Conversational Moves That Matter: Bridging Learning Outcomes and Patterns of Speech in Informal Cross-Organizational Conversations Among Top-Level Leaders

Cross-organizational “learning conversations” are an important source of informal learning among professionals, though little is known about whether specific characteristics of conversational interaction contribute to different learning outcomes in such conversations. This mixed-methods study examined the relationship between what (learning outcomes) and from what (specific conversational contributions) 79 executives from 22 organizations reported they learned from informal, peer-led conversations. Findings suggest that (1) there are unique associations between different types of reported learning outcomes and specific types of conversational contributions that are controversial, narrative, and inquiry in nature and (2) higher and/or lower proportions of certain conversational moves may support particular types of learning outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of findings and how they can support developing more nuanced taxonomies of effective discourse for informal learning, and identify areas for future research.

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Art as Critical Public Pedagogy: A Qualitative Study of Luis Camnitzer and His Conceptual Art

This qualitative study explored the connection between art and adult education for critical consciousness from the perspective and work of conceptual artist, Luis Camnitzer. The theoretical framework is grounded in the critical public pedagogy literature. Data collection methods included interviews with conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer and with others familiar with his work, as well as textual analysis of his writing and visual art. The findings focus on the theme of exile in the life of the artist, his thoughts on the relation of art, politics, and education, and the role of conceptual art’s potential for creating “dialogue” in the mind of the viewer by re-presenting reality in unexpected ways. The discussion of the findings focuses on re-examining and redefining the concept of “dialogue” for art and adult education for critical consciousness in nonformal settings.

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Undressing Transformative Learning: The Roles of Instrumental and Communicative Learning in the Shift to Clothing Sustainability

Clothing is an integral part of our lives, yet modes of producing, using, and disposing of apparel have significant impacts on the environment. Our research explored the role transformative learning plays in the transition to more sustainable thinking and actions about clothing to illuminate instrumental learning processes and examine the relationship between instrumental and communicative learning. Using a qualitative case study approach, we gathered data on behaviors and attitudes (n = 32), and examined in depth the learning participants underwent and the action they took (n = 17). The data reveal that instrumental and communicative learning outcomes were plentiful, with participants discussing the array of skills, knowledge, and communicative insights they learned. Results indicate that instrumental learning makes action possible by allowing individuals to identify problems and solutions and to develop plans of action. Results also reveal the important interaction among instrumental and communicative learning as an individual seeks to understand an occurrence.

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The Influence of Social Background on Participation in Adult Education: Applying the Cultural Capital Framework

In this article, we address the issue of participation in adult education building on the cultural capital framework. This theoretical framework suggests that (educational) practices are affected by one’s social background and, more precisely, by the cultural resources handed down in the family context. To examine the validity of this theoretical framework, we build on data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies from 23 countries (n = 120,789). The Programme data allow using the variables parents’ educational level (a proxy for social background), educational attainment, and readiness to learn as precursors of participation in adult education (both a proxy for cultural capital). Our findings suggest that the cultural capital framework is not fully suited to explain participation in adult education: Although social background has an (indirect) influence on participation, its effect does not concur with theoretical predictions, that is, mediated by the readiness to learn.

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Learning Through Political Participation: A Case Study of Spanish Elders Involved in Political Organizations

Older people’s civic participation contributes to community development while at the same time providing opportunities for personal growth in later life. One important dimension of civic participation that has been largely underexplored is informal learning. The aim of this study is to explore the learnings experienced by Spanish older people through their participation in political organizations as one important type of participation that has received little attention in the literature to date. A total of 192 people aged 65 years and older and actively engaged in three kinds of political organizations participated in the study. Participants answered an open-ended question regarding learnings through political participation. Results show a range of informal learnings, relating to social, political, or instrumental domains. Both the type of organization and some sociodemographic and participatory characteristics are associated with the type of learnings experienced by participants. Implications for political organizations are discussed.

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