Towards A New Understanding of Workplace Learning

Here’s a little blurb for the latest book on workplace learning by Institute for Adult Learning:

Helen Bound & Peter Rushbrook (Eds). (2015). Towards A New Understanding of Workplace Learning: The Context of Singapore. Singapore: Institute for Adult Learning.

The book seeks to bring together some of the latest thinking and theorising about workplace learning, and in many chapters, uses Singaporean examples to illustrate these understandings in practice. Essentially our argument is that individual engagement in learning through, for and at work is entwined with context.  We take a big picture understanding of context, moving beyond the context of the workplace to include for example, national discourses and common understandings of aging and how this impacts on mature workers’ opportunities for learning for, at and through work. We consider the ways in which industry is structured, the role of the market and its links internationally, the increasing trend to non-permanent work and how this impacts on learning opportunities and affordances. We argue that these aspects of context create or limit affordances for learning in which individuals engage. Our big picture understanding of context is not just an argument about context, but about how the individual engages within that context.

Comments on the contribution of the book follow:

This book not only offers a distinctly holistic and contextual perspective on workplace learning. It also provides unique insights about workplace learning in Singapore. It is definitely a timely and essential reading for researchers, educators and policy makers.


Jörgen Sandberg

Professor in Management and Organisation,  The University of Queensland, Australia.

Originating from but not limited to the efforts of researchers at the Centre for Work and Learning (IAL-Singapore), what emerges in this collection is a lively and rather comprehensive treatment of workplace learning as a mediated phenomenon. In taking up many of the most relevant issues in this field of study it reflects the past and present, the relevance of place, and brings clarity to ideas that can make a difference in Singapore... and elsewhere.


Peter H. Sawchuk

Professor of Adult Education, Work and Learning, Cross-appointed, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto 

At a time when conventional approaches to learning are being challenged as never before, this critical analysis of approaches to workplace learning, located in a society at the crossroads of Western and Asian cultures, offers insights of the new possibilities such a context provides for theoretical development.


David Ashton

Emeritus Professor, University of Leicester

You can download the free e-book here.