The Practices of Learning through Occupations

  • Stephen Billett
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 1)


This chapter draws on historical and conceptual accounts of learning to discuss and illuminate the nature and effectiveness of learning for occupations through practice. This discussion includes an analysis of the historical development of practice settings as places where occupational knowledge is generated, transformed, and sustained over time. It includes some consideration of how these kinds of settings were and are now valued as sites for the learning. Going beyond historical accounts, some of the changing conceptions about processes of learning and how place and culture can shape learning, along with the contributions of the learner, are then discussed. In all, it is proposed that the majority of human development and learning associated with the development of occupational capacities has arisen through practice-based experiences. Before the advent of mass education, practice settings were the inevitable place for the development of the majority of occupational knowledge. Indeed, it is a relatively new phenomenon for this development to occur outside of the settings in which it is practised. Importantly, the kinds of knowledge developed through learning-related activities in practice settings are more than those underpinning easy and repetitive tasks. Instead, they comprise complex, demanding, and often difficult-to-learn knowledge. However, to fully realise the contributions of these settings effective conceptual premises and adaptive curriculum , pedagogical, and epistemological procedures are required.


Social Practice Practice Setting Work Practice Work Setting Participatory Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Billett
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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