Informal and Incidental Learning in the Workplace

Authored by: Victoria J. Marsick , Karen E. Watkins , Mary Wilson Callahan , Marie Volpe

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805858198
eBook ISBN: 9780203887882
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597405


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Periodically, scholars have grappled with the idea of informal and incidental learning, concepts that are typically defined in contrast with formal, structured education and that center around learning from and through experience. Over the past 16 years, Marsick and Watkins (1990, 1999) have evolved a theory of informal and incidental learning that has been used in a number of dissertations and published studies. Growing out of thinking about learning from experience and self-directed learning, their model focused on the learning phases of an individual and added stages of reflective learning that usually occur incidentally but that, with coaching, can deepen this learning.

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