Learning for Work From the Past, in the Present, and Into the Future?

Theo van Dellen


In this contribution, the complex interdependencies of the concepts of work and learning and, implicitly, also the concept of knowledge are discussed theoretically from three different but complementary perspectives. The urgency for this exercise lies in the author's belief that learning for work is a topic which cannot be approached in a one-dimensional linear manner. The reason for this lies in the observation that, although in general free will seems to be illusionary in learning for work, we nevertheless acknowledge the individual with their own will, which gives (future) workers some control over changing themselves, their own working life, and the context around their work for the better (Van Dellen & Heidekamp, 2015). The question in this study is whether learning for work is driven by the individual, the actual knowledge aspect of the work, or the more general contextual features of the actual (learning for work) situation. The three different and complementary perspectives that will be discussed concern firstly the idea of the transformative mind (Stetsenko, 2017) using Vygotsky's view of development and learning. The second perspective follows theoretical ideas about transformative learning that concern the complex process of individuals as they develop a more critical world view (Laros, Fuhr, & Taylor, 2017). Finally, the third perspective confronts the learning for work conceptual framework based on Ford's (1992) motivational theory and the philosophical essay about responsibility by Verplaetse (2012) contextualized and operationalized in a study by Van Dellen and Heidekamp (2015). The most practical consequence of all of this theorizing lies in the outcome that learning for work is always something transitional and future-directed. This consequence means a great deal for our ideas about learning and development and the role of education, training, and development both vocationally and professionally. The article ends with a discussion of these consequences.

Klíčová slova

transformative mind; learning paradigm; pedagogical professional; learning for work


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Časopis Ústavu pedagogických věd FF MU.

Výkonná redakce: Klára Šeďová, Roman Švaříček, Zuzana Šalamounová, Martin Sedláček, Karla Brücknerová, Petr Hlaďo.

Redakční rada: Milan Pol (předseda redakční rady), Gunnar Berg, Michael Bottery, Hana Cervinkova, Theo van Dellen, Eve Eisenschmidt, Peter Gavora, Yin Cheong Cheng, Miloš Kučera, Adam Lefstein, Sami Lehesvuori, Jan Mareš, Jiří Mareš, Jiří Němec, Angelika Paseka, Jana Poláchová Vašťatková, Milada Rabušicová, Alina Reznitskaya, Michael Schratz, Martin Strouhal, Petr Svojanovský, António Teodoro, Tony Townsend, Anita Trnavčevič, Jan Vanhoof, Arnošt Veselý, Kateřina Vlčková, Eliška Walterová.

Časopis vydává čtyři čísla ročně.

ISSN 1803-7437 (print), ISSN 2336-4521 (online)