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.
Can supervise: YES
Reich, A, Rooney, D & Hopwood, N 2017, 'Sociomaterial perspectives on work and learning: sites of emergent learning', Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 29, no. 7-8, pp. 566-576.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to introduce, explain and illustrate the concept of “sites of emergent learning” (SEL), which pinpoints particular instances of learning in everyday practice. This concept is located within contemporary practice-oriented and sociomaterial approaches to understanding workplace learning. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual development has been resourced by a secondary analysis of data from three workplace learning studies. These were: an ethnographic study of a residential parenting service; a case study of learning among engineers working on a railway construction site; and a case study of a multicultural unit that aims to enhance health services for a diverse community. All were based in the Sydney metropolitan area. The secondary analysis was undertaken by identifying regular practices within each setting where professionals discuss past and future work. These were then subjected to theoretical scrutiny, identifying common and distinctive features. Findings: SEL were identified within the handover, site-walks and catch-up meeting practices. They arise through and are constituted in relationships between social practices and the materialities of work. SEL involve negotiating, exploring and questioning practice and knowledge associated with it; they are instances within work practices in which work is done about how work gets done, developing new understandings of the past to reshape visions for the future. Alongside these commonalities, each site of emergent learning displayed distinctive features shaped by the particularities of the practices and materialities of each site. Originality/value: This concept is presented as a valuable tool to assist researchers of workplace learning. It elucidates particular learning-intensive features of practice, extending sociomaterial conceptualisations of professional and workplace learning.
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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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, DL, 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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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.
Rooney, DL, Reich, AJ, Boud, DJ, Willey, K, Gardner, AP & Fitzgerald, T 2015, 'Reimagining site-walks: sites for rich learning', Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 19-30.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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 & 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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Reich, AJ 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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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.
Reforms currently taking place in organisations and their implications for education, training and learning in these organisations requires new and different ways of understanding. The recent focus on workplace learning and notions of "the learning organisation" raise challenges to understanding their significance as "technologies of training" applied within organisations. In social services organisations struggling with decades of reforms pushing them to be more "competitive and business-like", these reforms are even more complex. This paper, based on a study of child protection agencies in the state of New South Wales, Australia, indicates the ways in which the notion of the "learning organisation" is used to "govern" child protection services and workers. Rather than being a technique for encouraging team-work and increased participation by workers as part of post-Fordist forms of work organisation, as described by many commentators, this research indicates the ways in which it has been adopted as a technique in making neoliberal reforms practicable in organisations. It opens new questions in how we understand new "technologies of training", the way they are made practicable in work organisations and the changes demanded in the identity and character of the worker. © 2002, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Reich, AJ & Ho, TTH 2017, '‘Adapting international influences and retaining ‘Vietnamese Character’ in VET in Vietnam’,' in Tran, LT & Dempsey, K (eds), Internationalization in vocational education and training: Transnational perspectives, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 135-148.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter focuses on how international VET programmes have been adopted and adapted in Vietnam, an area of limited research in Vietnam. As an illustration of this complex process, the chapter draws on data from a study of VET pedagogical practices across three sites in Central Vietnam, including a Vietnamese VET college, a foreign-funded VET college and a family workshop. The Vietnamese government has embarked on modernisation and industrialisation reform programmes to enhance its standing in ASEAN and enhance Vietnam’s competitiveness in the process of international economic integration. These initiatives aim to develop a more qualified workforce by facilitating the expansion and diversification of educational training programmes suitable to local and regional human resource needs. A major contribution to this approach has not only been the international adoption but also the adaptation of international VET programmes and reforms. The chapter commences with an overview of government initiatives in VET as part of the current push for modernisation and the current provision of international VET programmes in Vietnam. It then explores a number of historical influences on VET in Vietnam (Confucian, French and Soviet), from feudal, colonial and post-colonial times, and how ‘Vietnamisation’ and adaptation to the ‘Vietnamese character’ has been preserved. An illustration is then provided of a foreign-funded college in order to highlight ongoing effects of foreign VET programmes on the Vietnamese national curriculum and the college pedagogical practices while maintaining ‘the Vietnamese character’. The chapter concludes by discussing the ways VET in Vietnam has ‘Vietnamised’ the foreign programmes and the implications for VET internationalisation.
Rooney, DL, Willey, K, Gardner, AP, Boud, DJ, Reich, AJ & 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, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 265-280.
Reich, AJ & Girdwood, JL 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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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
Hager, P, Lee, A & Reich, AJ 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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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.
Lizier, A & Reich, A 2019, 'Workplace learning and structured learning and development systems and practices in complex adaptive organisations', 11th International Conference on Research Work & Learning (RWL11), Giessen, Germany.
Rooney, DL, Reich, AJ, Willey, K, Gardner, AP & Boud, DJ 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, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 1-9.
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, DL, Boud, DJ, Reich, AJ, Willey, K, Fitzgerald, T & Gardner, AP 2012, 'Using practice theory to investigate professional engineers' workplace learning', Frontiers in Education Conference, IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, IEEE, Oklahoma City, Seattle, pp. 1031-1036.View/Download from: Publisher's site
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, AJ 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.
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.
Reich, AJ 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.
Black, SR & Reich, AJ 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.
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.