Learning in the Circumstances of Professional Practice

  • Stephen BillettEmail author
  • Raymond Smith
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter discusses what constitutes learning in the circumstances of professional practice. It progresses from the perspective that examining learning in and through work supports opportunity to make visible and interrogate the complex array of factors that necessarily combine and transform to identify and explain learning as the process and product of engagement in practice. Its elaboration of these factors is framed by two sets of interrelated concepts. First and primarily, the chapter advances learning in practice as the integration of three learning attributes or perspectives of practice. They are; curriculum practices, pedagogic practices and personal epistemological practices. Together, these three perspectives comprise a framework that enables the incorporation and consideration of a second set of concepts, namely, social, situational and individual contributions to the enactment of learning in the circumstances of work as the integration of curriculum, pedagogy and personal epistemology practices. Learning is advanced throughout as co-occurring with work and the practices by which it is constituted. More than being relational and interdependent, the practices of and contributions to work are viewed as negotiated and always generative of change due to the transactions that characterise the dynamics of workers’ engagement in the activities of their particular occupational practice. Practice is transformative of the people, places and practices engaged in its enactment. Here, these factors, their interrelationships and consequences are discussed in terms of understanding and enhancing learning experiences in the circumstances of professional practice that is work.


Learning Work Circumstances of practice Curriculum Learning curriculum Pedagogic practices Personal epistemology Negotiation as learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Professional Studies, Adult and Vocational EducationGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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