Recovering Informal Learning: Wisdom, Judgement and Community

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 23, 2007 - Education - 280 pages
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For too long, theories and practices of learning have been dominated by the requirements of formal learning. Quite simply this book seeks to persuade readers through philosophical argument and empirically grounded examples that the balance should be shifted back towards the informal. These arguments and examples are taken from informal learning in very diverse situations, such as in leisure activities, as a preparation for and as part of work, and as a means of surviving undesirable circumstances like dead-end jobs and incarceration. Informal learning can be fruitfully thought of as developing the capacity to make context sensitive judgments during ongoing practical involvements of a variety of kinds. Such involvements are necessarily indeterminate and opportunistic. Hence there is a major challenge to policy makers in shifting the balance towards informal learning without destroying the very things that are desirable about informal learning and indeed learning in general. The book has implications therefore for formal learning too and the way that teaching might proceed within formally constituted educational institutions such as schools and colleges.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
2 The Central Argument
3
3 Outline of the Book
5
Lifelong Informal and Workplace Learning
15
2 Some Common Criticisms of the Concept of Lifelong Learning
20
3 The Literature of Informal Learning
27
4 The Literature of Workplace Learning
40
5 Lifelong Learning as a Stimulus to Reconceptualise Learning
44
6 The Informal Learning and Lifelong Learning Cluster
155
The Importance of Contextuality for Learning
159
2 Reasons for Neglecting Context
160
3 Informal Learning is Significantly Contextual
162
5 Whats so Important about Propositional Learning?
166
6 Learning Spaces and Contexts
172
7 Some Examples to Illustrate the Contextuality of Learning
174
8 An Informal Recovery Programme
176

A Brief Genealogy of Lifelong Learning
47
1 Learning and Living
48
2 Learning and the Economy
51
3 Vocational Education
54
4 Academic Education
55
5 High and Low Skills
58
6 Personal Stories
59
Origins of a Mistake
67
2 Empiricism
69
3 Policy
72
4 Globalisation
74
5 Consequences
75
6 Exemplars
80
Opportunity and Contingency
87
1 Public and Private
88
2 Political Liberalism
92
3 Modus Vivendi or Consensus?
94
4 Reinterpreting an Overlapping Consensus
96
5 Practical Engagement
99
6 Victorias Story a Cautionary Tale
100
7 A Network Society
103
8 Personal Stories Revisited
105
Rethinking Learning
109
1 Why a Single Account of Learning is Unlikely to be Viable
110
2 Metaphor Clusters
120
3 Dominance of the Propositional Learning Cluster
131
4 The Key Roles of Judgement and Context
144
5 Exemplars
148
The Idea of Practice
179
1 Macintyre
180
2 Legitimate Peripheral Participation
186
3 Practices and Contexts
193
4 Practical Involvement
195
5 Formal Learning
197
6 Exemplars
199
The Idea of Judgement
203
1 Making Implicit Context Explicit
205
2 Judgement
208
3 Interests and Purposes
211
4 Exemplars
214
Wisdom
217
1 A Short Summary of Wisdom
218
2 Shulman and the Wisdom of Practice
219
3 Dreyfus and the Stages of Attaining Wisdom
221
4 Sternberg on Wisdom the Balance Theory
227
5 Exemplars
228
6 The Paradox of Wisdom
232
Recovering the Informal
233
1 A Theory of Informal Learning in Summary
235
2 Further Exemplars
238
3 Shifting the Balance
247
References
251
Author Index
271
Subject Index
275
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