Situated Andragogy: Exploring the Interrelationships Between People, Place and Practice on Novel Experiential Learning Journeys of Freelance Learner-Practitioners Working in the UK Film and High-End Television Industries

Bickerton, Michael (2023) Situated Andragogy: Exploring the Interrelationships Between People, Place and Practice on Novel Experiential Learning Journeys of Freelance Learner-Practitioners Working in the UK Film and High-End Television Industries. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Michael Bickerton PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Mar 2023_Final Award Jun 2023.pdf - Accepted Version

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The UK Film and High-End Television production workforce is predominantly employed on a project-by project basis, and employment contracts are often freelance. With the shift in production techniques from analogue (celluloid film) to digital together with the development of new digital technologies, the production workforce needs to engage in continual learning to sustain a career in technical craft areas of film production. Although some training is available through sector bodies such as Skillset, there are a number of barriers to accessing training. For example, the cost of taking time away from self-employed work to engage in the training and the challenge that learner-practitioners need to have a period of working in the industry before they can access some resources can inhibit access to these initiatives.

This situation invokes two questions. First, why does operational skills development take place for learner-practitioners working in precarious employment and in the absence of formal training schemes such as those offered by BFI and Skillset? Secondly, if learning is occurring in this precarious workplace setting, can these learning experiences be expressed graphically by way of a learning model?

The thesis builds on the relatively un-researched area of experiential learning within the context of a freelance workplace. The contribution of the research lies in the way it considers the lived experiences of learner-practitioners working in, or closely with, the camera production unit, in eight different production contexts, and their personal learning journeys.

The research has analysed qualitative data from a series of semi-structured interviews with working practitioners, through the application of four theoretical frameworks: Fiske (1992), Garnett & O’Beirne (2013), Jarvis (2004) and Russ-Eft (2011), identifying patterns and trends in the lived experiences of these practitioners. From this analysis, a model expressing the learner-practitioner’s individual experiential learning journey is proposed. The new model shows how the relationship between people and place influences the experiential learning journey of practitioners. The model structures the range of pathways an individual learner-practitioner can choose to take within their own experiential learning journey. The choice of pathways are not only influenced by external factors, but also influence and inform (and are shaped by) an individual’s approach to learning, leading to the continued development of the learner-practitioners’ practice. The new experiential learning model expresses the holistic experiences of freelance learner-practitioners within the technical-craft domain of film production.

The model provides a contribution to experiential learning, enabling freelance learner-practitioners to explicitly explore the range of opportunities available to them to engage in experiential learning. Practitioners can use the model to reflect on their learning experiences and inform decisions on how to develop and maintain their socio-technical skills, navigating a successful career in an industry of continued technological change. This research contributes to the theory of experiential learning that takes place within a freelance workplace.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
13 March 2023Submitted
1 June 2023Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experiential learning, Film, Technical Craft, Learner-Practitioner, Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy, Freelance, High-End Television, Organizational Socialization, Social Perspective, Situated Cognition
Subjects: CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-03 - materials and technology > CAH10-03-06 - others in technology
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2023 14:30
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 14:30

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