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Experiences of practice-based learning in phenomenographic perspective

Journal article
Authors Airi Rovio-Johansson
Published in Journal of Workplace Learning
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 48-64
ISSN 1366-5626
Publication year 2018
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 48-64
Language en
Keywords team learning; qualitative analysis; phenomenography; communities of practice, translation; practice-based Learning;
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Other Social Sciences, Economics and Business


Purpose This study examines, within the context of professional practice and learning, how designers collaboratively working in international teams experience practice-based learning and how such occasions contribute to professional development. Design/methodology/approach The paper introduces the Cooperation Project between TTC-Furntech and its workshop context organized as practice-based learning. Participants’ learning context consisted of a mixture of professional practices allowing different logics and different cultures make up an innovative working site. Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interview data suggest that three phenomenographic hierarchical categories constitute the learning process; (a) getting a recognised professional identity; (b) perceiving new elements and expanding knowledge; (c) seeing new aspects of design work and new steps of development in profession. Findings Cooperative practice-based learning is understood as social practice in a community of practice, and as continuous changes of the learning object due to that new aspects are discerned by the learners. These categories illustrate how participants’ meaning making and understanding of the learning object, were expressed in cooperation as doings and sayings, as translation, and as situated activities in a community of practice. Accordingly, it contributed to participants’ professional development in spite of their different professional educations and professional experiences. Practical implications More studies of practice-based learning environments in work places are needed that could help societies and companies to advance integrative efforts of new employees and new immigrants into an increasingly diverse globalized labour market. Originality/value The results suggest that understanding as well as content structure and meaning making of the learning object are intertwined constituent aspects of practice-based learning.

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