For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Aspects of a Practical Understanding: Heidegger at the workplace"

by Nielsen, Klaus (2007)


This article aims to clarify some of our pre?conceived assumptions when we address issues of learning in practice. It argues that we need to develop an understanding of practice based on its own premises. For this purpose the German philosopher Martin Heidegger's (1889?1976) understanding of practice and learning is introduced. Heidegger emphasises the use of equipment as crucial for a practical understanding. This perspective is contrasted with an intellectualistic approach to learning in practice exemplified by the work of Donald Schön. Heidegger and Schön's perspectives on learning in practice are evaluated and discussed throughout the article. Examples from studies of apprenticeship are used to illustrate Heidegger's comprehension of learning in practice. Especially learning through the use of tools and equipment, learning in context, learning as a consequence of making mistakes and learning as a matter of developing a sense of familiarity are types of learning emphasised in this article.


Heidegger, Learning, Equipment, Practical Understanding, Apprenticeship, Education


On Heidegger

Links to Reference



How to contribute.