Justification Based on Rational Training

Justification Based on Rational Training

Karim A. Remtulla (University of Toronto, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-835-7.ch008

Abstract

This chapter produces a socio-cultural critique of the ‘rational training’ workplace e-learning scenario. In this workplace e-learning scenario, workplace e-learning for workplace adult education training is used to justify the workforce through standards, categories, and measures. The alienating effects that arise out of this rush towards technocentric rationalization of the workforce through workplace e-learning are also discussed. These are the unintended and paradoxically opposite outcomes to the effects actually anticipated. An exploratory case study problematizes the unquestioned acceptance of the technological artefacts of workplace e-learning within organizations as credible sources to provide a rationale to justify workforces within workplaces. This approach critiques the presumption of infallibility of the technological artefacts of workplace e-learning; considers the short-comings of the conceiving of workplace e-learning as ‘finished’; and, reveals the ‘underdetermined’ nature of workplace e-learning technological artefacts. Socio-cultural insensitivity from workplace e-learning, in this scenario, comes from the basic, unquestioned assumption that workers are essentially socially flawed and culturally inferior; accountable for overcoming their sociocultural flaws and inferiorities; and, need to be justified by workplace e-learning, through standards, categories, and measures, to meet the expectations of the infallible and commodified workplace. A workplace e-learning that is deployed to justify the workforce, through standardization, categorization, and measurement, all result in a workforce being alienated from: (a) each other (worker-worker alienation); (b) their work (worker-work alienation); and, (c) their personal identities and sense of self (worker-identity alienation). Social rationalization is not the means to social justice in the workplace when it comes to workplace adult education and training, workplace e-learning, and the diverse and multicultural learning needs of a global cohort of adult learners.

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