Learning for work from the past, in the present and into the future?

van Dellen, T., 2018, In : Studia Paedagogica. 23, 2, p. 9-24 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In this contribution the complex interdependencies of the concepts of work and learning and implicit also the concept of knowledge are discussed theoretically from three different but complementary perspectives. The urgency for this exercise lies in the author’s belief that learning for work is a topic which can’t be approached in a one-dimensional linear manner. The reason for this lies in the observation, that although in general free will seems to be illusionary in learning for work, we nevertheless acknowledge the individual with an own will, which give the (future) workers some control over changing themselves, their own working life and the context around work for the better (Van Dellen & Heidekamp, 2015). The question of this study is whether learning for work is driven by either the individual, the actual knowledge aspect of the work or the more general contextual features of the actual (learning for work) situation. The three different and complementary perspectives that will be discussed concern, firstly the idea of the transformative mind (Stetsenko, 2017) using Vygotsky’s view on development and learning. The second perspective follows the theoretical ideas about transformative learning that concern the complex process of individuals as they develop a more critical worldview (Laros, Fuhr, Taylor, 2017). Finally, the third perspective encounters the Learning for Work conceptual framework based on Fords motivational theory (1992) and the philosophical essay about responsibility of Verplaetse (2012) contextualized and operationalized in a study by Van Dellen & Heidekamp (2015). The most practical consequence of all of this theorizing lies in the outcome that learning for work is always something transitional and future directed. This consequence means a lot for our ideas about learning and development and the role of education, training and development either vocationally or professionally. We end with discussing these consequences as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages16
JournalStudia Paedagogica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • significant other(s), Learning for work, free will

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