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ERIC Number: EJ759744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0266-0830
Hidden Knowledge: Working-Class Capacity in the "Knowledge-Based Economy"
Livingstone, David W.; Sawchuck, Peter H.
Studies in the Education of Adults, v37 n2 p110-122 Aut 2005
The research reported in this paper attempts to document the actual learning practices of working-class people in the context of the much heralded "knowledge-based economy." Our primary thesis is that working-class peoples' indigenous learning capacities have been denied, suppressed, degraded or diverted within most capitalist schooling, adult education institutions and employer-sponsored training programmes, at the same time as working class informal learning and tacit knowledge are heavily relied on to actually run paid workplaces. Our analysis is based on five case studies of Canadian union locals which document the learning practices of hired workers based in different industries and employment sites with strikingly different support systems for education and training and working-class learning generally. We criticise dominant theories of adult education for preoccupation with ahistorical and individualised, psychological processes and motives while ignoring the collective learning processes that workingclass people rely upon most. For this reason we rely on a cultural-historical theory of adult learning. These case studies show that workers are generally active learners, that they do much of their learning informally and that much of this learning is of high quality. (Contains 2 tables.)
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada