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ERIC Number: EJ1126472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-9714
Learning by Story-Telling? Narratives in the Study of Work-Based Learning
Reissner, Stefanie Constanze
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, v10 n2 p99-113 Nov 2004
This paper describes in detail the narrative approach taken in a study of a particular facet of learning in the workplace--how people make sense of change. In unstructured in-depth interviews, employees were encouraged to tell their stories about their organisations, revealing details about the organisational culture and the ways in which this shaped the learning about change taking place within them. The paper shows that narrative analysis is a powerful tool with which to investigate work-based learning. It leads to new insights into how learning in the workplace can be conceptualised and supported in practice. Two key propositions are presented: a) Narratives play important roles in the workplace. They reflect the organisational culture and are therefore an ideal tool to assess whether an appropriate environment for learning--a "learning culture"--exists. Such a learning culture is based on the values of trust and respect, making people feel comfortable in their workplaces. b) Narratives are also an important tool to manage change. Owing to the close relationship between change and learning, people learn about their changing roles and relationships in the workplace, and can adapt to them, through sharing stories. In this study, the researcher took the role of an observer-reporter, listening, recording and replaying the conversations prevalent in the organisation. To ensure the veracity of the data, the interviewees were given a copy of the transcript on which they were welcome to comment and to engage in shared interpretations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; South Africa; Russia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A