University Of Tasmania
154245 - Current maritime education and training.pdf (516 kB)

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

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 15:32 authored by Saratkumar NarayananSaratkumar Narayanan, Gholam Reza EmadGholam Reza Emad
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.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 2022 International Association of Maritime Universities Annua General Assembly


N Kurshubadze and B Svilicic




Australian Maritime College


Batumi State Maritime Academy

Place of publication


Event title

IAMU AGA Conference

Event Venue


Rights statement

Copyright 2022 IAMU

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Higher education; Autonomous water vehicles