Knowing a World in Common: The Role of Workplace Educators in the Global Production of Working Knowledge

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Journal Article
The Australian Educational Researcher, 2003, 30 (1), pp. 3 - 18
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In this paper I am concerned with the challenge workplace learners and educators face, as they engage with global economies, to create `a world in common as . . . known in common (Smith 1999). I focus first on why global companies need their geographically dispersed workers to engage with a world `in common, and how they go about constructing such a world. I pay particular attention to the role of written texts in connecting individual local sites with global discourses of knowledge production. Next, I explore the roles that workplace educators play in producing and interpreting the written texts of contemporary workplaces to produce `working knowledge. I develop the argument that a critical dimension of the work of many workplace educators is the standardisation of language practice across institutions on a global scale, mediating local and global discourses to produce and use working knowledge. Finally, I discuss the political implications of the textual work that workplace educators undertake.
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