Learning how to learn using learning partnership groups: a new approach to workplace learning

Oval UTS
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
RWL4 2005 4th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, 2005, pp. 1 - 12
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This paper examines the use of learning partnership groups in a ten day Australian Taxation Office (ATO) workplace training program. Learning partnerships in this context are "learning relationships involving occasional meetings in which students support each others learning." (Sampson & Cohen, 2001a, p. 40). They attempt to stimulate, promote and engage individuals in effective problem solving, reflection and other forms of higher order thinking with their partners. The ATO training program uses simulations, tutoring, coaching and case-based teaching to contextualise learning and make it more relevant to what happens in the workplace. However, another important part of the program is the development of skills in 'learning how to learn'. The embedding of learning partnership groups in the program were designed to achieve this latter aim. The researchers also anticipated that participants who understood how they learnt would become more effective learners and also be better equipped to understand how to help others learn. This supposition was based on research into peer learning and learning partnerships that has been conducted in higher education (For example, Sampson & Cohen, 2001b; and Zeegers & Martin, 2001). In the ATO training program the concept of learning partnerships was extended to a vocational context.
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