Professor Hager has been involved in vocational education for over 30 years, with his major focus being the professional development of vocational teachers and trainers. Over the last fifteen years he has concentrated on contributing to Australia's expanding research program in vocational education and training. He was a joint author of the 1992 report No Small Change: Proposals for a Research and Development Strategy for Vocational Education and Training in Australia. This report highlighted the paucity of research in the area of vocational education and training and preparing the way for the subsequent burgeoning research program in Australia.
- Fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
- Associate Editor of Educational Philosophy and Theory since 1996 and a member of its Editorial Board since 1990
- Longstanding editorial advisor for Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Australian Journal of Education, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Vocational Education Research, and London Review of Education. As well regular refereeing for Higher Education Research and Development, Studies in Continuing Education, Educational Theory, and Studies in Philosophy and Education.
- Special issue editor for Educational Philosophy and Theory (three times), Journal of Workplace Learning, and Australian Journal of Education.
- Treasurer and Executive Member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, 1990 - 1993.
- Treasurer and Executive Member of the NSW Institute for Educational Research, 1993 - 1996.
Professor Hager is a member of the Changing Practices research cluster of the Centre for Research in Learning and Change, a designated Key University Research Strength. His main research interests centre on informal workplace learning, professional practice and the role of generic skills in work. He has led multidisciplinary research teams investigating these topics for a range of professions and skilled occupations. Professor Hager's own discipline is philosophy. This underlies his ongoing scholarly interest in the emerging field of philosophy of adult and vocational education.Professor Hager is also an authority on Bertrand Russell's philosophy. His 1994 book Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell's Philosophy (Nijhoff International Philosophy Series. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers) won the 1996 Bertrand Russell Society Book Award.Current projectsFollowing recently published books on informal learning as it relates to lifelong learning (Hager & Halliday 2006) and on graduate attributes and lifelong learning (Hager & Holland eds. 2006), Paul Hager is working on a new book (with David Beckett, University of Melbourne) on practice and agency in the workplace. He is currently completing a three-year ARC Discovery research project on judgement and learning in the workplace. He is also initiating new research projects on continuing professional learning.
Hager, P & Halliday, JS 2006, Recovering Informal Learning: wisdom, judgement and community, 1, Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Beckett, D & Hager, P 2002, Life, Work and Learning: Practice in Postmodernity, 1, Routledge, London, UK.
Hager, P 2018, 'Refereed book review of The Philosophy of Physical Education by Steven Stolz', Educational Theory, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 365-372.
Hager, P & Sommerlad, H 2015, 'Reconceptualising professional learning; Knowledge, expertise and the professions', Journal of Vocational Education & Training, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 127-134.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Kelly, MA, Hager, P & Gallagher, RD 2014, 'What matters most? Students' rankings of simulation components that contribute to clinical judgment', Joournal of Nursing Education, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 97-101.View/Download from: Publisher's site
As the pedagogy of health care simulation matures, the level of guidance provided and types of simulation components included increasingly vary. To prepare students for professional practice, one university embedded Tanner's model of clinical judgment within the nursing curricula and integrated simulations. There was interest in seeking students' opinions of "what matters most" in the design and delivery of simulations, which may vary from the academic's viewpoint. Senior undergraduate nursing students (N=150) from three types of study programs rated 11 simulation components in relation to clinical judgment. The three student groups rated all components above 2.9 on a 5-point Likert scale, with some variation across groups for component rankings. The highest ranking components for applying clinical judgment were facilitated debriefing, postsimulation reflection, and guidance by the academic. The lowest ranked components were patient case notes and briefing and orientation to the simulation area. Age and previous nursing experience did not influence the study variables.
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
Boud, DJ & Hager, P 2012, 'Re-Thinking Continuing Professional Development Through Changing Metaphors And Location In Professional Practices', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 17-30.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Many professions have requirements for professional development activities to ensure continuing registration or membership. These commonly focus on participation in a limited range of activities. This paper questions the assumptions behind such approache
According to Alasdair MacIntyre's influential account of practices, 'teaching itself is not a practice, but a set of skills and habits put to the service of a variety of practices' (MacIntyre and Dunne, 2002, p. 5). Various philosophers of education have
Stone, CA, Boud, DJ & Hager, P 2011, 'Assessment Of Osteopaths: Developing A Capability-based Approach To Reviewing Readiness To Practice', International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 129-140.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A new approach to assessment design is considered through the process of developing a set of capabilities for osteopathic practice that starts from an understanding of a concept of 'practice' applicable to real, situated osteopathic healthcare. Appropria
Cole, DR & Hager, P 2010, 'Learning-practice: The ghosts in the education machine', Education Inquiry, vol. 1, pp. 21-40.
The ghosts of this paper refer to the ways in which diverse practices and learning styles coincide in particular frames. This article will combine the philosophy of mind with educational poststructuralism to generate an informed approach to understand learning-practice. This combinational analysis rests on certain principles and focus points such as: 1) Language plays a crucial role in the orchestration of practice; 2) Learning cannot be separated from its contextual instantiations; 3) The conjunction learning-practice is meaningless without a discussion about the language of practice and the learning context. This approach called learning-practice will be furnished with an example taken from research into vocational education and the learning of an orchestra. This example will act as an experimental field to test the principles and focus points of learning-practice. The research field also acts to examine the coherence and cogency of the philosophy of education that we may draw from this perspective that strategically deploys ideas taken from Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari and Gilbert Ryle.
This paper argues that much contemporary educational policy makes assumptions about learning that are directly contradicted by the best research and theorising of learning that has occurred over the last decade and more. This worrying mismatch is largely
Describes a qualitative case study of orchestral musicians who experience study and work simultaneously. Compares and contrast their learning experiences in workplace and educational contexts. The article draws some implications for theories of workplace learning and the Australian performing arts vocational education and training context in general.
Qualitative case study of the collective learning of staff working in a corrections centre under conditions of rapid organisational change. Conceptualises the notion of collective competence that is emergent and relationally constructed.
All thought and talk about learning involves the use of metaphors. Whilst metaphors aid our understanding of things by suggesting novel insights, they can also mislead if too much is read into the supposed likenesses. Acquisition and transfer are easily
A qualitative case study of learning under a corrective services context of rapid organisational change. Suggests utility of integrating theoretical concepts across Human Resources Development, Organisational Change and Workplace Learning domains
This paper aims to examine the nature of learning discovered by recent graduates participating in a symphony orchestra-initiated development program that is designed to nurture them through the transition to becoming professional orchestral musicians.
Hager, P 2006, 'Some conceptual questions about the tuning project', Prospero, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 31-38.
Hager, P 2005, 'Philosophical Accounts of Learning', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 649-666.
There is an influential story about learning that retains a grip on the public mind. Main elements of this story include: the best learning resides in individual minds not bodies; it centres on propositions (true, false; more certain, less certain); such learning is transparent to the mind that has acquired it; so the acquisition of the best learning alters minds not bodies. Implications of these basic ideas include: the best learning can be expressed verbally and written down in books, etc.; the process and product of learning can be sharply distinguished; and, though residing in minds and books, the best learning can be applied, via bodies, to alter the external world. The pervasive influence of this story is apparent in many writings about learning, including philosophical writings. A number of basic assumptions about learning underpin this story. The central purpose of this paper is to further delineate and then challenge each of these basic assumptions. The main implication of challenging these basic assumptions is that a somewhat different philosophical understanding of learning emerges. This different understanding of learning may offer fresh insights on current educational issues.
Hager, P 2004, 'The competence affair,or why VET urgently needs a new understanding of learning', Journal of Vocational Education and Training, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 409-433.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Beckett, D & Hager, P 2003, 'Rejoinder": learning from work: Can Kant do?', Educational philosophy and theory, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 123-127.
Hager, P, Sleet, RJ, Logan, PF & Hooper, M 2003, 'Teaching critical thinking in undergraduate science courses', Science & Education, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 303-313.
This paper reports on the design and evaluation of a project aimed at fostering the critical thinking abilities and dispositions of first year students at an Australian university. Novel paper and pencil problems were designed to foster the range of critical thinking abilities identified by Ennis (1991). Most of these critical thinking tasks relate to applications of chemistry and physics in everyday life. Some of the tasks were developed from information and/or ideas obtained from critical incident interviews with scientists in private and government organisations. The first year university students were required to attempt the tasks in co-operative groups and to interact in these groups in ways aimed at fostering the dispositions of Ennis ideal critical thinker (Ennis 1996). The project was evaluated from discussions with groups of students, from comments of tutors who observed the students working in groups and from a questionnaire. Evidence obtained from these data indicated that many students considered their thinking skills were enhanced by their experience of attempting the tasks in small co-operative groups.
Hager, P 2001, 'Russell's conception of critical thinking', Inquiry, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 11-19.
Hager, P 2000, 'Postfoundational philosophy of education', Educational Philosophy & Theory, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 315-318.
Hager, P & Beckett, D 2000, 'Making judgements as the basis for workplace learning: towards an epistemology of practice', International journal of Lifelong Learning, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 300-311.
As pointed out in my Introduction to this Special Issue, there have been various reasons for the recent increasing interest in researching and reforming professional practice. A major reason is our limited understanding of the nature of professional prac
Many educational developments in recent decades pose a serious challenge to the traditional scientific measurement model that has dominated assessment practices. The scientific measurement model has led to an over-emphasis on statistical tests and the reification of single measure test scores. The educational developments that challenge the scientific measurement model include problem-based learning, newer understandings of cognition, and the rise of performance assessment. These developments reflect widespread attempts by educators to reform assessment practices so as to encourage more effective learning. As a result, a new model of educational assessment, which we call the judgemental model, is emerging. The basic assumptions, features and appropriate uses of these two assessment models are compared and contrasted by referring them to a three-level conceptual model of education, training and assessment for workplace performance. © 1996 Journals Oxford Ltd.
Hager, P & Gonczi, A 1996, 'What is competence?', Medical Teacher, vol. 18, no. 1.
There has been a tendency for people to think about competence in a narrow way that undermines any possible benefits to be gained from adopting competency standards. This paper will attempt to clarify exactly what competence is. It will be found that the logic of the concept of competence is itself such as to support a broader view about competency standards rather than the narrow one that is so often taken for granted. Second, the benefits of recognizing and employing a broader, richer conception of competence will be outlined and discussed.
There has been a tendency for people to think about competence in a narrow way that undermines any possible benefits to be gained from adopting competency standards. This paper will attempt to clarify exactly what competence is. It will be found that the
In Australia and elsewhere, a sometimes heated debate is taking place about the significance for higher education of the adoption of competency standards by professions and other occupations. To many in the higher education sector, it is self-evident tha
In simple terms, competency-based assessment is the assessment of a person's competence against prescribed standards of performance. Thus, if an occupation has established a set of, say, entry-level competency standards, then these prescribe the standards of performance required of all new entrants to that occupation. Competency-based assessment is the process determining whether a candidate meets the prescribed standards of performance, i.e. whether they demonstrate competence. It is probably a truism that there is no such thing as a process of assessment that is without its critics. Whatever efforts are made to improve an instance of assessment, someone is bound to be unhappy with the process. Competency-based assessment is therefore at a particular disadvantage since it is both new and unfamiliar to many people. This has meant that competency-based assessment has aroused numerous and varied worries and objections from many quarters. In the process of researching assessment methods of professions in Australia, as the prelude to writing a guide on competency-based assessment (Gonczi et al., 1993) the authors identified a number of worries and objections. Competency-based assessment: (a) only assesses what is trivial or superficial; (b) is inherently unreliable in that it involves inference; (c) is inherently invalid, (d) represents a departure from traditional proven methods of assessment; (e) neglects the importance of knowledge; (f) focuses on outcomes to the neglect of processes; (g) relies on professional judgement, and hence is too subjective; (h) vainly tries to assess attitudes. This paper discusses each of these worries and objections and shows that none of them is decisive. While each of them points to an important issue about competency-based assessment, the discussion will show that in each case a well-designed competency-based assessment system can overcome the worry or objection. © 1994, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Hager, P 1992, 'Critical Thinking, What Every Person Needs To Survive In A Rapidly Changing World - Paul,r', Australasian Journal Of Philosophy, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 120-121.
Hager, P 2019, 'VET, HRD and Workplace Learning: Where to From Here?' in Guile, D & Unwin, L (eds), The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training, Wiley-Blackwell, USA, pp. 63-80.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter focuses on key developments since the second half of the twentieth century that have significantly shaped vocational education and training (VET). Prominent among these developments have been the widespread adoption of competency‐based training (CBT) and a shift toward greater privatization of VET. Although more holistic understandings of competence, which better reflect highly skilled occupational performance, are available, too often VET providers have settled for a more minimalist concept: one that views competence as a mere checklist of discrete skills. This chapter draws upon both the findings of workplace learning research and some perennial themes from VET's long history. It poses the critical question: What are the desirable foundations for a reimagined VET, one that will give VET a valued place in the education spectrum and that will better connect VET and workplaces?
Beckett, D & Hager, P 2018, 'A Complexity Thinking Take on Thinking in the University' in The Thinking University A Philosophical Examination of Thought and Higher Education, Springer, Germany, pp. 137-153.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Universities are explicitly sites of thinking: they present myriad ways to think – and to provoke thinking. We address thinking relationally, that is, by doing it under provocation – it is in the doing of thinking that our learning emerges. In this chapter, we develop the significance of this 'learning thinking by doing thinking' to which Heidegger, in What is Called Thinking (1954) draws attention, and we do so by setting out a contemporary account of complexity. First, we provide a theorisation of complexity, which comes across from the natural sciences to the social sciences, though in a somewhat different form. Secondly, we put this theorisation to work, in raising some challenges and opportunities for re-thinking thinking for universities, by tackling some of the big issues facing learning in universities. These include excessive individualism, narrow cognitivism and an emaciated notion of learners' agency, all of which under-acknowledge the formative power of groups, especially for shaping subsequent professional practice broadly conceived. We close with some practical implications for universities' core work of this complexity thinking 'take' on thinking. We advocate 'thinking relationally' as central and indeed constitutive of universities.
strengths of this internalist view, limited as it may be. The thinking university may
Hager, P 2017, 'The Integrated View On Competence' in Mulder, M (ed), Competence-based Vocational and Professional Education: Bridging the Worlds of Work and Education, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 2013-228.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter begins with an outline of the main features of an integrated understanding of competence and how this understanding differs from some other common approaches to competence. Inspired by behaviourism, much competency-based training (CBT) views competence as a series of specific tasks or the behaviours involved in the completion of these tasks. An alternative understanding of competence, favoured, for example, in management and business literature, conceptualises competence as a series of generic attributes or skills. Major difficulties for both of these views are outlined. This is followed by a detailed consideration of an integrated understanding of competence. This approach centres firstly on identifying key occupational tasks (typically somewhere between 10 and 20 of them) and then seeking to elucidate the various attributes required for proficient completion of these key tasks. As well, the integrated view stresses the contextuality of workplace performance. On this view, competence can be summarised as contextualised capability involving an integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Beginning with a discussion of the basic logic of the concept of competence, the underpinning principles of the integrated approach are elaborated, as well as its applications in a variety of occupations and for a diversity of purposes and its advantages and limitations. This discussion serves to further distinguish an integrated understanding from rival approaches to competence. Finally, it is argued that the integrated approach accords very well with recent theoretical developments in related topic areas, such as the nature of skills, practice theory and complexity theory.
Hager, P 2012, 'Theories of Practice and Their Connections with Learning: A Continuum of More and Less Inclusive Accounts' in Hager, P, Reich, A & Lee, A (eds), Practice, Learning and Change: Practice-Theory Perspectives on Professional Learning, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 17-32.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The term `practice has been used increasingly in the social and behavioural sciences literatures. Yet, it is also apparent that there is often wide diversity both in the meaning and scope of the ways in which this term is deployed. This chapter discusses and analyses this situation in terms of a continuum ranging from `more inclusive to `less inclusive accounts of practice. The more inclusive accounts apply the term practice liberally to human actions of many kinds, whereas the less inclusive accounts restrict the term to human activities that meet very specific and complex criteria. This chapter examines the different assumptions that underpin more inclusive and less inclusive accounts, as well as the kinds of activities that they number amongst practices. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of these different accounts of practice for our understanding of what is involved in the learning of a practice.
Hager, P & Johnsson, MC 2012, 'Collective learning practice' in Hager, P, Lee, A & Reich, A (eds), Practice, learning and change: Practice-theory perspectives on professional learning, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 249-265.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The social and, often, collective character of practice challenges the strong tendency of learning literature to focus exclusively on individuals. The relatively neglected topic of collective learning is the major concern of this chapter. We deploy findings from recent Australian research with three diverse vocational groups to theorize collective learning from a âpractice turnâ perspective. We discuss how groups learn contextually and dynamically using their patterns of interactions formed with others. This patterned, relational and emergent character of learning challenges conventional theories of how groups learn by, for example, analyzing group properties or outcomes, as in theories of team performance; linear progressions of competence as in communities of practice; or through resolving contradictions in activity systems using activity theory. We conclude that collective learning is a holistic relational complex that is irreducible to the sum of its parts whilst drawing on specifiable and non-specifiable aspects that are only obtained through engagement in practice.
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.
© 2011 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter introduces key concepts, including lifelong education, lifelong learning and recurrent education, and outlines key issues that have shaped this field. First, the origins and main understandings of lifelong learning and cognate concepts from the 1970s are discussed. Commonalities across these key concepts are highlighted, as are crucial differences that create conflicting understandings. A schema is presented to compare and classify different understandings of the concepts. Second, the resurgence of interest in lifelong learning from the 1990s onward is traced, and the reasons for it, including economic competitiveness, globalization, and the focus on knowledge creation, are discussed. A novel emphasis on learning has resulted from the rise to preeminence of the concept "lifelong learning." Diverse understandings about learning have fueled ongoing disagreements about the role and significance of lifelong learning. Some interpretations limit the scope of learning to the kinds characteristic of formal education systems. Others regard lifelong learning as covering all kinds of informal learning. These differing valuations of learning underpin much of the ongoing disputes about lifelong learning. The emerging notion of the learning society is also outlined and discussed. It features the same conceptual conflicts that marked the earlier concepts. Third, four common criticisms of lifelong learning are outlined and discussed. All criticisms are shown to make assumptions about learning that favor formal learning, while marginalizing informal learning. Thus, even today, understanding of lifelong learning and its significance is hampered by tendencies to adhere to narrow views of learning that many people develop unreflectively from their experiences of formal education.
Hager, P 2011, 'Theories of workplace learning' in Malloch, M, Cairns, L, Evans, K & O'Connor, BN (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Workplace Learning, SAGE Publications Ltd, UK, pp. 17-31.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Hager, P & Hodkinson, P 2011, 'Becoming As an Appropriate Metaphor for Understanding Professional Learning' in Scanlon, L (ed), Becoming a Professional: an Interdisciplinary Analysis of Professional Learning, Springer, The Netherlands, pp. 33-56.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Accepting that human understanding of learning inevitably employs metaphor, this chapter argues that the idea of professional learning is most fruitfully illuminated by employing the metaphor of becoming. The argument has two strands. Firstly, we show that becoming enjoys significant advantages over common alternative metaphors, such as, acquisition and transfer, participation and construction, which are still favoured by various policy makers and industry bodies. Secondly, we outline and discuss several examples of profession learning, derived from various research projects, to illustrate the value of the becoming metaphor for analysing and enhancing professional learning.
Hager, P 2008, 'Education at Work - Serious Possibility or Policy Naivety?' in Gonon, P, Kraus, K, Oelkers, J & Stolz, S (eds), Work, Education and Employability, Peter Lang, Bern, pp. 21-54.
Hager, P 2007, 'Towards a New Paradigm of Vocational Learning' in Clarke, L & Winch, C (eds), Vocational Education: International Approaches, Developments and Systems, Routledge, Abingdon/ New York, pp. 105-117.
Hager, P 2005, 'Current Theories of Workplace Learning: A critical assessment' in Bascia, N, Cumming, A, Datnow, A, Leithwood, K & Livingstone, D (eds), International Handbook of Educational Policy (Part Two), Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 829-846.
Hager, P 2004, 'The conceptualisation and measurement of learning at work' in Rainbird, H, fuller, A & Munro, A (eds), Workplace Learning in Context, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 242-258.
Curren, R, Robertson, E & Hager, P 2003, 'The Analytical Movement' in Curren, R (ed), A Companion to the Philosophy of Education, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, England, pp. 176-191.
Hager, P 2003, 'Russell's Method of Analysis' in Griffin, N (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 310-331.
Hager, P 2003, 'teorias filosoficas del Aprendizaje' in Amilburu, MG (ed), Claves de la Filosofia de la Educacio, Dykinson, Madrid, Spain, pp. 223-243.
Hager, P & Hyland, T 2003, 'Vocational Education and Training' in Blake, N, Smeyers, P, Smith, R & Standish, P (eds), The Blackwell guide to the Philosophy of Education, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, England, pp. 271-287.
Hager, P 2001, 'Lifelong learning and the contribution of informal learning' in Aspin, D, Chapman, J, Hatton, M & Sawano, Y (eds), International Handbook of Lifelong Learning, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London, pp. 79-92.
Hager, P 2000, 'Judgement & the Law Society of NSW specialist accreditation scheme' in Arguelles, A & Gonczi, A (eds), Competency Based Education & Training; A World Perspective, Noriega, Mexico, pp. 173-186.
Hager, P 2000, 'knowledge that works: Judgement & the university curriculum' in Symes, C & McIntyre, J (eds), Working Knowledge: The new vocationalism & higher education, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham, UK, pp. 47-65.
Hager, P 2000, 'Russell' in Newton-Smith, WH (ed), A Companion to the Philosophy of Science, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 408-412.
Hager, P & Johnsson, MC 2009, 'Understanding learning at work: judgement and the goods of practice', Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, 6th International Conference on Researching Work and Leanring, Roskilde University, Univeristy of Roskilde, Roskilde, Denmark, pp. 1-10.
This paper extends earlier models of informal workplace learning as highly contextualised and sensitive to social factors, judgements and the tacit elements of practice. It comments on the usefulness of MacIntyre's account of practice by referring to case study findings from a recent ARC Discovery project.
Hager, P 2007, 'Putting Learning in Its Place', 41st Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, PESGB, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, New College Oxford, pp. 1-11.
Educational policy, over the last twenty years or so, has been dominated increasingly by the economic turn, too often, seemingly, to the detriment of educational values. This paper argues that common, but erroneous, assumptions about learning have helped to smooth the way for the ongoing dominance of the economic turn in educational policy. These common, but questionable, assumptions about learning will be shown to centre on viewing it as something (some thing) that is located inside of learners. This view of learning will be criticised and rejected. An alternative understanding of learning as a complex relational web that is an ongoing process of change will be proposed. Although this is a less simple conception of learning than common sense intuitions might favour, this paper maintains that any productive rethinking of educational policy will require a more sophisticated, timely and accurate understanding of learning.
Johnsson, MC & Hager, P 2007, 'Navigating the wilderness of becoming professional', Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL5), International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, Division for Lifelong Learning, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa, pp. 473-479.
Conceptualises the informal learning of developing musicians at work as an embodied constructed process with others in context, that involves a process of identity formation across multiple roles and selves
Hager, P 2006, 'The Place of Learning', Politics, Business and Education: the aims of education in the twenty-first century, Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-13.
Hager, P & Halliday, JS 2006, 'Learning and the multidimensionality of context', Philosophical Perspectives on Educational Practice in the 21st Century, Biennual Conference of the International Network of Philosophers of Education, University of Malta, Valletta, Malta, pp. 83-92.
Hager, P 2005, 'The importance of context to understanding learning', Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Researching Work and Learning: RWL4 2005, International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, OVAL UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-10.
Hager, P 2005, 'Understanding Workplace Judgements: Internal and External Goods', Vocational Learning: Transitions, Interrelationships, Partnerships and Sustainable Futures. Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training Vol 1, Annual Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Australian Academic Press, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 258-265.
A current ARC Discovery project is investigating learning at work. Detailed case studies of learning in a range of workplaces are being constructed. These will be used to test and refine a theory of learning at work that conceptualises it, at its best, as a growing capacity to make appropriate context-sensitive judgements. This research views judgements, along with activities, narratives, and traditions, as being nested in practices. The understanding of practice used in this project grows from the work of MacIntyre (1981, 1990, 1999). A practice is defined by the following joint characteristics: it includes any form of human activity that is identifiable by a single word or phrase; it is identifiable through reference to some purpose and some community that shares a common way of doing things; and it has a tradition of maintaining both internal and external goods. MacIntyres work suggests that those practices in which internal goods predominate are more likely to lead to productive learning than those in which external goods predominate. This paper will illustrate the value of these ideas for understanding learning at work by applying them to some case studies on judgement at work developed in previous research.
Johnsson, MC, Athanasou, J & Hager, P 2005, 'Judgements as a basis for informal workplace learning - preliminary research findings', Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning RWL4 2005, International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, OVAL, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-10.
Informal learning can be broadly characterised as learning found in everyday opportunities where learners interact with the world around them. It can be distinguished from formal learning where the purpose, structure and content for learning are imposed on the learner. When informal learning occurs in the context of work or organised settings, factors such as performance, practice, sociocultural dynamics and situational context influence its nature and quality. Previous research by Beckett, Hager and Halliday (Beckett, 1996; Beckett & Hager, 2000, 2002; Hager, 2001; Halliday & Hager, 2002) asserts that productive informal learning is better characterised as a growing capacity to make contextual-sensitive judgements - a discretionary and discriminating process that involves holistic and embodied knowing. Our paper reports on progress in an Australian Research Council funded Discovery project designed to test this judgement-as-learning approach. Detailed case studies of critical incidents in a range of workplaces are being constructed and the learning or otherwise by key players involved in these incidents is being elucidated and analysed. This empirical investigation provides a means of analysing significant workplace events in order to develop a model of informal learning and an associated theory of practice. The paper outlines the overall project rationale and discusses findings from one initial case study. Additional findings from other case studies developed after submission of this paper, will be presented and discussed at the conference.
Hager, P 2003, 'Philosophical accounts of learning', Philosophy of Education society of Great Britain Annual Conference 2003, New College, Oxford, Vol 1, Philosophy of Education society of Great britain Annual Conference, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, New College, Oxford, UK, pp. 262-276.
Hager, P 2003, 'Why we need to refurbish our understanding of learning - The strange case of competence', Enriching Learning Cultures, Proceedings of the 11th Annual International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Annual International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 7-22.
Hager, P & Halliday, JS 2002, 'Context, judgement and lifelong learning', The many faces of Philosophy of Education: traditions, problems and challenges, 8th Biennial Conference of the International Network of Philosophers of Education, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, pp. 135-145.
Hager, P & Halliday, JS 2002, 'Envisioning practice: the roles of context, judgement and informal learning', Evvisioning Practice-Implementing Change, 10th International conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Academic Press, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 88-95.
Hager, P & Halliday, JS 2002, 'The importance of context and judgement in learning', Proceedings of the 30th Conference of the Philosophy of Education, The Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, pp. 15-31.
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