On Andrew Wojecki’s article: What’s identity got to do with it, anyway?


FORUM: Participation in education and work; identity and social exclusion.(BLOCK 2)


On Andrew Wojecki’s article: What’s identity got to do with it, anyway? (link to forum)

Reply to Claudia’s post

Claudia wrote:

For me while reading Wojecki’s article I agree with most of his states. Opposite of what you mentioned Dana.

And I agree on the basis that he worked with these adult learners over a two year period. When working with the same individuals from this term you can and in my point of view is a must to listen deeper and further connect with them (as Wojecki stated).

I reckon we have to look at both considering the relation between learners and teachers is reciprocal, there’s shared responsibility and commitment.


As a teacher, I also believe that Wojecki’s article has merit. It is in line with current educational approaches that place responsibility on both educators and learners. I nevertheless raised a question on the feasibility of such “intense” approach, given the already energy and time-consuming demands placed on teachers. I would think that Wojecki’s ideas should be included in the general learner-centered approach to education, as they broaden the context of learning so as to include past learning experiences and individual present dynamics of learning.

Having said that, the question here is how relevant is Wojecki’s article to our analysis for Assignment 2.

I believe that his ideas could be situated at the THIRD LEVEL (see my other post ), i.e. at the interface of previous learning experiences and workplace, when a learner seeks access into the job market. Today, as it was recognized in other threads, formal education credentials play a pivotal role in the selection process. ( I am using the term “formal education” as a way to refer to school and universities, even though Billet goes out of his way to show that in reality this is an artificial distinction.) Applicants find it difficult to have their experience considered within the hiring process; this way they may become victim of discrimination. Giving value to individuals’ identity building process and personal narratives could be a way to partly overcome exclusion at the “access to employment” level.

I also believe that his ideas could be situated at the SECOND LEVEL (see my other post), after people gain access to education and jobs. In this case, discrimination in the form of disregard fro the personal narratives and identities of learners/employees may emerge as policy traits embedded in current dominant views on skill formation, which situate the power clearly in the employers’ hands. In this case, how teachers/mentors/expert co-workers see their role could make a big difference in the way learners/employees learn. Wojecki suggests the following pedagogical strategy:

“Through examining and reflecting on how our teaching and assessment practices cultivate, encourage, and promote opportunities for adult learners to reflect on how they see themselves in the world, spaces may be created where learners experiment in re-authoring their identities for learning. As adult educators, we occupy privileged spaces in which we interact within the stories that comprise learners’ lives. Attending to learners’ identities, and listening to the stories of learning they tell and re-tell may assist us as we shape our own identities and practices as adult educators.” (p. 180)

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