The workplace as a learning space

Billett, S. (2004) ‘Workplace participatory practices: Conceptualising workplaces as learning environments’, The Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 312-324 [Online]. DOI: 10.1108/13665620410550295.


  1. Workplaces as learning spaces
  2. Critiquing some existing conceptions of workspaces as learning environments
  3. Participation and participatory practices at work
  4. Workplace participatory practices
  5. Bases for participation in workplaces
  6. Workplaces, learning, and participatory practices


The workplace is a learning space.

Participation in your work tasks helps you refine your knowledge about how to do them, and frees you to think about other tasks.

People choose how they will engage and what they will construct; social practices provide pressure to engage with specific knowledge.

It’s important to recognize the workplace as a learning space:

Participatory practices

Participatory practices:

As a result, participatory practices are available in different degrees to different people, sometimes depending on affiliation, associations, gender, language skills, employment status, and workplace standing.

Individuals have the agency to decide if an activity is worthy of their participation, and if they will participate. Some choose not to participate:

See also

I read this article as a follow-up to: Tanggaard (2006) ‘Situating gendered learning in the workplace’.

This article is cited in: Breunig, K. (2016) ‘Limitless learning: assessing social media use for global workplace learning’.

Billett, S. (2001) Learning in the Workplace: Strategies for Effective Practice. Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

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