Knowledge processes - Chapter 3: Learning For Work

The purposes of education

  • What is education for? What has it done for you? What do you expect it to do – for you, for your own children, for the students you teach, for their parents?
  • Describe an incident or some incidents from a job you have had. How is this incident or incidents illustrative of the Fordist, post-Fordist or productive diversity model of work?

Changing work in schools

  • Interview a retired teacher, or a teacher who has served for many years and who is about to retire. How has the organisation of schools changed in recent decades? Use the organisational categories of Fordism, post-Fordism and productive diversity to characterise the differences.

Types of school organisation

  • Read some accounts of school life one hundred years ago. Create a comparative table that names and defines the key organisational characteristics of the old school, and those of schools of today or the near future.

Work and education: The connections

  • Theorise the connections between Fordism/didactic teaching, post-Fordism/authentic education and productive diversity/transformative education. How close do you consider these alignments to be?

Tools for learning

  • List the purposes of education, then prioritise. How do your priorities affect your attitude to education? For the better? For the worse?
  • What are the technologies of the school? How do these shape the job of the teacher?

Debating work

  • Hold a debate about the modern world. Include as speakers in the debate Ford and Taylor on the one side and Marx and Foucault on the other. Debate the merits of Fordism.
  • Survey a range of working conditions in the world today, comparing conditions for different classes of workers in different countries. Provide some case study examples of particular workplaces. Use the categories of Fordism, post-Fordism and productive diversity to characterise the differences.
  • Consider school as a place of work. Why do we need effective organizational and physical architectures?

Being a worker

  • Design and role play a comically archetypical incident in each kind of workplace: Fordism, post-Fordism and productive diversity.

Working futures

  • Imagine the future of work. Construct optimistic and horror scenarios for the future of work.