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Workplace learning in Pakistani schools: a myth or reality?

Ali Nawab (Aga Khan University‐Institute for Educational Development, Professional Development Centre, Chitral, Pakistan)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




Literature on workplace learning emphasizes that learning should be continually generated and negotiated in the workplace. How does this concept unfold in the developing context? This paper aims at understanding teachers' workplace learning and the conditions which influence such learning in a private school of Pakistani context.


First, a brief review of literature on workplace learning is presented to develop a conceptual framework for the study. Next, the research methodology undertaken to collect data from the studied school is described. The paper then presents the findings, followed by discussion, limitations and suggestions for further studies.


Drawing upon the data collected through a qualitative case study, this paper reveals that in Pakistani schools, the theoretically powerful concept of learning is not the same in practice. Teachers' work load, lack of awareness about the possibilities and importance of workplace learning, non‐existence of structures for teachers' interactions and lack of rewards are the conditions impeding workplace learning. Since the study has been conducted in the developing context, it also brings forth some fresh findings about cultural aspects of the specific context.


The study suggests that the change agents should concentrate on developing structures and cultures inside schools to facilitate teachers' workplace learning. Moreover, the external courses conducted for teachers should include the concept of workplace learning in their contents to make teachers learn how to learn in the workplace.



Nawab, A. (2011), "Workplace learning in Pakistani schools: a myth or reality?", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 421-434.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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