Learning to be a woodturner

Year: 2006

Author: Ehrich, Lisa, Delahaye, Brian

Type of paper: Refereed paper

National and international Government policies and reports suggest that lifelong learning is a necessity to promote the cultural, social, educational and vocational dimensions of a person's life. Many community based organisations play a significant role in providing learning opportunities for adults and thus promote a broad lifelong learning agenda. One such organisation is the Woodturners' Society of Queensland (WSQ). The aim of the WSQ is the dissemination of information to its members (the majority of whom are over 50 years old) pertaining to the craft of woodturning in addition to providing workshops, seminars and training courses that help to develop and enhance their skills of woodturning. Via semi-structured interviews, the research reported in this paper explores the experiences of ten mature aged members of the WSQ with a view to examining not only their motivation to learn woodturning but also, and most importantly, the learning processes and activities they nominated as critical to their growth. Key factors that facilitated and inhibited the learning processes are identified and discussed. The paper concludes with implications that point to the need to support communities of practice.