Distributed Learning: Understanding the Emerging Workplace Knowledge

Pillay, Hitendra K. & Elliott, Robert G. (2002) Distributed Learning: Understanding the Emerging Workplace Knowledge. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 13(1/2), pp. 93-110.


This article explores cognitive attributes that allow individuals to function effectively in the emerging world of uncertainty, flexibility, and incongruities. The article presents discussion of the changing nature of our society and workplaces. It is argued that the changing workplaces require a distributed cognitive model of human competence, which promotes learning for life. The notion of absolutes and closure in every activity is no longer a possibility and we live in a world of tensions and paradoxes. The expectation that individuals take on multiple roles and multiple selves, simultaneously, is argued. In particular, the article focuses on the recent debate on location of cognition to provide a backdrop against which to introduce the distributed model of critical thinking. It is proposed that the engine of critical thought is not located in the mind; in the context; in the tools, or in substantive domain knowledge. Rather it is in the relationships between all four of these. A discussion of four elements: (a)cultural disposition, (b) tools and artifacts, (c) strategies and the substantive domain knowledge separately, and (d) then as an interactive model is presented.

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ID Code: 9609
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: distributed cognition, domain and task knowledge, workplace learning, cultural influences, tools and artifacts
ISSN: 1093-023X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
Deposited On: 19 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2009 07:46

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