Situated learning : perceptions of training practitioners on the transfer of competence across workplace contexts

Down, C 2003, Situated learning : perceptions of training practitioners on the transfer of competence across workplace contexts, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Situated learning : perceptions of training practitioners on the transfer of competence across workplace contexts
Author(s) Down, C
Year 2003
Abstract This research focused on the question, How do practitioners understand the transfer of competence (that is, what do they know and can do) accross different workplace contexts and how does it influence their practice? The research investigates the experiences and perceptions of 108 workers, who have changed jobs or whose jobs have changed, as to how they were able to adapt what they knew and could do at the time. The research is phenomological, using a methodology designed to collect and analyse data from the participants without decontextualising it. The methodology is customised and contextualised and uses activity theory, Engestrom's theory of expansive learning, grounded theory and discourse analysis to interrogate the research question. The collection of data occurred over a period of five years and was in two stages, with the second stage validating and building on the fir st stage. Minimally structured interviews and a questionnare were the main data collection tools used. Some descriptive statistics have been used but the research is qualitative in intent. The research draws on current theoretical positions of learning, transfer, experimental learning, workplace learning, activity theory, qualitative research and reflection on experience. The thesis has been written to foreground the voices of the participants and the insights their experience brings to the research. The research addresses a current gap in research work, carried out in Australia or overseas, which focuses on the transfer of competence across workplaces. The outcomes provide new perspectives on the ways in which practitioners understand transfer and integrate these interpretations into their generalisation without decontextualisation, and thus makes a contribution to our collective knowledge and understanding. The outcomes of the research are a metaphoric framework to guide the transfer of competence over dif ferent work contexts; a record of the application of new understandings of transfer as a sequence of consequential transitions (Beach 1999); generalisations derived from the embedding of contexts (Van Oers 1998); and an innovative research methodology. In addition, the participants have provided their perspectives on the preperation of, and on-going support for, people entering or crossing workplace contexts, and the consequential, necessary changes to institutional learning.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Effect of technological innovations on attitudes
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