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The (ir)relevance of current maritime education and training in the transitioning workplace: an activity theory perspective


Narayanan, SC and Emad, GR, The (ir)relevance of current maritime education and training in the transitioning workplace: an activity theory perspective, Proceedings of the 2022 International Association of Maritime Universities Annua General Assembly, 19-22 October 2022, Batumi, pp. 280-285. (2022) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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The maritime industry is experiencing a phase of rapid digitalization and automation. Modern ships are increasingly fitted with novel technologies and complex tools that are changing the ways in which seafarers perform their jobs. However, researchers are questioning the efficacy and ability of the present-day maritime education and training in developing the skills and competencies needed in a dynamically evolving work environment. The investigation reports of many maritime accidents and incidents, point to seafarers' lack of expertise in timely responding to developing hazards. A review of literature indicates a paucity of studies focusing on cognitive human factors and competence development of seafarers, relevant for a high-technology workplace. This paper partially addresses that gap by proposing a novel, practice-based approach to analyze the challenges arising onboard ships during the transition period to a digitalized future. We utilize the cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) or simply, Activity Theory as a lens that provides a holistic socio-technical perspective. Within this, learners, mentors, technologies, pedagogical values, roles/identities, and rules/cultures act as interdependent elements of a collective activity system. Resolving any contradictions, incoherencies, and dilemmas existing between these elements, is essential for achieving the desired outcome, i.e., competent mariners who can safely operate highly digitalized future ships.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:maritime education and training, cultural-historical activity theory, digitalization, automation, human-machine interactions, cognitive human element
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Transportation, logistics and supply chains
Research Field:Maritime transportation and freight services
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:Autonomous water vehicles
UTAS Author:Narayanan, SC (CAPT Saratkumar Narayanan)
UTAS Author:Emad, GR (Dr Reza Emad)
ID Code:154245
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Seafaring and Maritime Operations
Deposited On:2022-11-15
Last Modified:2022-12-05
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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