ERIC Number: ED363726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Learning the Ropes: The Social Construction of Work-Based Learning.
Hart-Landsberg, Sylvia; And Others
A study examined how experienced and newly hired hospital unit secretaries at a large private hospital "learned the ropes" of their jobs. Two researchers interviewed and observed a total of 15 unit secretaries to gather information on the secretaries' occupational and educational backgrounds, assigned tasks, and ways of learning their assigned tasks. The experienced secretaries' reflection-in-action on their activity system was compared to that of a novice secretary. For the secretaries, learning the job turned out to be a major part of the job itself, and their learning and doing proved largely concurrent. A large part of the secretaries'"learning the ropes" entailed learning their respective activity systems through a process of reflection-in-action that was largely self-initiated and that involved ongoing interpretation and negotiation of their activity systems. The secretaries perceived themselves as constantly engaged in learning but seldom being taught. The following implications for training designers were drawn: recognize the essential role of assisted learning, create conditions to foster assisted learning, design and implement innovations that structure learning in the workplace, and design and implement innovations that structure occupational learning in schools. (A hospital job description and interview guide are appended, and 68 references are included.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Education Work Relationship, Entry Workers, Hospital Personnel, Interviews, On the Job Training, Pilot Projects, Secretaries, Vocational Education, Work Environment
NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, 46 Horrabin Hall, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-413: $6).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.