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Workplace learning as a field of inquiry: A Canadian‐US comparison

Faye P. Wiesenberg (University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Shari L. Peterson (Department of Work, Community and Family Education, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, St Paul, USA)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



This comparative study explored differences in perceptions between Canadian and US post secondary faculty in the fields of adult education (AdEd) and human resource development (HRD) on program development issues in the emerging field of “workplace learning”. In fall of 2001, The Adult Education and Human Resource Development Faculty Survey was electronically disseminated to a selected sample of Canadian and US faculty across both countries. The authors examine respondents' perceptions of: their program's curricular focus on the individual students' learning needs compared to the organization development goals of their current or potential employers; the importance of specific skills to the role of “workplace learning practitioner” compared to skill building opportunities present in the program; and the degree of cooperation between their academic programs and businesses that employs, or potentially employs, graduates from these programs. The findings reveal differences in the manner in which Canadian and US faculties develop and teach in these programs that the authors believe have important implications for the continuing development of this field of inquiry and practice in both countries. Overall, the study argues for closer and more purposeful collaboration between AdEd and HRD faculties who develop and teach in workplace learning programs in both countries, and highlights the importance of alliance building on several fronts in order for this newly emerging field of practice and inquiry to flourish.



Wiesenberg, F.P. and Peterson, S.L. (2004), "Workplace learning as a field of inquiry: A Canadian‐US comparison", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 219-236.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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