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ERIC Number: ED477685
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Tacit Knowledge and General Qualification: Concepts of Learning in Everyday Life and Formal Education When Work Changes with Examples from Office Work.
Olesen, Henning Salling
An analysis of office work (OW) highlights the relationship between formal vocational qualifications and tacit knowledge gained through experience. In OW, "abstracted" skills (typewriting, correspondence) and theory are taught in schools out of their practical context and can become obsolete because of technological change. Some types of "abstract knowledge"(social competencies, personal attitudes) need to be learned in a work context. Historically, women were socialized to supportive roles and routinized work and were able to supply the "abstract knowledge" component of OW using their life experiences and roles. Changes in technology, work organization and career expectations (especially for women) require rethinking the role of school-based skills and workplace practice. General qualifications need to include the ability to cope with open situations in a non-routinized way. Skills, such as empathy, that were part of female gender roles should be incorporated into the formal qualifications for OW. The function of schooling should not mainly be to transfer technical skills and prescriptive knowledge, but to provide a space for reflective and critical training together with background and overview insights. (CG)
Roskilde University Press, Postbox 260, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark (Papers not sold individually; Complete volume: ISSN-1395-6833; ISBN-87-7349-331-7, 40 Danish Kroner). Fax: 45-3815-3857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Roskilde Univ. Center (Denmark).