New learning arenas for shop stewards - a new political agenda for unions

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    Danish trade unions have well established educational systems providing the shop stewards with many different competencies. The impact of these courses have been analysed in various projects focusing on how the shop stewards can use elements from the courses in their daily practice. However, little attention has been paid to the learning processes shop stewards develop when they are engaged in their daily practice in their workplaces, and not least how development of new learning environments or arenas can bridge learning issues in daily workplace practices and on educational courses.

    In the paper I will discuss results from a project involving shop stewards from four different unions, all members of LO (the confederation of trade unions for skilled and unskilled workers). We worked with different methods in the project ending with ‘future-creating workshops' where shop stewards in collaboration with researchers developed ideas for new learning environments and new political agendas for the shop steward. Besides presenting these results and relating them to overall political and societal challenges I will in the paper shortly outline preliminary ideas on how shop stewards learning in daily practices can be analysed us a combination of perspectives from different theoretical traditions. Shop steward's learning is situational, relational and cross-contextual. Shop stewards' learning is lifelong and life wide. And shop stewards' learning is closely connected to the development of the labour market and not least the unions' priorities, interpretation and reaction to this development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event2007 Conference of the ESREA network on working-life and learning - Barnsley, United Kingdom
    Duration: 26 Jun 200728 Jun 2007


    Conference2007 Conference of the ESREA network on working-life and learning
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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