This brief blog outlines recent research by Koula Charatonos, Heli Kaatrakoski, Tim Seal and me, funded through the Fleming Fund.
The workplace is a site for learning, to expand enterprise and develop individuals (Boud & Garrick, 1999). Therefore, the context and place of learning will influence whether and how people learn. Both the pedagogical features of workplace learning and the organisational structure of the workplace characterise the nature and quality of the learning experience (Fuller & Unwin, 2003).
Recent research within the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology and the University of Glasgow’s School of Education, funded by the Fleming Fund, provides empirical evidence that the place of learning is an important consideration for workplace learning.
Our study of how professionals learn about AntiMicrobial Resistance in healthcare laboratories in low-to-medium income countries found that a high percentage of lab professionals had not had opportunity to update their knowledge of AMR. However, even if they learned about the latest trends and techniques, they were unable to apply these and learn new practices without a parallel review of how the workplace was structured and maintaining a broad perspective of how their (local) workplace fits/is situated in the wider national and global AMR system (Littlejohn, Charatonos & Kaatrakoski, forthcoming).
This finding provides evidence first that where professionals are located influences their learning experience and second that, for learning to be effective in enabling new forms of practice, professionals should reflect on the organisational structure and be empowered to alter their workplace.
Boud, D., & Garrick, J. (1999). 1 Understandings of workplace learning. Understanding learning at work, 1.
Fuller, A., & Unwin, L. (2003). Learning as apprentices in the contemporary UK workplace: creating and managing expansive and restrictive participation. Journal of education and work, 16(4), 407-426.
Charitonos, K. (2019) Supporting laboratory professionals in LMICs to learn about antimicrobial resistance on-the-job. The BERA Blog Research Matters https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog
Littlejohn, Charatonos & Kaatrakoski (forthcoming)