Internal versus external goods - a useful distinction for understanding productive workplace learning

Publisher:
University of Western Sydney
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Proceedings of the AARE 2005 International Education Research Conference, 2006, pp. 1 - 10
Issue Date:
2006-01
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The goal of productive learning is self-evident in most workplaces, yet the process and method depends on contested notions of learning, context and practice. In this paper, I build from MacIntyre s framework of moral philosophy in examining concepts of practice, internal and external goods and link them to related concepts of judgement and context as recently examined by Beckett, Hager, Halliday and Athanasou. To review whether this theorising of practice is useful to understanding learning across workplaces, I compare two cases in literature one in education, the other in sport that highlight the internal/external goods distinction. In considering business workplaces, I challenge a provocative view articulated by Dobson, that the very nature of business requires a pursuit of only external goods without any virtuous foundation. Finally, I raise some research questions that problematise the internal/external goods distinction for enhancing productive learning. These questions are currently being tested in fieldwork.
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