The in-between: Exposing everyday learning at work

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Lifelong Education, 2006, 25 (1), pp. 3 - 13
Issue Date:
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Much has been written about how space and time are integral to understanding social relations, in particular about associations between space and understanding learning in workplaces. Drawing from a research study exploring everyday learning at work, this paper looks beyond what is generally understood as work situations by turning to those spaces and times where 'social and 'work' overlap, such as breaks in tearooms. These spaces are not so work orientated that they can be described as 'workspaces', nor are they entirely social. The nexus between work and the social, of being a worker and a social being, of engaging in legitimate work and socializing are put forward as rich expanses for everyday learning. The paper draws on interviews and observational data from four work sites within one organization. It undertakes an exploration of the intersection of space, time and informal learning with regard to the social/work spaces located at work. It argues that a key location for everyday learning at work is at the points of intersection between work and social spaces and that it is necessary to abandon simplistic dichotomies between work, social and learning space.
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