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Dr Ann Reich

Biography

Ann Reich is a Senior Lecturer in the area of professional and workplace learning. She coordinates the Master of Education (Learning and Leadership) and teaches subjects on professional learning and practice in postgraduate degrees across the School of Education. 

She leads the Professions and Learning Research Group within the School of Education. Her research interests are in professional and workplace learning and practice, and public sector reform .She is a member of ProPel , an International network of researchers in professional learning and practice  and  the International Committee for Researching Work and Learning.  Her current research and publications uses practice theory perspectives on professional learning and has included investigating professional learning practices of engineers and the collective learning of health professionals.

Ann has taught in adult and workplace learning degrees in universities for over 20 years. She previously held professional, policy and manager positions in state and local government, industry training bodies and community services organisations.
Image of Ann Reich
Senior Lecturer, Adult Learning and Applied Linguistics Program
PhD (UTS)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 3857
Can supervise: Yes

Chapters

Rooney, D.L., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: through the lens of practice' in Williams, B., Figeiredo, J. & Trevelyan, J. (eds), Engineering practice in a global context: understanding the technical and the social, CRC Press/Balkema, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 265-280.
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Hager, P., Lee, A. & Reich, A.J. 2012, 'Problematising Practice, Reconceptualising Learning and Imagining Change' in Hager, P., Reich, A. & Lee, A. (eds), Practice, Learning and Change: Practice-Theory Perspectives on Professional Learning, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 1-14.
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Practice has become an increasingly crucial concept in the disciplines that deal with social life. Yet, it is evident that the term practice is typically employed in diverse and ambiguous ways. This is exacerbated by practice frequently being conjoined with a foregoing classifier, for example, legal practice, teaching practice, professional practice and literacy practice. In such cases, semantic attention typically centres on the classifier with the notion of practice being assumed to be unproblematic. This chapter seeks to problematise and defamiliarise taken-for-granted assumptions about practice and their relationship with learning. Five principles for theorising practice are proposed and discussed. These principles are deployed to suggest fresh understandings of learning and change in relation to practices. In turn, this illuminates issues around how practices are made and how they evolve and change.
Reich, A.J. & Girdwood, J.L. 2012, 'Governing Learning Practices: Governmentality and Practices' in Hager, P., Reich, A. & Lee, A. (eds), Practice, Learning and Change: Practice-Theory Perspectives on Professional Learning, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 151-165.
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Workplace learning practices, once primarily the domain of specialist trainers, have become embedded and embodied in workers everyday practices, constituting workers with new identities as worker-learners and reconstituting their work. In this chapter, we use an analytics of governmentality to explore how we might understand these shifts. Such an approach contributes to practice-based perspectives on professional learning by foregrounding relations of power and governmentalities constituted in regimes of practice. Through a study of professional child protection workers, we illustrate how this shift in learning practices has been assembled through changed regimes of practice linked to neoliberal reform programmes associated with new public management

Conferences

Rooney, D.L., Reich, A.J., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P. & Boud, D.J. 2012, 'Site walks as a learning practice for professional engineers', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, 23rd AAEE Conference, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 1-9.
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It is well recognised that changes in the contemporary world demand that professionals continuously learn. Often this continual professional learning takes the shape of formal courses, seminars and other obviously educational events. The starting point of this paper is an acknowledgement that people also learn in the day-to-day practices that constitute their work. Work can be understood as a bundle of practices that are typically shared by most people employed in that profession. For engineers, and experienced engineers in particular, an example might be attending design review meetings, toolbox talks and or carrying out site walks. In this paper we posit that these practices afford important opportunities for professional learning.
Rooney, D.L., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J. & Fitzgerald, T. 2012, 'Using practice theory to investigate professional engineers workplace learning', 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings - Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference: Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, IEEE, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 1031-1036.
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This paper reports on the first phase of an Australian inter-disciplinary partnership study concerned with professional learning of experienced engineers. It is a theoretically motivated, qualitative paper that aims to produce detailed descriptions of professional learning that arise within professional engineering work. The paper uses practice theory to conceptualise professional learning. By using âpracticesâ as the units of analysis, professional learning is understood as an integral part of everyday work practices that is embodied, relational and material rather than an individual attribute. The paper concludes by suggesting that practice theory may provide organisations with an alternative perspective of workplace learning, inviting them to reconsider how professional learning is acknowledged, rewarded and fostered in organisations.
Rooney, D.L., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J., Willey, K., Fitzgerald, T. & Gardner, A.P. 2012, 'Using practice theory to investigate professional engineers' workplace learning', Frontiers in Education Conference, IEEE, Oklahoma City, Seattle, pp. 1031-1036.
This paper reports on the first phase of an Australian inter-disciplinary partnership study concerned with professional learning of experienced engineers. It is a theoretically motivated, qualitative paper that aims to produce detailed descriptions of professional learning that arise within professional engineering work. The paper uses practice theory to conceptualise professional learning. By using `practices as the units of analysis, professional learning is understood as an integral part of everyday work practices that is embodied, relational and material rather than an individual attribute. The paper concludes by suggesting that practice theory may provide organisations with an alternative perspective of workplace learning, inviting them to reconsider how professional learning is acknowledged, rewarded and fostered in organisations
Reich, A.J. 2010, 'Theoretical Knowledge, Education And Regimes Of Government: An Analytics Of Government Perspective', The First International Theorising Education Conference, International Theorising Education Conference, The Stirling Institute of Education, University of Strirling, University Of Stirling, UK, pp. 1-7.
Reich, A.J. 2010, 'Rethinking adult education and lifelong learning research: the utility of an analytics of governmentality and assemblages', Looking Back, Looking Forward: Learning, teaching and research in adult education past, present and future: Proceedings of 40th Annual Conference SCUTREA Proceedings 2010, SCUTREA, Published by the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sussex, in conjunction with SCUTREA, University of Warwick, Coventry, pp. 292-298.
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This paper suggests the utility of an analytics of governmentality perspective and assemblages in rethinking research on lifelong learning and adult education. It provides a way of exploring the linkages and relays between policies and practices at centres of calculation, authority and government with everyday practices. In particular this approach assists in foregrounding the political rationality underpinning the technologies of power, such as present-day liberalisms like neoliberalism and advanced liberalism (Rose 1999) in advanced liberal democracies.
Black, S.R. & Reich, A.J. 2010, ''The elephant in the room': Audit culture and TAFE teachers', 13th Annual Conference VT Research: Leading and responding in turbulent times, VT Research: Leading and responding in turbulent times, Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, AVETRA, Holiday Inn, Surfers Paradise, Qld, pp. 1-10.
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The work of TAPE teachers has changed considerably in the past decade or more, as indicated in numerous studies (e.g. Chappell & Johnston 2003, Harris, Simon & Clayton 2005). However, one aspect of change which has not featured prominently in Australian VET research is the much increased compliance with audit requirements, and arguably it is the scale of this increased compliance that could be said to have transformed the work of TAFE teachers in recent years (see Black 2009a 2009b). The relative neglect of research into this aspect of change explains the title of this paper, 'the elephant in the room' (see Groundwater-Smith & Mockler 2009: 73). This paper is an introductory exploration of the 'audit culture' (Apple 2007, Strathern 2000) as it affects TAFE teachers, After outlining some of the conceptual notions of the audit culture in the research literature, and especially in relation to VET, the paper then examines the effects of the audit culture on teachers and their responses. The teacher data are obtained through several methods: firstly, a state-wide, emailed survey questionnaire on the changing role of head teachers in T AFE NSW (Black 2009a 2009b); secondly, in-depth, taped interviews with head teachers across two TAPE NSW Institutes; and thirdly, a series of taped, focus group discussions with teaching staff from several TAFE NSW Access sections. Through an examination of these data the effects of audits on the work of teachers will be discussed, as well as an exploration of the tensions between the audit requirements and the teachers' professional expertise.

Journal articles

Rooney, D.L., Reich, A.J., Boud, D.J., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Reimagining site-walks: sites for rich learning', Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 19-30.
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This paper presents the preliminary results of a multi-phased qualitative investigation of continuing professional learning. The study focused on the identification of common engineering practices that contribute to learning. This paper examines a particular practice, that of the site-walk. It draws on practice theory, an emerging set of conceptual resources used in workplace learning research. Data was elicited via qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups and site visits with experienced engineers employed in a large Australian engineering company. It was analysed using the lens of practice theory. The findings suggest that site-walks, while an everyday practice for engineers, are also highly learning-rich. This understanding has implications for continual professional learning, and for educators of novice engineers.
Reich, A., Rooney, D.L., Gardner, A., Willey, K., Boud, D. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: a practice-theory perspective', European Journal of Engineering Education.
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Reich, A., Rooney, D. & Boud, D. 2015, 'Dilemmas in continuing professional learning: learning inscribed in frameworks or elicited from practice', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 131-141.
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This paper explores a dilemma in continuing professional learning: the way learning is typically inscribed in continuing professional education (CPE) frameworks differs from that elicited from practice. It examines these differences in relation to both different underlying assumptions about learning and varying epistemological perspectives as well as the different purposes of CPE frameworks of professional bodies and organisations. It suggests that the dominant adoption of narrower conceptions of learning in professional organisations' frameworks ignores understandings about work and learning emerging from recent research in the field of workplace learning and focuses on a view that may privilege formal provision. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research directions in developing alternative continuing professional learning frameworks.
Reich, A., Rooney, D., Gardner, A., Willey, K., Boud, D. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: a practice-theory perspective', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 366-379.
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© 2014 SEFI. With the increasing challenges facing professional engineers working in more complex, global and interdisciplinary contexts, different approaches to understanding how engineers practice and learn are necessary. This paper draws on recent research in the social sciences from the field of workplace learning, to suggest that a practice-theory perspective on engineers' professional learning is fruitful. It shifts the focus from the attributes of the individual learner (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to the attributes of the practice (interactions, materiality, opportunities and challenges). Learning is thus more than the technical acquisition and transfer of knowledge, but a complex bundle of activities, that is, social, material, embodied and emerging. The paper is illustrated with examples from a research study of the learning of experienced engineers in the construction industry to demonstrate common practices – site walks and design review meetings – in which learning takes place.
Reich, A. & Hager, P. 2014, 'Problematising practice, learning and change: practice-theory perspectives on professional learning', Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26, no. 6/7, pp. 418-431.
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Reich, A.J. 2008, 'Intersecting work and learning: assembling advanced liberal regimes of governing workers in Australia', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 199-213.
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Much had been written over the past few years on the intersections of work and learning. This article suggests that the analysis of the intersections of work and learning can benefit greatly from understanding the ways in which governing workers as individuals and populations has changed in Western liberal democracies in the latter part of the twentieth century. Through the use of an analytics of government perspective based on the later governmentality work of Foucault and others, the article analyses the shifts in ways of governing paid workers through the programmes of reforms in industry, industrial relations and vocational education and training in Australia. These shifts can be understood, it is suggested, as shifts in the mentalities of governing - from social liberal regimes to advanced liberal regimes of government. The article foregrounds the assembling of a new subjectivity and character of the post-industrial paid worker - the 'worker as learner' as the lifelong learner who is continually required to reskill to maintain paid work in economic life in order to sustain desirable and normal lifestyles. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for researching work and learning.