Spaces of learning (pp 105-6, 175-180, 184, & 191-5)
— notes from Illeris, K. 2002. The three dimensions of learning. Malabar, Fla: Krieger
Everyday learning, tacit knowledge and informal learning
Life occurs simultaneously in several spaces, with different rationales that do not necessary have any connection — everyday consciousness (a notion that everyday life has become fragmented and impoverished as result of the dominance of economic pressures and rationality). Everyday living consists of a long succession of separated situations, each with its own purpose, with the only commonality time-structure — ruled by the clock. Parallel hereto is everyday learning, namely learning that occurs informally and by chance, within the various spaces, while occupied with getting everything to function and grasping it more-or-less. There is a continuous flood of impulses and impressions that requires various ways of navigating and relating. Michael Polanyi called it tacit learning leading to tacit knowledge.
Jean Lave and Patricia Greenfield characterised informal learning by these points:
· embedded in the activities of daily life
· the responsibility for acquiring the skill and knowledge rests with the learner
· others, that one encounter, serve as appropriate teachers
· absence of an explicit pedagogy and curriculum
· continuity and tradition are valued
· learning occurs through observation and imitation
· teaching happens through demonstration
· social engagement by novices and participation in the adult sphere serve as motivation
Practice learning in a community of practice
Practice learning refers to goal-directed learning similar to the old master-apprentice relationship; to short-term trainee arrangements as part of professional training courses; as well as to induction periods after theoretical training, when beginning a professional career. A concept legitimate peripheral participation means learning through participation in a community of practice—it is generally accepted that learners start in a peripheral position and gradually learn cognitively, emotionally and socially. This growth ultimately results in full membership of a community.
A fundamental motif of capitalist society is the provision of qualified workers by the state. Commerce and industry mainly take on training activities related to their own particular needs. Society further require of new generations to substantially socialise together, which takes place under auspices of the state.
Learning at work, organisational learning and ‘the learning organisation’
The workplace, as learning space, has attracted in recent years substantial attention—this applies to the opportunities of employees to learn and gain qualifications at work or in connection with work.
Aleksei Leontjev theorised that when people labour psychological structures emerge within the persons working, this imitates the structural nature of the work. The more complex the work, the more advanced the psychological structure. The human psyche further regulates the individual’s actions. When work is freed from repressive structures it frees up personality-development opportunities.
Chris Argyris and Donald Schön organisational learning to indicate the learning in organisations, meaning it takes place in or is connected to organisations—typically large private enterprise. Learning in organisations is influenced by the nature and goals of the specific enterprise, which includes profit making, competition, developing and marketing products (or services), and providing a workplace for employees. However, rigid routines do get in the way of learning. The learning organisation is defined by Peter Senge as an organisation where people continually make bigger the capacity to create the results that they desire; a workplace where new and unrestrained thinking patterns are nurtured; where aspirations are unrestrained and people learn to learn collectively.