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Title:Examining the influence of frames of reference on flight instructors' process of informal learning in an aviation setting
Author(s):Wofford, Michael G.
Director of Research:Ellinger, Andrea D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ellinger, Andrea D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Johnson, Scott D.; Kuchinke, K. Peter; Watkins, Karen E.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Human Resource Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Informal Learning
Frame of Reference
Aviation Instruction
Abstract:Informal learning in the workplace is one of the most predominant forms of learning and is critical to the development of professional knowledge and expertise. Several scholars have acknowledged the need to develop more holistic understandings of informal learning and undertake more research that examines how certain characteristics of workers and their work environment influence engagement in informal learning. Individual learning includes the collective experience of the individual in his or her development as a person as well as in his or her learning. This learning is situated within a dynamic field or context that influences the learner. Scholars have indicated that the informal learning process is mediated by an individual’s frame of reference. This suggests, that, depending upon how one frames a situation or environment, this framing may influence the choices and decisions one makes. Yet, how frames of reference actually influence the process of informal learning remains underdeveloped in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of frames of reference on informal learning in a unique work environment using a qualitative instrumental case study approach. Marsick, Watkins, Callahan, and Volpe’s (2006) Informal and Incidental Learning Model underpinned this study as the theoretical framework. To examine the influence of individual frames of reference on the informal learning process, this qualitative case study first identified individual frames of reference. It then examined informal learning episodes from a workplace setting to ascertain the influence of individual frames of reference on the informal learning process. The findings of this study demonstrate the complex, cyclical, non-sequential nature of informal learning while highlighting the significance of problem variation in stimulating informal learning episodes. Further, the findings of this study illustrate the influence of frames of reference on the informal learning process for flight instructors as these instructors encountered daily challenges associated with facilitating their students’ learning in an aviation training setting.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Michael Grant Wofford
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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