Singapore University of Social Sciences

Work and Learning in a Changing World

Work and Learning in a Changing World (NCO111)


Much is expected of the modern workforce and aspiring business leaders. All over the world, political and business leaders are constantly exhorting current and future employees to display ‘resilience’ and ‘adaptability’ in the face of social, economic, and technological change. The modern worker and the modern learner are expected to upskill and reskill, be more innovative, be more creative, be more entrepreneurial, and be more efficient. Workers and learners today are thus confronted with an intimidating set of professional and educational choices. Should I learn to code to remain relevant? Is it compulsory for me to be an innovator? This course hopes to aid students and lifelong learners in making such decisions by acquainting them with the political, socio-economic, technological, and historical contexts of the demands that are often made of workers and learners in the modern world. This course will show students and lifelong learners that it is not enough to simply respond to such demands. They must also be more conscious of who is making the demands and why. A person who is armed with such contextual understanding will be able to see that terms like ‘resilience’ and ‘adaptability’ as well as demands along the lines of the ones listed above are value-laden rather than neutral. This means that the way in which they are used in public discussions reflects the assumptions and preferences of certain groups and thinkers about the ideal ways in which society and the economy should be organized. Learners may or may not share these assumptions and preferences. But this course hopes to show them that knowing what they are may pave the way for wiser and more satisfying decision-making in their search for professional and educational fulfilment.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 2.5
Presentation Pattern: ALL SEMESTERS


  • Why work and learn?
  • The contemporary focus on ‘resilience’ and ‘adaptability’
  • The prestige of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • The contemporary focus on measurement and efficiency
  • Developing global perspectives
  • Making plans for an uncertain future

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the commonly articulated rationales for working and learning.
  • Identify the commonly promoted ideal characteristics of present-day workers and learners.
  • Explain the political, socio-economic, technological and historical contexts of contemporary expectations of workers and learners.
  • List the motivations behind personal career and education goals.
  • Comment on the broader contexts (e.g. socio-economic, technological, etc.) influencing your work and learning decisions.
  • Develop modified professional and learning objectives.
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