Working and Learning from a Bernsteinian Perspective

Reference work entry


This chapter focuses on the working and learning of teachers’ professional/occupational practices. These practices occur in the teachers’ specific areas of professional sectors such as the airline industry, equine sector, and fashion and textiles. The deliverers teach on work-related programs in the vocational/technical and vocational education and training (TVET)/preuniversity academic level.

In studying the working and learning of the teachers’ professional practices, this chapter uses a conceptual framework that relies on a dual professional concept (Handal 1999) at the initial stage, and this contribution centers on occupational practices and not the pedagogic activities of the teachers. Acquisition of knowledge theoretical frameworks relates to those by Clarke and Winch (2004), Eraut (2004), and Winch (2014). Turning to the application of knowledge, the relevant conceptual frameworks include those by Barnett (2006), Evans et al. (2010), Kahneman (2012), Kemmis and Green (2013), and Evans (2016).

The empirical evidence is based on data from a larger project (Loo 2018). The research methodologies include quantitative and qualitative research methods. These are questionnaire survey, one-to-one semi-structured interviews and documentary evidence.

Using empirical data, examples of how types of know-how acquired by participants in gas servicing, health and social work, fashion and textiles, and equine industries are discussed. The participants’ perspectives of their use of know-how are also delineated using the above theoretical frameworks to provide deep insights into how they perform their roles in the respective work areas. The conclusion section offers contributions and implications of this study.


Vocationalism Teachers’ knowledge Working Learning Occupational practices 


  1. Barnett M (2006) Vocational knowledge and vocational pedagogy. In: Young M, Gamble J (eds) Knowledge, curriculum and qualifications for south African further education. Human Sciences Research Council Press, Cape Town, pp 143–158Google Scholar
  2. Becher T (1994) The significance of disciplinary differences. Stud High Educ 19:151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein B (1996) Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. Taylor and Francis Limited, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Chaiklin S, Lave J (1996) Understanding practice: perspectives on activity and context. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarke L, Winch C (2004) Apprenticeship and applied theoretical knowledge. Educ Philos Theory 36(5):509–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cole M (1996) Cultural psychology: a once and future discipline. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins H (2010) Tacit and explicit knowledge. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Education and Training Foundation (ETF) (2014) Professional standards for teachers and trainers in England. ETF, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Eraut M (2004) Transfer of knowledge between education and workplace settings. In: Rainbird H, Fuller A, Munro A (eds) Workplace learning in context. Routledge, London, pp 201–221Google Scholar
  10. Evans K (2016) Higher vocational learning and knowledgeable practice: the newly qualified practitioner at work. In: Loo S, Jameson J (eds) Vocationalism in further and higher education: policy, Programmes and Pedagogy. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 117–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Evans K, Guile D, Harris J, Allan H (2010) Putting knowledge to work: a new approach. Nurse Educ Today 30(3):245–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frontier Economics Limited (2014) Further education workforce data for England: analysis of the 2012–2013 staff individualized record data. Frontier Economics Limited, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Hager P (2004) Front-loading, workplace learning and skill development. Educ Philos Theory 36(5):523–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Handal G (1999) Consultation using critical friends. New Dir Teaching Learn 1999(79):59–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kahneman D (2012) Thinking, fast and slow. Penguin Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Kemmis RB, Green A (2013) Vocational education and training teachers’ conceptions of their pedagogy. Int J Train Res 11(2):101–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kemmis S, Grootenboer P (2008) Situating praxis in practice: practice architectures and the cultural, social and material conditions for practice. In: Kemmis S, Smith TJ (eds) Enabling praxis: challenges for education. Sense, Rotterdam, pp 37–62Google Scholar
  18. Kress G (2010) Multimodality: a social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Loo S (2012) The application of pedagogic knowledge to teaching: a conceptual framework. Int J Lifelong Educ 31(6):705–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Loo S (2013) Professional development of teachers: using multimodality and reflective peer review approaches to analyse digitally recorded teaching practices. Teach Dev 17(4):499–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Loo S (2014) Placing ‘knowledge’ in teacher education in the English further education teaching sector: an alternative approach based on collaboration and evidence based research. Br J Educ Stud 62(3):337–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loo S (2018) Teachers and teaching in vocational and professional education. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  23. Loo S, Jameson J (2017) Introduction: vocationalism in the English context. In: Loo S, Jameson J (eds) Vocationalism in further and higher education: policy, Programmes and pedagogy. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  24. Nonaka I, Takeuchi H (1995) The knowledge creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Polanyi M (1966) The tacit dimension. Routledge/Kegan Paul, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Pollard A, Anderson A, Maddock M, Swaffield S, Warin J, Warwick P (2008) Reflective teaching: evidence-informed professional practice. Continuum, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Robson C (2002) Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Blackwell Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  28. Smeby J-C (1996) Disciplinary differences in university teaching. Stud High Educ 21:69–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) (2012) Building skills for work and life. In: 3rd UNESCO TVET congress, Shanghai, 16 MayGoogle Scholar
  30. Winch C (2014) Know-how and knowledge in the professional curriculum. In: Young M, Muller J (eds) Knowledge, expertise and the professions. Routledge, London, pp 47–60Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen Evans
  • Natasha Kersh
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations