The Centre for Work and Learning Studies (CWALS) is building a centre of excellence in Work and Learning Studies through research and teaching. We aim to build capacity and cross-cultural expertise for the next generation of research experts and global education professionals.
Our research investigates how people develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to work in contemporary contexts, including those needed to achieve socially just change. This means understanding global change, its impacts on communities and local contexts, and the challenges it presents to adults working and learning in diverse learning spaces and adult education settings.
Our teaching is designed to develop and extend professionals who work in diverse adult learning workplaces that are located in public or private, corporate or community contexts. We consider the ways in which local and global trends relate and how these influence adult learning contexts. We present a range of theories and connect these to practice. In particular, we create opportunities to apply approaches that support adult learning - through teaching programs that equip individuals to navigate the economic, workplace and social contexts in which they participate.
Teaching and research degree programs in Adult Learning build on the research of the centre for Work and Learning Studies.
Work and Learning Studies key achievements
Work and Learning Studies Scholarship Scheme
This scholarship scheme, established in 2007, offers two 6-month fulltime scholarships for high academic achievers who are enrolled, or planning to enrol, in a PhD program. The 2007 selection process awarded two scholarships to: Lorraine White, our first recipient, who is a new enrolment in our PhD program and previously a Masters thesis students from our 2006 Box Hill Institute cohort; and Carolyn Theodore, an existing doctoral student located at Gippsland. A new round of scholarships will be offered in 2008.
Crosslife: Cross-cultural collaboration in lifelong learning and work
The first of three Crosslife workshops was held at the Institute of Education, London, in late October 2007. One doctoral student, John Pardy, and Terri attended the workshop, which also had students and staff from the Institute of Education, University of Copenhagen, Zurich, Malta and Tampere (20 nationalities were present). The workshop provided rich insights into national patterns of lifelong learning, and intense experiential learning in cross-national collaborative activities. Seven Masters and Doctoral students, and 6 Monash staff are planning to attend the Finland and/or Malta workshops in 2008. All students have been awarded Centre for Work and Learning Studies Travel Awards, which made its inaugural allocation in 2007.
Chisholm cluster research initiative:
In 2006 we enrolled a cohort of students from Chisholm Institute in our Masters of Education by Research. They completed 2 coursework units by mid-2007 and have moved into the thesis phase, which we are organising via research clusters. Lesley and Bernard are working with their own groups. Anita and Allie, and Damon and Terri are working in pairs with students to create integrated research agenda. Students are enthusiastic about the social supports we can offer through this approach. Draft proposals are due in December
Intercontinental Masters in Adult Learning and Global Change:
We were invited into this program on the basis of our research reputations, following UTS withdrawal in 2006. We worked through Faculty and University approvals through late 2006 and 2007, taking our first enrolments in June 2007. The University is interested in the ICM partnership model and the innovations it offers. There was a lot of student interest but fee-levels restricted enrolments. We are grateful to Chisholm Institute of TAFE who sponsored one of their staff members to participate.
Masters of Education
We enrolled a cohort from Box Hill Institute into our coursework Masters program in work and learning studies in 2006. Negotiations are underway for an additional mixed TAFE cohort in 2007. The revision of our Masters units is progressing with name changes and agreements about making these units available for off-campus learning progressively from 2008. The suite of units is:
- EDF6801 Learning at work in the knowledge economy
- EDF6802 Adult education and training: Theories and practices
- EDF6810 Navigating education and work: Global perspectives, local practices
VET unit in Secondary Education program:
We have prepared a unit for the Secondary Education program that will introduce teacher education students to developments in education and work, VET in Schools and trends in vocational education and training.
Bachelor of Adult Learning and Development:
This program continues to be well received by students, with good translation into further study enrolments. We are considering future program design to better reconcile number of units with our small staff numbers.
Adult Learning Program Group:
Following revision of faculty program leadership arrangements, we have clarified roles and responsibilities in the Adult Learning Program group to streamline course planning and decision-making. Regular meetings have been held to jointly determine program directions, work priorities and review program matters for quality purposes.