A Study of How Kitchen Employees Learn through Informal Learning and Learning through Practice in the Workplace
This thesis identifies how restaurant kitchen employees learn to do their jobs, with a primary focus on methods such as informal learning and learning through practice. The findings of this study contribute to adult education and lifelong learning literature pertaining to informal learning and learning through practice in the workplace. I collected data using a small-scale qualitative research approach consisting of semi-structured interviews. I interviewed seven participants working in family style restaurants kitchens in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) area of Nova Scotia. All those who volunteered to be interviewed were male. Although the levels of experience varied amongst participants, none reported working in entry-level positions. The main theoretical approaches taken up in this thesis include the three categories of learning: formal, non-formal, and informal learning with an emphasis on informal learning and learning through practice. I take up theories such as workplace learning, scaffolding and learning in the workplace, learning organizations, communities of practice and learning through practice. The data indicates that many factors influence informal learning including: workplace structure; mentorship; learning through practice; trial and error; and communities of practice. The results also demonstrate that informal learning and learning through practice are integral components of how restaurant kitchen employees learn to do their jobs. Therefore, it is important that these methods of learning are recognized and valued for their contributions in the workplace.
Restaurant learning - employees , Informal learning , Lifelong learning