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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 22, Issue 6
The year 2010 must go down in history as the year when people began to contemplate how different life would be if international travel was not as we know it today. Our personal travels have taken interesting turns lately – from Turkey to Italy by slow train, for example, or a completely cancelled trip that resulted in unplanned free days … no cloud in sight while we sat on the balcony, but invisible clouds hindering air travel all through Europe. It is perfectly fitting that we have simultaneously received a couple of articles on learning to become better air traffic controllers (ATC). So, while Eurocontrol and the national offices take care of our security, JWL is able to reveal to you how they learn to cope with new disruptions in their work, such as sudden eruptions of volcanic ash. Of course, a great deal of the job is learnt through collective action, some of it compulsory, but actually even individual air traffic controllers can “do conscious analyses of material arising from everyday work” through the reporting system. One ATC learning article appears in this issue (by Anna-Maria Teperi); the other one is still in the reviewing/rewriting pipeline to appear later in this volume. But we have “our finger on the pulse of the times”, so to speak.
Surprisingly, similar findings on drawing on the fluid knowledge of new situations and phenomena are reported by Terrie Lynn Thompson in her article “Self-employed and online: (re-)negotiating work-learning practices” and by Sturle Nes and Anne Moen in their article “Constructing standards: a study of nurses negotiating with multiple modes of knowledge”. The informal learning, social learning and peer learning systems are clearly becoming more central, both with accelerating change in work situations and workplaces as they become more complex and fluid.
These three articles also show the typical variety of research strategies in our field; from survey approach to interviews to analysis of videotaped real-life learning situations. Thus, there are things in this issue also for scholars to learn: to be better in their work; not only through theoretical advances, but also methodological ideas.
The final article in this issue is oriented more towards the professional training planners than towards scholars attempting to build theory. In our “Professional practice” section, Dunstan and Nadine Newman explain how training was oriented with strategy through a case of “Training in support of leadership development at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Library”. We feel that there are valuable insights to be learned from this case study too.
There certainly will be more interesting events and articles in store for future issues. We hope you feel this issue has motivated you to keep reading JWL – or to start planning your next research by expanding on what we have published this time, and to publish it with us.
Sara Cervai, Tauno Kekale