chapter  2
The context of placement and work- based learning
Pages 9

Whether you are going on placement or already in work, you will find that the workplaces you work within will have a significant impact on how and what you learn. Learning within workplaces is shaped by a wide variety of factors, some of which are related to the organisation of which that workplace is a part and the work activities that organisation is concerned with. Other factors may include the interpersonal relations between colleagues and how work is managed within the workplace. What and how you learn within that workplace is also strongly related to your particular disposition to learning – what are you trying to get out of the experience? What action can you take to maximise your learning opportunities? In this chapter we explore some of these ideas and questions in order to support you in better understanding the nature of workplace learning. You will be provided with some conceptual tools that will help you think about your workplace experience and are encouraged to think critically about how that workplace operates and how it can be improved to support your ongoing professional development, and that of your colleagues/co-workers. Some illustrations are offered, primarily from English contexts.