Cultivating Learners in Complex Environments
Source TitleInforming education theory, design and practice through learning environment evaluation
Informing education theory, design and practice through learning environment evaluation
PublisherLEaRN, University of Melbourne
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Proceeding
CitationsMiles, J. (2016). Cultivating Learners in Complex Environments. LEaRN, University of Melbourne
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/LP130100880
Economic and educational reforms encourage adults to return to study to optimise their contribution to Australia’s place in an increasingly competitive global market. Yet the features of adult learning spaces that are discussed in much of the literature relate to physical structure and architectural design, or to distance and mobility. There is little research on space as it relates to social, intrapersonal and interpersonal connections and the impact these have on vocational learning and new kinds of knowing that emerge. This paper draws on Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory (2000) and Nonaka and Konno’s notion of ‘Ba’ (1998) to explicate the contexts that founded a qualitative doctoral research project that uses narrative methodologies to understand the lived experience, learning and identity work of six vocational practitioners undertaking a diploma teaching program in vocational education and training. This paper reports on preliminary research findings from an inquiry that invites participants to consider the conditions of learning spaces that have been catalysts to personal change, fostering transformed perspectives about themselves as learners and about learning more broadly. I argue that cultivating spacesn where teachers can reflect individually and collectively on the learning of their lives provides a platform on which a shared understanding of learning and teaching can be critiqued, reimagined and practiced.
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