers and carework. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 44(4), 451-468.


Hospitals construct volunteer work in increasingly bureaucratized ways. The role of volunteers in Canadian hospitals has come to be integral to smooth functioning with volunteer labour becoming more formalized in the overall division of health care labour. This article addresses volunteer care work from four Canadian hospitals in Alberta, Canada. Using interview data, task descriptions and volunteer statistics Mellow examines the expectations of hospitals for volunteers to provide instrumental and affective care, yet limits the work by controlling the work time and information available to volunteers. She further explores the gendered nature of the volunteer work performed in hospitals and its effect on volunteer choices which she categorizes into four domains of volunteer work.

Volunteers overcome hospital imposed limitations through informal learning by conversation with patients. In this way, volunteers determine how to most effectively use their own time attending to the emotional needs of patients.


KEY WORDS: Volunteer Work; Emotional Labour; Care Work; Informal Learning.

Ohsako, T. (2000). Counselling and demand-driven adult learning. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 22(2), 103-118.


This paper advocates various roles for counselling in order to promote lifelong adult learning. Demand-driven adult learning underlines the importance for counsellors to recognize the wide diversity that is evident in adult learning. The paper argues that counselling for adults must fully take into consideration adult learners' psycho-social demands and economic realities: the need for adults to learn throughout life, the economic contributions of unpaid work by adults, and the sense of social responsibility manifested by adult learners. Counselling faces formidable challenges when assisting the adult learning process: learner-focused information services, psychological techniques to stimulate and support adult learning, a self-efficacy approach to adult learning, a gender-sensitive approach to adult learning, support for workplace adult learning activities, school violence management by adults, an active and productive approach to ageing, intergenerational learning, and psycho-social measures to remove barriers to adult learning.
KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Counseling.

Schugurensky, D. (2006). "This is our school of citizenship." Informal learning in local democracy. In Z. Bekerman, N. Burbules & D. Silberman (Eds.), Learning in hidden places: The informal education reader (pp. 163-182). New York: Peter Lang.


This paper examines the informal civic and political learning that occurs in local processes of deliberation and decision-making. The paper has two main sections. The first advances a conceptual discussion on informal learning, and the second part, drawing on situated learning theories, participatory democracy theories and my current research, analyzes the pedagogical dimensions of the participatory budget of Porto Alegre, Brazil, an experiment in local democracy that has been in place since 1989.
KEY WORDS: Voluntary Work and Learning; Canada; Volunteer Learning; Survey; Community Work; Informal Learning.

Serafino, A. (2001). Linking motivation and commitment through learning activities in the volunteer sector. Journal of Volunteer Administration, 19(4), 15-20.


Volunteer motivation and commitment are linked through learning about the organization, the job, and oneself. Volunteer managers should (1) identity volunteer motivations and establish conditions to support them; (2) identify learning activities appropriate for motivations and learning styles; (3) ensure congruence between volunteer learning and their jobs; and (4) accommodate short-term and long-term commitment.
KEY WORDS: Learning Activities; Motivation; Volunteers; Adult Learning; Staff Development; Commitment; Volunteer Management.

Smith, D. (1998). The underside of schooling: Restructuring, privatization, and women's unpaid work. Journal for a Just and Caring Education, 4(1), 11-29.

Discusses declining commitment to education as a public good, addressing contemporary changes in economic organization, the correlative reorganization and design of institutions, and the discourse of privatization. Privatization emphasizes the traditional family and the importance of women's unpaid work for children and schools, despite most families' dependence on two incomes. A new capital-accumulation regime is turning public school systems into engines of inequality.
KEY WORDS: Capitalism; Dual Career Family; Economic Change; Elementary/Secondary Education; Equal Education; Females; Privatization; Public Support; School Restructuring; School Support; Neoconservatism.

Smith, E., & Green, A. (2001). School students' learning from their paid and unpaid work. Leabrook: The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).


A project carried out in New South Wales and South Australia examined ways in which Year 10, 11, and 12 students experience workplaces. A questionnaire administered to students in 13 schools received 1,451 responses. Case studies in five schools included interviews and focus groups with students and teachers. Interviews and focus groups with employers in both states were carried out. Findings indicated about 60 percent of students had formal part-time work; about two-thirds had done work experience, and about 11 percent had undertaken vocational placements; paid work was highly concentrated in retail or fast food; work experience was widely distributed across a range of industry areas; and the major reason for part-time work was for extra spending money. The three major forms of workplace activity had different purposes. Work experience was seen as a process of career sampling and familiarization with work habits. Vocational placements were seen as sites for developing specific skills. Paid work was a way of earning money, although significant learning occurred. Skills best developed in all three forms of workplace activity were verbal communication, how to behave at work, and using initiative. The most common specific skills mentioned by students were also common to all three forms of workplace activity: dealing with customers, communication skills, and operating a computer.
KEY WORDS: Career Education; Career Exploration; Case Studies; Developed Nations; Education Work Relationship; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; High School Students; High Schools; Job Placement; Job Skills; Part Time Employment; Student Employment; Work Experience; Work Experience Programs; Australia.

Stoecker, R. (2003). Community-based research: From practice to theory and back again. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 9(2), 35-46.


Explores the theoretical strands being combined in community-based research, charity service learning, social justice service learning, action research, and participatory research. Shows how different models of community-based research, based in different theories of society and different approaches to community work, may combine or conflict.
KEY WORDS: Action Research; Community Involvement; Higher Education; Participatory Research; Service Learning; Theory Practice Relationship.

Van Berkel, M., & De Graaf, N. D. (1999). By virtue of pleasantness? Housework and the effects of education revisited. Sociology, 33(4), 785-808.


Explores how combined educational attainment levels of spouses affect the division of housework, taking into account the relative pleasantness of particular tasks & using 1992/93 Dutch data. Results stress the relevance of discriminating between different sorts of tasks. Men's contribution do so more to the preferred tasks of shopping or cooking than to the less enjoyed cleaning or laundry. Generational differences suggest, however, that change toward equalization permeates all tasks. Types of housework vary between couples with different educational compositions. The effects of education are such that an explanation based on egalitarian values fares better than one based on human capital. Among spouses, the results indicate that the influence of wives' education dominates. However, among highly educated wives this does not hold true when it comes to cleaning.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Educational Attainment; Spouses; Sexual Division of Labor; Netherlands.




Section 4.5

Education-Job Requirement Matching




Adams, T., & McQuillan, K. (2000). New jobs, new workers? Organizational restructuring and management hiring decisions. Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 55(3), 391-413.


Recent studies of work have argued that organizational restructuring & the introduction of technology are altering the nature & experience of work. In this paper, we examine whether recent change has affected managerial perceptions of the characteristics & abilities required of workers. Drawing on interviews with human resource managers in three industries (chemicals production, transportation equipment manufacturing, health services) in southwestern Ontario, we conclude that management across these industries is indeed seeking a "new" kind of worker, & is placing new demands on their workers. Implications of these changes for employment & for workers are discussed.
KEY WORDS: Employment Changes; Work Skills; Job Requirements; Occupational Qualifications; Ontario; Personnel Management; Personnel Policy; Manufacturing Industries; Chemical Industry; Health Care Services.

Allen, J., & de Weert, E. (2007). What do educational mismatches tell us about skill mismatches? A cross-country analysis. European Journal of Education, 42(1), 59-73.


The relationship between higher education and employment is commonly interpreted in terms of the extent to which the higher education sector is providing graduates with the knowledge and skills to match employment needs. It is assumed that a mismatch between working in a job and level or field of education limits the use of skills, with adverse effects on both productivity and earnings. This article examines this assumption on the basis of five countries from the European graduate survey. Although the analysis shows that educational and skill mismatches are indeed related, mismatches by no means imply mismatches between available and required knowledge and skills. The results indicate that traditional approaches of mismatches have to be adapted to more flexible forms of relationships between higher education and work.
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