Fuller, Alison and Unwin, Lorna
Fostering workplace learning: looking through the lens of apprenticeship
European Education Research Journal, 2, (1), . (doi:10.2304/eerj.2003.2.1.9).
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This article argues that researching the lived reality of
apprenticeship in contemporary workplaces provides a useful lens through which workplace learning more generally can be examined. Drawing on data from a 3-year study of the social and pedagogical relationships between apprentices and older workers in the English steel industry, the article proposes
that, building on Engeström’s work, an ‘expansive’ as opposed to a ‘restrictive’ approach to apprenticeship will not only deliver the broader goals being set for apprenticeship programmes around the world, but will also foster workplace learning. The article offers a critique of Lave and Wenger’s novice to expert
conceptualisation of apprenticeship and, using data from employee learning logs, argues that pedagogical relationships between apprentices and older workers need to be better understood. A conceptual framework for analysing the relationship between organisational culture and history, work organisation, and workplace learning is provided.
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