Knowledge about work and work procedures: Lessons from unpaid work at home and at school

Year: 1994

Author: Bowes, Jennifer M.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Children's ideas about paid work, particularly their understanding of who does particular jobs, and the monetary and status rewards of different occupations, has been the main focus of research on children's knowledge about work. School programs on work have also concentrated on the world of paid work, and on category rather than social knowledge. Relatively neglected, the field of unpaid work at home and at school provides a context for much early learning about the distinctions to be made between work tasks and the social rules associated with work.

The paper will draw together literature on children's developing understanding of work at home and at school, and will discuss children's perceived interconnections between these work contexts and the world of paid work. It will be argued that children's social cognition about work is more advanced in contexts in which they have had experience, and that this knowledge, particularly their knowledge about the social rules of work, can be built upon in teaching children about the world of paid work.