LearningWork is a community of practice, engaged in dialogue, research and action on learning and work issues. Its active steering committee and working groups bring together academic, labour and community researchers and practitioners. All contribute to the internal life of OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and the University of Toronto, both in the graduate program and the pre-service program. They also support the organizational capacity of the labour movement, and develop practical alternative tools to the dominant neo-liberal discourses on learning and work.

Judith Marshall (left) and Johanne Deschamps (right) explore media images of workers in a globalising economy. Credit: D'Arcy MartinJudith Marshall (left) and Johanne Deschamps (right) explore media images of workers in a globalising economy. Credit: D'Arcy Martin

  • Campus Canada – Flexible Learning Solutions

    Campus Canada is your way to improve your educational opportunities and to advance in your career. We are a national partnership of colleges, polytechnical institutes and universities that offer online and distance education specifically for working adults.

    “It’s like one-stop shopping – just a click away, no matter where you live. I keep track of my education, get credit for training at work, and get certification faster than anywhere else.” – testimonial


  • Save Indiana University Labor Studies Program

    The Indiana University Division of Labor Studies (DLS), part of the School of Continuing Studies, provides educational resources to workers and unions in Indiana and elsewhere.

    Organized in 1946, the division has grown to become one of the largest and most highly respected university labor education programs in the United States. Today, with faculty and staff located throughout the state, the DLS serves thousands of participants in a variety of programs each year.

    DLS needs you to speak up and defend labor education. The effort underway to dismantle the department is a violation of academic freedom and university policy. The department faced a 20 percent cut in operating funds. As a result the DLS faculty increased their teaching load, and they radically increased income. In the just-concluded fiscal year DLS netted $2 million in income, doubling the income goal set by the university administration.

    Despite that, academic administrators are working on a reorganization plan that would close DLS offices at the university’s Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Kokomo campuses, merge the department with another (to be determined), and possibly eliminate all non-tenured DLS faculty.

    Show your support for the program and sign the petition to save DLS at www.petitionspot.com/petitions/IULaborStudies .

    For more information, email Professor Ruth Needleman at rneedle@iun.edu.

    Or mail your letters of support to Indiana University Division of Labor Studies, Union Building, Room 503, 620 Union Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

  • Taxes are Good for a Nation’s Health and Well-Being: Study

    OTTAWA-Canada is falling behind a number of OECD nations in a wide range of social and economic areas, and a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives points to tax cuts as the culprit.

    The study, by Neil Brooks and Thaddeus Hwong, compares high-tax Nordic countries and low-tax Anglo-American countries on 50 social and economic measures and finds the high-tax Nordic countries score better in 42 categories.

    According to the study, tax cuts are disastrous for the well-being of a nation’s citizens. For example, the high-tax Nordic countries have:

    • lower rates of poverty, more equal income distribution, and more economic security for their workers;
    • a higher GDP per capita;
    • higher rates of household saving and net national saving;
    • greater innovation, including a higher percentage of GDP spent on research and development;
    • a higher ranking on their growth competitiveness by the World Economic Forum;
    • higher rates of secondary school and university completion; and
      less drug use, more leisure time,
    • and higher life satisfaction.

    “By cutting taxes the Conservative government is taking Canada in the wrong direction,” says Brooks. “It wants to make Canada more like the United States, yet our findings show that Americans bear severe social costs for living in one of the lowest taxed countries in the world.”

    The U.S. falls near the bottom of the 21 industrialized countries in a strikingly large number of social indicators. It also ranks as the most dysfunctional country by a considerable margin.

    In contrast, Finland ranks near the top of the industrialized world in most of the social indicators and has been named the most competitive country in the world by the World Economic Forum four years in a row.

    “The tax cut lobby has it backwards,” says Hwong. “Not only do government social programs create a healthier society, they also create the conditions for a vibrant-and competitive-economy.”

    The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation: A Comparison of High- and Low-Tax Countries is available on the CCPA web site at http://www.policyalternatives.ca.

    Neil Brooks is a CCPA Research Associate and Osgoode Hall Law School Professor. Thaddeus Hwong is a Professor at the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University.

    For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.

  • Call for Papers: Lifelong Learning in the City-Region

    The PASCAL Observatory on Place Management, Social Capital and Learning Regions invites contributions to its 5th international conference on the theme of ‘Lifelong Learning in the City-Region’ in Pecs, Hungary.

    The aim of the conference is to review issues which have emerged from research and practice undertaken with a focus on the role of lifelong learning at the regional or city level whether it be with an economic or a social goal. The conference is designed to appeal to researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. On the one hand it invites researchers to examine contemporary research issues empirically, methodologically and theoretically; on the other it invites those whose primary concern is practice and its implementation to share their experiences with us.

    A number of leading figures from the international research and policy-making communities have been invited to provide an analysis of the issues emerging from research and practice. Papers from a wide range of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners will complement these keynote presentations. We are especially interested in papers that address a ‘community’ perspective. A number of ‘roundtable’ sessions will allow for debate and discussion on particular topics.

    We invite contributions to roundtable discussions with the following three themes:

    • The role of lifelong learning in the modified Lisbon Strategy of the EU
    • Learning regions and local and regional economic development and employability
    • The effectiveness of the learning region model in enhancing social cohesion

    Within the broad theme of the learning city-region we invite traditional academic papers, policy and practice papers and demonstration projects, which will be grouped into sub-themes as follows:

    • Interregional policy development
    • Cross border partnerships and collaboration
    • Managing networks and partnerships in the lifelong learning region
    • The lifelong learning region as a tool for developing active citizenship
    • Lifelong learning regions and social partnerships
    • The role of ICT in developing social capital at regional level
    • Learning needs of regional and municipal authorities and agencies
    • Economic benefits and social stability in lifelong learning regions
    • Profiting from the knowledge society at regional level
    • The lifelong learning region as a complex system
    • The academic development of adult education within the regions of the Central-European Association of Universities


    The nature of the paper, for example, whether it is a report on completed research, work in progress, an analytical or discussion paper, a demonstration project of practice or a roundtable contribution. A roundtable proposal should consist of between three and five short
    contributions on one of three key themes listed above, whilst other proposals may be focussed on any of the eleven sub-themes above.

    • The issues the paper raises
    • The relationship of the paper to other literature, research, etc.
    • The approach to the topic, and where relevant an outline of methodology, sample, etc.
    • Conclusions and recommendations


    • The sub-theme for which the abstract is submitted
    • Full name(s), job title(s), place(s) of employment, postal, telephone, fax and e-mail address(es) of proposers

    Each paper will be allocated 35 minutes in duration. Presentations should be no longer than 25 minutes, leaving at least 10 minutes for discussion and questions. Roundtables will be allocated 70 minutes. Completed papers should not exceed 4000 words. All published papers will have been subject to an anonymous, full refereeing process.

    For more details of PASCAL see http://www.obs-pascal.com .

  • New Publication: Improving Workplace Learning

    ‘This book has the great strength of being based on an extremely rich and detailed foundation of research data. Because of this, it is able to firmly locate workplace learning within the wider settings of the employment relationship and widely differing organisational strategies. It should be required reading for all involved in public policy on skills.’ – Ewart Keep, University of Cardiff, UK

    ‘Improving Workplace Learning… deserves the attention of all interested in practical job redesign to enhance both workplace learning and fulfilling work.’ – David W. Livingstone, University of Toronto, Canada


    By Karen Evans, Institute of Education, University of London, UK, Phil Hodkinson, University of Leeds, UK, Helen Rainbird, Birmingham Business School, UK and Lorna Unwin, University of Leicester, UK
    With Alison Fuller, Heather Hodkinson, Natasha Kersh, Anne Munro and Peter Senker


    Across the western world, there is a growing awareness of the importance of workplace learning, seen at the level of national and international policy, as well as in the developing practices of employers, training providers and Trades Unions. This key text is the first on workplace learning in a new series published in partnership with the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP). Authoritative and appealing, it presents key findings on work-based learning, bringing together conclusions from five different projects, and investigating a variety of workplace contexts. An extensive practical treatment, the included research has a unique combination of breadth of coverage and depth of understanding which significantly advances the understanding of workplace learning.

    This exceptional volume challenges conventional thinking by showing how workplace learning can be improved if close attention is paid to the relationship between organizational context, individual worker biographies, and regulatory frameworks. Multi-authored, but with a centrally organized and clear argument, it takes a broad perspective on workplace learning as in, for, and through the workplace.

    A unique analysis, Evans, Hodkinson, Rainbird and Unwin bring together social and individual perspectives and explain the uneven impact of workplace learning policies. In doing so, this book gives a wide audience of students, practitioners, policy-makers and researchers access to information and linked guidelines for the further improvement of such learning.

    ISBN Hb: 0-415-37119-8: £75.00 Pb: 0-415-37120-1: £21.99

    Available from Routledge Taylor-Francis

    US and Canada:

    Customers in the US
    • Call toll-free: 1-800-634-7064
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    Customers in Canada
    • Call toll-free: 1-877-226-2237
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    • E-mail : book.orders@routledge.co.uk

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    • Internet site: www.routledge.com