Kognitivt stöd för lärande i arbetet : En teoretisk modell baserad på en fallstudie av ett svenskt militärt utlandsförband i Kosovo
Peace Support Operations
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AbstractThe overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge on how formal education gives cognitive support to informal learning at work. The ambition is to combine different theoretical perspectives on learning. Formal learning, mostly within institutions for education, is usually seen from a cognitive or constructivist perspective, and informal learning from situational or socio-cultural perspectives. Combining these perspectives, this thesis is based on a case study of how a formal training program for Swedish military personnel, going on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, gives cognitive support to their informal, experiential learning during the mission. The case study has an ethnographic research design where 17 military leaders at different levels are interviewed, observed and “shadowed” during three field periods during training in Sweden and during work in Kosovo. The empirical material and the different theoretical perspectives on learning are used to construct a perspective-integrating conceptual model of how the formal training, through different learning resources, helps the leaders to develop a subjective understanding of their coming work. This understanding is then used by the leaders to mentally frame the specific experiences and actions they encounter at work. This mental framing is also prevalent in their reflections in and on their work, and their informal learning at work can be shown to be heavily influenced by the understanding the leaders developed during formal training. However, most of this understanding cannot be related to formal learning resources, but to learning resources the military leaders themselves bring to the training in the way of their earlier experiences, their military professional orientation, and their internal discussions in free time. The main conclusions are that 1) contrary to prevailing dogma, different perspectives on learning can be brought together, and 2) if formal education is going to give cognitive support to learning at work, it needs to address the question of how the conceptual structure of the training content can be integrated with the often private concepts the workers themselves have of their work.
TypeDoctoral thesis, monograph