Vocations and Learning

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 335–351 | Cite as

Apprentices’ Learning of Occupationally Informed Practical Judgment

  • Selena ChanEmail author
Original Paper


Learning to become trade workers requires developing the ability to make practical workplace-based judgments, often centred around difficult to articulate trade’know-how’ or tacit knowledge. Apprentices learn discipline specific ways of doing, thinking, feeling and being from experts, peers and through interactions with occupational artefacts and environments. Hence, distinct and specialised trade or discipline specific socio-cultural and socio-material factors influence how processes are followed, tools or equipment are deployed, materials are made or assembled and workplace relationships are transacted. Consequently, learning practical judgment is but one facet of expertise contributing to occupational identity. This article reports on apprentices’ perceptions of how they ‘learnt a trade’ and provides direction for the enhancement of learning occupationally-delineated practical judgment.


Vocational education Apprenticeship Skills learning Occupational identity formation Judgment Socio-materiality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academic DivisionChristchurch Polytechnic Institute of TechnologyChristchurchNew Zealand

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