Education & Learning – the first 10,000 hours….

learning-philosophy

The first 10,000 hours of practice is everything…..

“10,000 hours. That is: 40 hours per week, for 48 weeks a year, for 5.2 years. A full-time employment workload excluding time where the aspiring practitioner is observing, or being talked through a task by a professional practitioner.  A full-time employment workload, excluding training periods where the aspiring practitioner is doing menial or non-related functions around the site of the practice. 10,000 hours of working in your practice, following process and developing your workflow.
10,000 hours of assessing situations; considering choices and options to proceed; making a decision as to which choice or option appears to be the most effective one to proceed; and proceeding.
10,000 hours of assessing the result of that workflow. Perhaps a positive outcome? Perhaps a not positive outcome, and needing to consider the other options one may have taken in a repeat of that situation in the coming weeks.
40 hours per week, 48 weeks a year, for 5.2 years of practice, doing. Experiencing, observing, reflecting, considering, deciding, and developing ones’ practice. 10,000 being a practitioner, in order to develop to a level that of a professional practitioner” (Page 2017a).

On the job training

In his 2012 blog Industry Outline, David L Page listed a diversity of roles within the audio industry, which were traditionally trained within industry as employment placements. The apprenticeship model served aspiring audio industry practitioners by providing an junior role opportunity within an industry-based practice, surrounded by professional practitioners. It was an ideal training ground for aspiring practitioners, An aspiring audio industry practitioner requires guidance and training to introduce them to all aspects of a studio:
“with skilled practitioners to observe, imitate and then the opportunity to apply as the situation provided: the importance of training in the workplace, “learning and working are interdependent” (Billet 2001, 39; Burgess 2013, 38). The “apprenticeship approach – modelling, coaching, scaffolding and fading” was used as it was found to be central to effective workplace-training techniques (Billet 2001, 145 in Page 2012).
The motivated aspiring practitioner needed to gain an industry placement, commit to doing a good job by imitating the professional practitioners, and over the course of five (5) to ten (10) years experience, they would develop themselves into professional practitioners on the basis of 10,000 hours practice (excluding training).

Changing worlds

However, with the ever diminishing opportunities within industry in such industry placements (particularly in audio with the decreasing number of  large format console studios in existence, but an increase in access to technology (see History of Music Production Part 4 Page 2015a), contemporary aspiring practitioners now have access to technology, but more than likely will be:
“without access to experienced and skilled technicians within work-place-training environments” (Hague 2010; Therbege 1997, 19 in Page 2015g)
In his 2013 blog (see Introduction to Audio Engineering), Page outlines what an aspiring practitioner needs to develop as part of their initial industry orientation.

The era of self-learning

In contemporary practice – in order to gain knowledge and develop one’s skills – aspiring practitioner are now required to possess the added personal qualities of discipline, commitment and the ability to self-learn. Effective DIY learning requires the aspiring practitioner to be resourceful – motivated and proactive in sourcing and seeking out information and learning opportunities. With the unlikelihood of finding an existing site to receive workplace-training, the contemporary practitioner needs to be resourceful in their quest to learn the art and craft. Accompanying their on-going practice, aspiring practitioners now also need to become “aware of the questions and problems” that all practitioners are likely to face (Burgess 2013, 35 in Page 2013). Whilst there is an abundance of resources today aimed at the DIY practitioners that are aligned to effective self-learning methods and tools, the aspiring practitioner must maintain their discipline, commitment and the ability to self learn; in order to gain the required knowledge and developed skill to practice at a professional level (Billet 2001, 71 in Page 2013).

Access to self-learning resource options

In his 2015b blog (see Research Practitioner Part 1) Page outlines the historical development of the audio industry, noting several historically significant resources that were developed.
“Today, there exists an enormous range of resources in the market place today to support contemporary DIY music practitioners. Sources of knowledge and influence include: 1) academic texts, academic journals, functional textbooks[4], industry associations, industry conferences, industry trade magazines, product and service providers, manufacturers and distributors, specialist professionals such technicians and engineers, forums, blogs and websites; courses, and; cultural production artifacts such as albums, CDs and mp3s. Additionally, professional level videos such as on Pensado’s Place and Lynda.com provide industry experienced and skilled technicians, with the benefit of this resource being it can be replayed infinite times. Burgess (2013, 35) encourages the practitioner to “learn as much as you can by imitation from the most experienced people who are available to you”. However, lacking in contemporary practice is having a more experienced and skilled technician observe one’s practice to provide appropriate feedback, further explanation and retraining as required. Networks and communities can provide such an opportunity, with experienced and skills technicians available to provide mentoring and training opportunities” (Page 2015b).

The era of self-reflection

“In addition to the imitation and experience, a third essential aspect of training in order to develop ones’ knowledge in order to develop ones’ practice is, reflection (Burgess 2013, 35; Schön 1983, 3; McKee 2003; Roth 1989). Reflection allows for the consideration of your practice – “to understand, question, and investigate” – to appraise if one’s current processes are the most appropriate, or ‘best practice’ (Brookfield 2002, 32). Certain scholars believe reflection is so essential, one will experience a “crisis of confidence in professional knowledge” if it is lacking from ones’ practice routine” (Schön 1983, 3 in Page 2015c). 
In order to become a professional practitioner, one must engage in one’s own development. One needs to adopt an attitude of self-learning across one’s life: life-long learning – constant and never-ending improvement. In order to become the best practitioner one can be, one must take every opportunity to learn. The most effective way to do this, is to become one’s own teacher – learning to observe and advise in, or on one’s own practice, and then make positive change to process. That is, develop one’s own reflective and reflexive practice. In Page’s blog (2016d) on his educational & learning practice, he notes:
“Given my approach to practice [see Layer 5: My approach to all forms of practice], I am of the belief that there is little point in being proactive in professional practice, without engaging in professional development research or learning. Further, having engaged in professional development research or learning, I need to take the process one step further and reflect upon what I have learnt, consider the possible application to the particular context I am engaged in; and to then decide for change, and to implement that change into my practice. Yes, being proactive in professional practice, means engaging in professional development research – that of reflective and reflexive practice” (Page 2016d).
To become a proactive reflective and reflexive practitioner is to proactively – consciously, systematically and rigorously – observe one’s practice for the purposes of analysis, evaluation and development. To become a proactive reflective and reflexive practitioner, is a to a large degree, to become self-reliant as a practitioner. This is not to say, that one must become a lone wolf – an island. This is to be prepared to embark on a developmental plan of one’s practice, without necessarily either the financial cost or time-cost to engage the services of a practice consultant to advise you on how you may develop your practice: an external person who is likely not to know your practice in any way close to how you know your own practice.

Reflection of practice, in order to be reflexive for practice

A professional practitioner therefore incorporates reflection into their practice. A professional practitioner will consciously, deliberately and systematically make the time to reflect on what they have been doing in their practice; considering any disparities and possible developments that they may have picked up from other practitioners that could potentially be incorporated into future practice (reflexive practice). Picking up innovative structures, techniques or equipment other practitioners may be employing in their practice process, to realise unique outcomes. This observation and reflection process may be done by whatever resources one has on hand: by direct observation of peers or mentors, via resources such as texts and videos, or via attending course (formal or informal).

Being proactive in the practitioner process

A professional practitioner is passionate about the practice they are engaged in, and therefore focussed in each and every day of practice. For most I have discussed with, there are never enough hours within the day to realise everything that they desired to get done. In my observation, professional practitioners are unrelenting:
“10,000 hours: 40 hours per week, 48 weeks a year, for 5.2 years of practice, doing. Experiencing, observing, reflecting, considering, deciding, and developing ones’ practice. 10,000 being a practitioner, in order to develop to a level that of a professional practitioner” (Page 2017a).
~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(Page 2016a)

An advocate of 10,000 hours practice…..

Throughout his many forms of practice, Page (2015d) has espoused the need of 10,000 hours practice for several decades in his mentoring of aspiring practitioners. In his blog Professional Practice,
“my over riding philosophical stance embraces the 10,000 hours trades philosophy of skilled craftworkers (Ericsson et al 1993 in Page 2004). I value and believe in the merit of developing of a skill, a trade, a craft, or art – for that practitioner developing specialist knowledge and tools over many thousand’s of hours of practice, to ultimately express one self through uniquely personalised and developed content, information knowledge base and skill level. I consider this approach integral to becoming a professional practitioner” (Page 2004 i nPage 2015d).

Multiple practitioner

Page (2017b) has an extensive range of experience – and formal qualifications – across a number of fields and disciplines (see Linked-in Professional Profile). Namely in: Music Industry; Sound Production; Automotive Engineering; Business, Management & Communication; Education; and Governance. Across four (4) decades of practice, Page has learnt to invest him self into all of his practice. Irrespective of which discipline, he is focused at any moment in time in any one of his forms of practice. Page understands the importance of researching the field, encompassing the main elements of the discipline, and channelling this into his particular interpretation of what his practice will be within that field and discipline. Based on his personal cultural vision of values and beliefs, Page sculpts his practice with outcomes aligned to his self and motives (see Page 2017c Research Practitioner – Pt 16).
Page’s main practice as of 2017 resides in education & learning practice, academic research practice, creative practice, professional consulting practice and family responsibilities. It is worth noting, that over 10,000 hours of practice has been invested into each of his disciplinary practice at some point. I think would suggest that Page’s holistic view of practice is the result of having immersed himself into the number of industries and disciplines across his life as he has.

David L Page has been married for several decades..

With his life partner, Page has created a portfolio that allows him to pursue his diverse interests across a range of industries and disciplines (see Linked-in Professional Profile).
Given that both Page and his life partner came from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, they consciously developed their own culture – a conscious decision to blend particular values and beliefs from both of their diverse cultural backgrounds to accommodate and respect both parties view points and needs. It is interesting that this process was engaged in a number of decades ago, with Page becoming somewhat of a specialist in cultural development of organisations, designing and delivering a number of corporate training programs across the globe. The basis of this cultural orientation is embedded within what Page now refers to as his Charter of Values and Beliefs.

Creative practice

Page’s primary creative practice endeavours are as a writer, musician, songwriter, composer, sound engineer and producer.
“Music has been the one constant in my life, central to my being, accompanying me wherever I am, irrespective of whether I am physically playing, listening or internally listening via memory. Irrespective of the location, circumstance or event, music is within me. Music practice is not a choice for me; it is a necessity. I have practiced music for over four decades in multiple social and cultural contexts, and in significantly contrasting creative locations, such as a church choir singer, musician, songwriter, band member, teacher, project manager, engineer, solo artist, musician for hire, producer, and most recently an Electronic Music Producer and educator. I have engaged a (vast) range of technologies, using countless variations of workflow. I continue to practice music on a daily basis, engaging physical instruments, digital virtual technologies, or in the research, analysis, or listening to music styles” (Page 2015e, 5).
 Whilst his current motives for practice are not volume sales-based, on the back of my four decades of practice, he has his eyes very much on the future.
“I still have a lifetime of music goals still to realise: songs to write and arrange; sonic textures to explore; creative productions to develop; and engage with both my peers and the public to a far greater degree than I have to date” (Page 2015e, 6).
Page is also an Avid Technology Accredited Instructor (Pro Tools), mentoring and guiding aspiring musicians and producers in the development of their craft and art.

Research practice

Page is currently studying his Doctorate in Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. The aim of this Doctor of Creative Industries Research Project is to investigate both his DIY music practice and his self as a practitioner during the process of creating and producing a cultural artefact (EP).  His research study is designed to be a mixed-method qualitative study: a practice-based, ethnographic study that is to include a first-person narrative of his personal journey, critical reflection and reflexive practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of his music practice. As an auto-ethnographic study, he has designed the project with him performing the dual primary roles of being both the practitioner as subject, and the researcher. Such a multi-tiered examination represents a significant departure from current discussion of music practice, developing praxis of contemporary music practice. In this Project 1 research study exegesis submission, Page (2015f) intends to narrate the process to date, highlighting observations around him self as a practitioner, his music practice and the emergent distinctions integrated into his developing music praxis ( Music Practitioner Part 5).
As part of his academic research practice (but also part of his creative process within that process), Page has just written a series of memory blogs that follow his developmental process – reflecting on selected significant events in the early stages of his life, and associating sonic and musical textures that best represent his memory of those significant events. The collection of associative memories have then be formed into a composition of a fifteen (15) minute soundtrack of the first stage of his life. This cultural artefact is to make up one part of Page’s (2016b) Doctoral Project 1 submission (see Memory – Introduction).

Education & Learning practice

Page has spent almost three (3) decades in one form or another of education and learning practice. Predominantly situated in post-compulsory practice, he has experience in vocational , higher education and non-accredited proficiency-based education and learning practice. As part of this, Page has specialised in what he classifies as community education – providing education & learning opportunities for dis-advantaged groups. Such role have included that of mentor, coach, and facilitator. Currently, Page (2017b) is working as a Senior Lecturer in a Higher Education creative media institute in Australia.
“As a Senior Lecturer at SAE Institute Brisbane, David has provided Module coordination and/or instruction over the past five (5)  years in: audio theory (signal flow, microphone, audio processing, sound theory, acoustics, applied electronics, critical & analytical listening); pre-production, production & post-production (planning, tracking & mixing narrations, songs and soundtracks, including instrumentation & arrangement, across various formats – organic, virtual & fusions); creative media studies; reflective practice. David is currently the Higher Education (HE) Final Creative Projects Module Coordinator & Supervisor of audio-based final projects. David is an Avid Technology Accredited Instructor (Pro Tools).
SAE Institute is a Creative Media Institute offering a range of HE & HE Diploma offerings across the disciplines of Animation, Audio, Film, Game Design, Game Programming, Graphic Design & Web Programming at over 50 locations globally. SAE Institute is part of the Navitas Group “(Page 2017b).

Multi-facetted practitioner

In a recent blog, (Page 2017c) restated a resounding theme of his practice – the concept of the multi-facetted, multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary practitioner. The practitioner who practices beyond boundaries of specific discipline practice. In his classrooms, Page encourages aspiring creative practitioners studying in the fields of animation, audio, film, graphic design, games development & programming, and web applications development to consider their practitioner positioning to be that of a broader creative practitioner.

DLPs Multi-faceted Practitioner.20170212.P4

(Page 2017c)
“I engage passionately in all forms of my multi-faceted practice, consisting of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice. After much observation, I now accept that the self informs my multi-faceted practice of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice – conceptually and literally. My multi-faceted practice of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice in turn informs/contributes to the self, even if that contribution is only with increased clarity around that particular practice, which in turn increases confidence within the self. I have observed within the self, that this increase in confidence in turn informs and/or shapes my practice – irrespective of what practice I am about to engage in – my creative practice, my research practice, or my education & learning practice. Over the course of the twelve (12) month research study Project 1, I have observed this cycle of interdependency and commonality between the self – my self – and the various incarnations of my practice – creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice” (Page 2017c).

The importance of self in the practitioner process…

In commencing my research study, to investigate my music-making practice, I quickly realised that the self was core – central – to my practice. I had an immediate sense, that for me to better understand my practice, I needed to better understand my self. This came as a shock initially – something I rejected. “Me?” “My self?” I had studied my self over a number of decades, and I – of many practitioners I knew – had a great sense of who I was. But as I delved more into literature regarding both arts research and the self, I admitted that perhaps it couldn’t hurt to reinvestigate the self, from the perspective of this academic research study.
“Observing new music production technologies and associated workflows impacted my music practice and the realisation of my creative productions. I observed this phenomenon had an effect on the concept of my self, which then in turn had an effect on my motive to practice music. Music is acknowledged as being particularly important in terms of the development of the self” Hargreaves et al (2002) discuss how music facilitates self expression and development, allowing the self to transform, and construct new identities. Frith (1996,124) argues that “Music constructs our sense of identity through the direct experiences it offers of the body, time and sociability, experiences which enable us to place ourselves in imaginative cultural narratives” (Page 2015f)
Since engaging in my doctoral research study, I have embarked on several self-knowledge activities, such as the development of a Charter of Values and Beliefs (2017e, 2016c, 2016e). It has been an extremely beneficial process.
“Engaging in this research study has allowed me to continue to develop my self, increase my self confidence, develop clarity regarding my practice, and increase my confidence with this task at hand as a practitioner with my Research Study Project 1. In short, it has allowed me to become a more holistic and balanced practitioner – an expanded practitioner (see figure III below)” (Page 2016c)
Figure III – Project 1 Research Study Developed Approach (Page 2016c)
“While Bennett (2000, ii) concludes that “music is produced and consumed by young people in ways that both inform their sense of self and also serve to construct the social world in which their identities operate”. For many decades I have asked questions of my self, though always in isolation of my music practice. Velosa and Carvalho’s (2013) “Music Composition as a way of learning: emotions and the situated ‘self” and Taylor’s (2008) “Pink Noise: Queer Identity and Musical Performance in a local context” both stressed the importance of situating the self within the context of interest, in order to study it. There are a number of studies where this is done, from example Taylor’s (2012) and Peraino’s (2006) studies of gender. However, whilst an increasing number of music practice discussions include the element of self, however, few exist outside of academic-based articles or texts (DeNora 1999; MacDonald et al 2002; DeNora 2005; Peraino 2006; Taylor 2012 in Page 2015b)
One by product of my expanding the observation of my focus to all forms of my practice, is for my education & learning practice. Being a Senior Lecturer within a Higher Education (HE) Institute enables me to engage in discussions of practice and approach almost on a daily basis. Given my education & learning practitioner peers know my research study is centred around self, practitioner self, and a methodology of reflective and reflexive practice; I have been asked several times to provide some guidance as to how they could approach their education & learning practice in a more contemporary manner – integrating the elements of contemporary practice as I developed. I have conducted several professional development sessions for a specific discipline, and as well conducted my own small research project (see Reflecting on my educational practice Page 2016d), and then shared my findings to all academics at a staff meeting.
However, for the predominant number of creative practitioners who are now aspiring education & learning practitioners, this did not appear to be sufficient. I therefore considered options I had, and chose to adapt a holistic approach to education & learning practice I had from several decades ago, and include several elements of my Praxis v9k – self, motive (values & beliefs), decision to investigate, reflective practice and reflexive practice (Page 2017e).

DLP DCI Praxis v9i.20170420.P1.png

Figure I – Project 1 Research Study Developed Praxis v9k (Page 2017e)
The result is this generic Holistic Approach to Practice (2017d) – an outline of the steps or considerations tI take in preparing for every education & learning practice session I engage in.  Whilst it is not the purpose of explaining the detail of this approach in this blog post (see Research Practitioner Pt19 for more detail), I felt it had merit mentioning my approach. Perhaps it could be useful in reminding aspiring practitioners – those who is aspiring to realising 10,000 hours of practice – of the process that they may use when planning for the education & learning practice sessions they are about to engage in.
A Visual Representation of My Holistic Approach to Practice.20170521.v3Y(Page 2017d)

In Summary

This brief post has attempted to outline the need – if you aspire to becoming a professional practitioner in industry – of the need for you as a practitioner to:
  • be a resourceful self-learner;
  • be a reflective practitioner – consciously, deliberately and systematically
  • be a reflexive practitioner – consciously, deliberately and systematically, to develop your practice
  • be proactive in practice – focussed and passionate
“10,000 hours: 40 hours per week, 48 weeks a year, for 5.2 years of practice, doing. Experiencing, observing, reflecting, considering, deciding, and developing ones’ practice. 10,000 being a practitioner, in order to develop to a level that of a professional practitioner” (Page 2017a).

In Closing

As a supplementary measure, I have also embedded the following instructional you-tube – by Bosler and Greene (2017) “How to practice effectively…for just about anything”. I found that such a resource is excellent to use as motivation for aspiring practitioners – irrespective of their discipline. Whilst it is very focussed on music practitioners, this presentation holds universal truths for effective practice that can be applied I believe, to any practice situation.
Bosler and Greene (2017) “How to practice effectively…for just about anything”
This blog series is planned to continue with another in the series of education & learning.
References
Billett, Stephen. 2001. Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Bosler, Annie and Greene, Don (2017) “How to practice effectively…for just about anything”.   Accessed 28th February 2017
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2002. “Using the lenses of critically reflective teaching in the community college classroom.” New Directions for Community Colleges 2002 (118): 31-38.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T. and Tesch-Römer, C., 1993. The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological review100(3), p.363.
Frith, Simon. 1992. The industrialization of popular music. Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74.
Hague, Graeme. 2010. “Recording and production: make and record music now.” Guerilla Guide (29): 131. Accessed May 16, 2015.
Hargreaves, DJ, D Miell and RAR MacDonald. 2002. What are musical identities, and why are they important? In Musical Identities, edited by RAR MacDonald, DJ Hargreaves and D Miell, 1-20. Oxford Oxford University Press.
Learning image courtesy of: Pedagogy vs Andragogy chart Accessed 28th February 2017
Lynda.com. 2017. Lynda.com   Accessed 28th February 2017
McKee, Alan. 2003. Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London: Sage.
Page, David L. 2017a. Quote by David L Page in practice.  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2017b. Linked-in Professional Profile.  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2017c. Research Practitioner Part 16  Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2017d. Generic Holistic Approach to Practice.  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2017e. Research Practitioner Part 18/Charter of Values & Beliefs v3  Accessed 21st April 2017
Page, David L. 2016a. David L Page  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2016b. Memory- Introduction.  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2016c.  Charter of Values and Beliefs v2.  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2016d Reflecting on my educational practice  Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2016e Charter of Values & Beliefs v1   Accessed 28th February 2017.
Page, David L. 2015a. History of Music Production Part 4  Accessed 28th February 2017.
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Page, David L. 2015c. Music Practitioner Part 3 Reflective Practitioner Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2015d. Educational Philosophy Part 2 Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2015e. “Contemporary DIY music production practice, and the implications for effective practice” Doctoral research study KKP623 Contextual Review submission. Personal collection.  Accessed 18th February 2017
Page, David L. 2015f. Music Practitioner Part 5 Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2015g. Critical Listening Part 1 Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2013. Introduction to Audio Engineering Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2012. Industry Outline Accessed 28th February 2017
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 28th February 2017
Pensado’s Place. 2017.  Pensado’s Place  Accessed 28th February 2017
Roth, Robert A. 1989. “Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic.” Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
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– ©David L Page 28/02//2017
– updated @David L Page 30/04/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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