Coming to practice differently in the workplace: a practice architectures exploration of workplace learning in times of change

Publication Name

Studies in Continuing Education


The recent pandemic resulted in significant changes in workplaces that saw people come to live and work differently. What was previously experienced and understood to be the ‘workplace’, along with associated work practices, has shifted and the construct of the workplace has become multiple as more people work remotely. We propose that these changes have also shifted practices of working, providing significant insights into how learning may be happening, not in ‘workplaces’ but rather in reformed ‘sites’ of work. To explore changed work and learning practices in sites of work, we adopt the Theory of Practice Architectures to explore how workers in managing roles learned to practise their work differently in newly formed sites of work. This article provides evidence from semi-structured interviews with 12 managers during the changes wrought during the pandemic in Australia using the ‘Interview to the double’ approach. We highlight how the managers understood their changes in work and shows empirically how the concept of ‘workplace learning’ requires a reconceptualization of learning that rejects a focus on learning as defined by process and instead adopts a practice-based definition of learning as ‘coming to practice differently’.

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