Examining work-education intersections: the production of learning reals in and through practice


  • Kerry Harman Birbeck, University of London, UK




Learning reals, work practices, assemblages, work-education intersections


Working within an assemblage analytic, this paper examines work – education intersections using the notion of learning reals. The learning real examined is learning as mastery and skills development. The concepts of embodiment and performativity guide the exploration. The paper draws on interview and observational data collected during a three year research project exploring the everyday learning (of employees) in a post-secondary education institution in Australia. The project was an industryuniversity collaboration between a group of professional developers from the organisation and a group of workplace learning academics. The assemblages making up learning as mastery are traced through examining the enactment of this real by a group of trade teachers, one of the workgroups participating in the project. I propose that this learning real was produced and made durable in and through the practices of the trade teachers. Furthermore, the ongoing performing of mastery produced particular effects, including the separation of theory and practice in the trade school. The notion of learning reals enables an exploration of the way particular ways of conceiving learning are made durable in particular workplaces as well as opening up the space to examine the partial connections between workplaces and educational institutions.


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How to Cite

Harman, K. (2016). Examining work-education intersections: the production of learning reals in and through practice. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 7(1), 89–106. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0162