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Revisiting adult learning theories: Can emancipatory learning begin to redress the shortfall in achieving learning organisations?

Dell Dennis
Organisation and Labour Studies, The University of Western Australia
The concept of the learning organisation has been vigorously debated over the past ten to fifteen years, and the role and value of workplace learning even longer. We know the models and have the checklists, but we are yet to see this ideal realised to any significant degree in Australian workplace settings. In recent years, the discipline of adult learning appears to have been subsumed in the broader debate over the learning organisation, yet perhaps this discipline can provide some direction for seeking solutions to the shortfall in achieving the learning organisation. Setting aside the complex infrastructure, management support, and resourcing requirements to accomplish such an ideal, it is perhaps timely to refocus on the learning rather than the organisation itself.

In an attempt to reinvigorate discussion on how learning can be more effectively fostered in the workplace, this presentation proposes that we step back and review some approaches to adult learning to more clearly understand the gap between the reality and the ideal of the learning organisation.

Please cite as: Dennis, D. (2003). Revisiting adult learning theories: Can emancipatory learning begin to redress the shortfall in achieving learning organisations?. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/dennis-abs.html


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Last revision: 13 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/dennis-abs.html