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.
Page, David L. 2015b. Research Practitioner Part 1 Accessed 28th February 2017.
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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Armstrong, Thomas. 1999. 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. New York: Plume Books.
Boud, David, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker. 2013. Reflection: turning experience into learning. New York: Routledge.
Bradbury, Helen, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukus. 2010. Beyond reflective practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning. New York: Routledge.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2006. The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. 2 ed. San Francisco: The Jossey Bass.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Brookfield, Stephen. 1986. Understanding and facilitating adult learning: A comprehensive analysis of principles and effective practices. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Covey, Stephen R. 2013. The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1991. Principle centered leadership. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1989. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Melbourne: The Business Library.
Entwistle, Noel and Paul Ramsden. 1983. Understanding Student Learning. New York: Routledge Revivals.
Gardner, Howard and Thomas Hatch. 1989. “Multiple Intelligences go to school: educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences.” Educational researcher 18 (8): 4-10.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences image courtesy of:  Gardners’ MI   Accessed 28th March 2015
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. “Research and the self.” In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Haseman, B 2015. “Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change.” Accessed May 24, 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
Knowles, Malcolm S, Elwood F Holton III and Richard A Swanson. 2012. The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. 7 ed. New York: Routledge.
Lawrence-Wilkes, L. & Chapman, A. 2015. Reflective Practice. Accessed March 28th, 2015 http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
Merriam, Sharan B. 2001. “Andragogy and self‐directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory.” New directions for adult and continuing education 2001 (89): 3-14.
Page, David L. 2014a Doctoral Research Study Part 2  Accessed 30th April 2017
Page, David L. 2014b Doctoral Research Study Part 1  Accessed 30th April 2017
Pascal, J., & Thompson, N. 2012. Developing critically reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 13(2), 311. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795
Roth, Robert. 1989. “Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic“. Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
SAE Institute, 2015 SAE Institute Accessed 28th March 2015
Schön, Donald A. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 355 + xvii pages.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
– ©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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Educational Philosophy Part 3c

On track to develop mastery of one self, what is your approach to education and learning? (contd)

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series: it is my desired goal to develop a collaborative, collegial, safe learning environment. Trust and respect are core to this process.
As mentioned in the previous Layer, prior to the learning practice session I need to be in a position to pre-assess the learning group. In instances where I do not have the required background information – which I admit to being the majority of cases – I would need to structure my initial class room activities to include activities which enable me to educe the range of background information and understanding I consider relevant and useful. To facilitate the needed getting to know my learners phase, I find being open with my learners along similar levels of information and behaviour that I expect of them. I consciously invest time in the initial stages of the learning experience with a new group of learners to develop an appropriate learning session culture, which includes confirming the agreed learning outcomes. This step is necessary to ensure the learner’s expectation and the learner facilitator’s expectations are aligned; and if not, to take the opportunity to discuss and address any misaligned of expectations at the earliest opportunity. The ultimate goal of a learning experience is to optimise the effective student learning experience of the particular learners. In clarifying both the learner’s and my learning facilitation expectations, I am in my experience removing possible issues or objections that may arise later. Even if issues or objections regarding levels of expectations do arise later in the learning experience, at least there has been prior dialogue – a conscious reference point from the outset – to return to and continue discussion. This process is all part of developing trust and respect for a collaborative, collegial, safe learning environment.
Learner assessment – during session delivery
Throughout the learning experience I will be informally assessing the progress of the learner group, and as much as humanly possible, the progress – in real time assessment –  of each of the individual learners. My goal at any point in time thought the learning experience is to confirm all of the learners are engaged and are being presented with a learning experience that is compatible with their personality type, their thinking approach, their intelligences, and their learning styles (Light et al 2009, 77). I need to confirm the learner’s understanding independently throughout the learning experience by a range of means. Two such means are via questioning techniques; and observing students in action. Concept checking questioning techniques (CCQ) and instruction checking questions (ICQ) enable me to effectively and efficiently achieve this, ensuring that I systematically include all participants within the particular learning experience – as appropriate (Fisher and Frey 2007; Angelo and Cross 1993). Observing of students carrying out a task can also confirm to you as the learning environment facilitator that your instructions were clear. But such observation allows you to also confirm the student’s approach to a particular function; the degree of competence that may or may not have with that particular function; any gaps in knowledge they may or may not have; and the opportunity for you as their learning facilitator to further assist them in order to optimise their effective learning experience. This later observation in the environment of audio training used to be conducted in workplace training contexts (the apprenticeship model), but in the contemporary environment, much of this type of training is now conducted in formal education programs (Billett 2001): formal education programs such as SAE Institute’s Creative Media degree, Bachelor of Audio Production program (SAE Institute, 2015).
As a learning experience facilitator, my desired goal is to develop a collaborative, collegial, safe learning environment. Trust and respect are core to this process. As part of this process, my aim is to reveal my self as candidly as is appropriate – socially and culturally. In my experience, the more I know my self as a practitioner, the more congruent I can be with others – including my students; and the more potential I have to be able to optimise the effective student learning experience of those particular learners.

Layer 10: Evaluation of the learning practice

The evaluation of the learning practice session is what I consider to be one of the most important stages of the education & learning process. The purpose of this stage is to have the learners evaluate the learning session in terms of the content and/or processes.
I have observed many novice education and learning practitioners in many different scenarios overlook this stage, unaware of the importance of this stage. I have laid this evaluation section out in the following five (5) parts.

Layer 10a: Evaluation of the learning practice Pt1

This process commences at the conclusion of the central learning practice session. Often, I will have a break at the end of the central learning practice session, before I commence the evaluation stage.
In preparing for this stage prior to the commencement of the learning session, I need to consider how I am planning to have the learning session evaluated in terms of the content and/or processes. I consider how I will effectively and efficiently draw the education & learning practice session to a logical conclusion so that the learners can effectively and efficiently evaluate what they have learnt.
The evaluation process can be either a formal or informal process. However for best practice, I would advocate to include both a formal or informal process in the evaluation stage.
  • An example of an informal process could include a cohort-wide round table debrief of “what I learnt today?” I have be known in this stage to make notes down as they share; or if i feel this to be intrusive, then I may make mental notes that I will jot down immediately after the learning session has ended.
  • An example of a formal process could include a pre-arranged summative evaluation tool such as a feedback form that the learners respond to questions regarding the various aspects of the learning session.  The primary benefit of this confidential response of each individual if that one may elicit some responses that a informal round table debrief may not.
Once I have completed this evaluation process, I end the learning session officially – restating any expected action or practice required prior to a further learning session. I then dismiss the learners.

Layer 10b: Evaluation of the learning practice Pt2

Once the learning session has concluded, I then need to consider the evaluations.  For the formal process, this will include considering the quantifiable or qualitative responses in order to draw conclusions of the learner’s evaluation of the learning session.
For the informal process, this may include revisiting some jotted down points during the actually learning session round table debrief; or if considered an intrusive process, actually noting down learners’ comments that were made during that session.
This evaluation process could also include a third party observer who may have been sitting in on the learning session. Such a third party observer’s observations and input could be very beneficial in the event that there is a difference of opinion as to the usefulness of the learning sessions content and/or processes, between some of the learners; or some of the learns and you as the facilitator of the learning session.
Irrespective of what tool or party provided the evaluation of the learning session, my aim is to gather data regarding the following questions:
Did the learners realise the aims and objectives of the learning session?
How do I know they did?
How did I know they didn’t?
Anecdotally what was the feedback?
In terms of summative feedback, what was the evaluations?
Were there any observers in attendance in the learning session?
Intuitively, how did the learners realise the aims and objectives of the learning session?
Did some learners realise the aims and objectives of the learning session, but others not?
Why do I think this did/did not occur?
Did the learners realise the learning session objectives?
Why/why not?
How do I know this?
Did the learners feel they realised the learning session objectives?
Why/why not?
How do I know this?
Once I have completed the data gathering stage, I need to take time to reflect on the evaluation of the learning session.

Layer 10c: Reflective practice following the learning practice Pt3

There are benefits of reflecting on a learning practice session once it has concluded. The degree to which one can reflect is dependent upon one’s knowledge of the content or the different learning theories and approaches. You can only reflect on what you know. It is very difficult if not impossible to reflect on an aspect of your practice that you are not yet aware of. Whilst i feel this is obvious – common sense – I think the point is lost of some education administrators.
My practice covers the three disciplines of creative (music) practice, education and learning practice, and my most recent engagement, research practice. In Layer 5 I noted that my approach to all of these forms of practice, I “make time to reflect every day at some time upon some aspect of my diverse practice, referenced against other practitioners, whether peers or those who I value their cultural production. My focus is to gain clarity, greater understanding, increased insight, considering possible alternative workflows I could have pursued, and decide what form of practice I will pursue the next opportunity a similar circumstance arises” (Page 2004). I also noted my daily practice is to engage in both reflective practice and reflexive practice.
        Reflective Practice – introduction
Many novice practitioners may consider casual options of reflection; such as on the way home on the bus or in the car whilst listening to music, as being sufficient to develop their practice. Haseman differentiates casual reflections and conscious planned reflective practice as the difference between navel-gazing and what he terms forensic reflective practice (2015). The goal of reflective practice should be to turn experience into learning (Boud et al 2013). Therefore a deliberate activity to consider a past practice event, and then analyse it critically, appears to be the minimal criterion that defines robust reflective practice. A practitioner should consciously make time and space at a specific part of the day when where they can engage undisturbed in reflective practice; considering what they did, or didn’t do in that lesson; or what you did or didn’t do in terms of the agreed aims and objectives contained within your learning experience plan.
Specifically, education and learning practice needs to be considered in terms of the respective andragogies or pedagogies of the learning group.  In order to avoid the ill-disciplined habit of informal reflection, it should be the aim of the practitioner to have clear and transparent processes so that they can be examined closely as to their value, limitations and assumptions (McKee, 2003). The result could be a practitioner’s reflective practice toolbox, offering a range of strategies for: reflection-in-action (Schön 1983), reflection-on-action (Schön 1983) and reflection-for-action (Pascal & Thompson 2012): demonstrated by real world examples across any of the common aspects of teaching, such as: curriculum design; learning experience planning; delivery; and post-delivery evaluation.
Figure II – Reflective Practices Summary (Anderson et al 2015)
There are a number of possibilities of focus to reflect on following the learning practice. One can reflect on the experience of the learner; your experience as the practitioner; or your experience as a participant observer (Griffiths 2010). Brookfield’s theoretical framework for reflective practice is provided to examine these pedagogical practices through four different lenses – through our own eyes; through your student’s eyes; through our fellow professionals’ eyes; and through established theoretical views (Brookfield, 1995). This reflective practice process should at best inform and and enrich ones’ education and learning practice, allowing the discovery of innovative or creative practices, while also acknowledging contemporary literature on the subject.
Roth’s model could also be used for unpacking the reflective process, encouraging greater depth of analysis and further investigation as required (Roth, 1989). Together, these conceptual frameworks provide several perspectives and facilitate ways in which to think critically about teaching, and uncover effective practice. This framework could provide a platform for revealing a desired result of reflective andragogical or pedagogical practices in line with industry standards.
  • Questioning what, why, and how one does things and asking what, why, and how others do things 
  • Seeking alternatives 
  • Keeping an open mind 
  • Comparing and contrasting 
  • Seeking the framework, theoretical basis, and/or underlying rationale 
  • Viewing from various perspectives 
  • Asking “what if…?” 
  • Asking for others’ ideas and viewpoints 
  • Using prescriptive models only when adapted to the situation 
  • Considering consequences 
  • Hypothesising 
  • Synthesising and testing 
  • Seeking, identifying, and resolving problems
 Reflective Practice – specific to an education & learning practice session plan
The process I follow at the end of a education & learning practice session includes the following areas, with accompanying questions:
REFLECTION ON LEARNER’S LEARNING PT1
I do this process in two stages. The first stage is on-site, immediate post-practice. The benefit of this process is that the practice events are still fresh in my mind. I can scribe the physical, visual, auditory or emotional events of the day with a high degree of detailed recollection due to the currency of the events that have just been experienced or observed. In many ways, it is very much an stream of consciousness process – scribing without considering too much or judging my responses.  In terms of a detail of recollection I find this on-site, immediate post-practice reflective practice session is very beneficial as an initial data collection exercise. This process commits to my sub-conscious content for consideration, and until the point that I make time to return to the second stage of the deliberate reflective process, my mind will be turning over that data, and distilling the less significant events from the more prominent and significant events.
The range of questions I ask of myself to scribe my immediate first responses are:
  • Did the learner realise the aims and objectives of the learning session?
  • How do I know they did?
  • How did I know they didn’t?
  • Anecdotally what was the feedback?
  • Intuitively what was the feedback?
  • Did some learners realise the aims and objectives of the learning session, but others not?
  • Why do I think this did/did not occur?
  • Did the learners realise the learning session objectives?
  • Why/why not?
  • How do I know this?
  • Did the learners feel they realised the learning session objectives?
  • Why/why not?
  • How do I know this?
REFLECTION ON LEARNER’S LEARNING PT2
The second stage is away from site, and after some time has lapsed post-practice. I find it is crucial to conduct this second stage reflective practice in a different site to that of the practice session, as it allows a separation of any possible automated response that may be activated by the actual practice site that I am reflecting about. Additionally, the amount of time expired between the actual practice session and this reflective practice session may vary in each circumstance: I have found over doing this process over many decades that it has to be an appropriate amount of time to allow my mind to turn over that data, and distil out the less significant events from the more prominent and significant events. Sometimes this takes a few days, and at others times, it has taken several weeks. I am experienced enough in this process now to trust my inner time clock to know which particular practice session I will choose to reflect upon in any of the regular scheduled evening reflective practice sessions I hold.
As inferred, the benefit of this process is that the practice events become distilled in my mind, with the more prominent or significant events rising to prominence in my mind. This stage of reflective practice also allows for any emotion around that particular practice session to recede to a level where perhaps a greater degree of perspective can be applied to the event. With distance and time away from the practice, I find I scribe the prominent or significant physical, visual, auditory or emotional events of the last practice session with a greater degree of critical thinking due to the distance – time and place – from the events that had previously been experienced or observed. I generally do this process once I have concluded my responsibilities of the day – when the house is quiet, when my mind is free of other responsibilities. I may or may not have a hot beverage, and I sometimes conduct this exercise against a backdrop of soothing music which I find allows my mind to delve into depths of thought and analysis. In contrast to the stage of on-site, immediate post-practice stream of consciousness process gathering of recollection data, I scribe very consciously, analysing what and how I respond. I certainly consider why I have acted in practice – and also responded – in the ways I do, dissecting each and every prominent or significant event within my practice session. It is a rigorous process that I find is both mentally exhausting, but also satisfying due to the crystallisation of thoughts and ideas that I find usually occurs.
In this Part 2 stage, the range of questions I ask of myself to scribe my second round of very considered responses are very similar – if not the same – set of questions as outlined above. However, I definitely drill down within each question to a far greater level of depth, looking for insightful distinctions about my practice. The question words of what, how and why are instrumental in this process. In doing this second round of reflective practice, I find is that I am far more detailed in the scribing process, critically analysing to a depth that is absent from my on-site, immediate post-practice initial data collection reflection process. It is within this reflective practice session that I crystallise my thoughts and understandings, and gain fresh levels of clarity about my practice.
REFLECTION ON FACILITATOR’S PRACTICE DELIVERY
Given the above reflection on student learning, I ask myself the following questions:
  • Were the learning session outcomes realised?
  • How satisfied am I with the learning outcomes?
  • If not completely satisfied: why/why not?
  • Do I consider any changes need to be made in the next education & learning session of the similar aims and objectives? 
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the learning sessions?
  • How was the timing or the flow of the education & learning practice session? 
  • What worked?
  • What and why?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What and why?
  • Had I planned for this event/factor to happen?
  • Was it conceivable that it could occur?
  • What was the percentage of time between facilitator-talk (Ft) and learner-talk (Lt)?
  • Was this as planned and described in the education & learning practice session plan?
  • Why?
  • Why not?
  • How useful was the education & learning practice session plan?
  • What was?
  • What wasn’t?
  • How closely did I stick to the education & learning practice session plan?
  • What happened that forced the change?
  • Why hadn’t I planned for this change to happen?
  • Was it conceivable that it could occur/arise?
In terms of the education & learning approach:
  • How effective was the particular pedagogical/andragogical approach?
  • What worked?
  • What and why?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What and why?
  • In terms of the methods/tasks/processes:
  • How effective was the particular methods/tasks/processes implemented?
  • What worked?
  • What and why?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What and why?
  • What changes will I make for the next education & learning session of the similar aims and objectives? 
  • Are their any techniques or skills in terms of teaching practice I need to develop to better faclitate the education & learning session?
  • How could I further develop Ir learning session plan to accommodate unexpected events when they arise?
  • If I were working within a team, are there any issues related to the teaching team that I need to follow up on?
REFLECTION ON THE LEARNING SESSION’S ASSESSMENT STRATEGY
  • Did the learner meet the assessment requirements of the learning session?
  • How do I know they did?
  • How did I know they didn’t?
  • What assessment strategy did I use?
  • How effective was tthat approach in Ir opinion?
  • What worked?
  • How do I know it worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • How do I know it didn’t work?
  • What changes will I make for the next education & learning session of the similar aims and objectives? 
  • Are their any techniques or skills in terms of assessment planning I need to develop to better faclitate the education & learning session requirement realisation?
REFLECTION ON THE LEARNING SESSION’S CONTENT
  • Did the learners absorb the required learning session content?
  • How do I know they did?
  • How did I know they didn’t?
  • Based on the pedadgogical/andragogical approach:
  • How effective was tthat approach in Ir opinion for this particular content?
  • What worked?
  • How do I know it worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • How do I know it didn’t work?
  • What changes will I make for the next education & learning session of the similar aims and objectives? 
  • Are their any techniques or skills in terms of content I need to develop to better faclitate the education & learning session?
  • Are there any content questions I need to follow up with the learners? 
REFLECTION ON THE LEARNING SESSION’S LOGISTICS
  • Were there any factors outside of the educational and learning facilitator’s control that impacted the session in any way?
  • Negative? 
  • What?
  • Positive?
  • What?
REFLECTION ON TECHNOLOGY USED
  • What technology or tools will I need to have prepared prior to class (physical, IT)?
  • What digital tools and/or resources will I use in this education & learning practice session?
  • Will I need any technical support? If so state when, where and when.
  • Do I need to contact IT support prior to my education & learning practice session?
  • Do I need to schedule time to load computer programs or learning technologies prior to class? 
REFLECTION ON RESOURCES USED
  • What resources or materials will I need to have prepared prior to class (human, physical)?
  • What tools and/or resources will I use in this education & learning practice session? 
  • If so what, where and when. 
REFLECTION OF SELF
  • What did I learn or observe about Ir self during this education & learning practice session now that I have considered all aspects of the practice session in detail?
REFLECTION FOLLOWING ENGAGEMENT WITH CRITICAL FRIEND
  • Do I still hold the same opinions regarding the education & learning practice session now that I have discussed the practice session with my critical friend?
REFLECTION OF SELF
  • What did I learn or observe about my self during this education & learning practice session now that I have discussed the practice session with my critical friend?
REFLECTION FOLLOWING ENGAGEMENT WITH LITERATURE
  • Do I still hold the same opinions regarding the education & learning practice session now that I have engaged education & learning literature in terms of my specfiic education & learning practice session?
REFLECTION OF SELF
  • What did I learn or observe about my self during this education & learning practice session now that I have engaged education & learning literature in terms of my specific education & learning practice session?

Layer 10d: Reflexive practice following the learning practice Pt4

Returning to Brookfield’s approach as outlined above, once a practitioner has engaged in reflective practice, irrespective of whether that evaluative data has been internally generated, from the learner group within or post the central or evaluatiion session, observed and feedback from either a supervised observer, a peer observer, a critical friend, derived from reading literature, or from engaging in either informal or formal forms of professional development programs; unless something is decided upon to be trailed into one’s practice, in order to develop that practice, then I would question the usefulness or the validity of that reflective practice. As introduced in my Music Practitioner – Part 3 blog, Haseman outlines that for practice to be forensic reflective practice, the reflective practice must progress to and include the extra step of developing one’s practice to include aspects that have been reflected on, and decided that are in need of improvement. Aspects that are thought will enrich ones’ education and learning practice, and developing one’s experience in different learning theories and approaches.

forensic-reflective-practice_haseman

Figure III – Forensic reflective practice chart (Haseman 2015)
Therefore I would ask my self the following questions to complete this process of reflective practice, preparing for reflexive practice – actually applying development and change to my practice.
REFLECTION FOR PRACTICE/DEVELOPMENT FOR FUTURE EDUCATION & LEARNING PRACTICE SESSION DIRECTIONS
  • What are there areas of my education & learning practice that I need to develop prior to my next education & learning practice session? 
    List these areas in detail:
  • Of these, what will I select to focus on?
  • What do I need training and development in, in order to realise these developments in practice?
  • How will I know when I have successfully achieved this desired development?

onion-layers

Layer 11a: Reflective professional practice in contemporary higher education

Finally, I want to conclude with Light et al’s proposition of three (3) paradigms of academic development of educators and learning practitioners in a contemporary Higher Education environment (Light et al 2009, 12). Light et al describes a practitioner in terms of: their relative lack of engagement in their education and learning practice on a professional level; their relative lack of reflection and level of engagement with the context of the education and learning field and discipline; and finally, their engagement as a professional practitioner who also considers wider social and cultural issues and realities. As you read these, I request that you consider which one best describes your approach or situation to your learning experience practice:
  1. ad hoc paradigm: “is located primarily within the individual teacher, and essentially asserts that a good teacher is born, not made”. “Teaching is something one picks up and grasps informally and individually. It is non-reflective in the broader sense. The teacher is left to her own devices and draws upon past experience of being taught, trial and error, help from sympathetic colleagues when available, and her own natural affinities for teaching”(Light et al 2009, 12). Note: the self is at the centre of this paradigm;
  2. skills paradigm: “the development of teaching is an add-on process and rests in the accumulation and reproduction of performance and communication skills, competencies and tips. These skills are generic and provided by trainers and consultants who often have no formal experience of the discipline in which the trainers are working or even of higher education training”(Light et al 2009, 12). Note: both the self and the institution are at the centre of this paradigm;
  3. professional paradigm: “the location of the professional paradigm goes beyond the practitioner’s self and institution to embrace wider issues raised by society”: “professional status derives from the value that society places on higher education, the inclusion of specialised knowledge and the reliance on higher-order abilities critically to acquire, apply, reflect on and elaborate that knowledge. As such, it is essentially a reflective paradigm” (Light et al 2009, 13). Note: the self, the institution and society are at the centre of this paradigm.
    Which one best describes your approach or situation to your learning experience practice?
    Given this, in what ways can you develop as a professional practitioner?

Layer 11b: Reflective professional practice values statements

As developed across the 11 Layers of my approach to education and learning, I believe a contemporary practitioner needs to develop an understanding of their self – as a person, and as a practitioner. I believe the more self knowing a practitioner has of who they are in terms of their personality; their various thinking, learning orientations and intelligences; their values, beliefs and biases, the more congruent a practitioner can be with others. Ultimately, the more potential the practitioner is able to assist their learners in the learning experience – to develop their content, information knowledge base and skills level – the more opportunity the practitioner can guide the learner to maximise their development, their personal empowerment, in order for those learners to ultimately realise their full life potential. I consider this approach integral to becoming a professional practitioner.
The following statements are what I consider to be central to my reflective professional practice; values that I apply across all forms of my practice, whether it be education and learning, music practice, research practice, or life practice.

Know one self, develop mastery of one self

Take a proactive approach with your education and learning, investing in developing and advancing your content, information knowledge base and skill level 

A professional practitioner: 10,000 hours of practice, reflect, develop, practice, reflect, develop, practice, reflect, develop,practice, reflect, develop, practice..

As a reflective professional practitioner, embrace the wider social and cultural context rather than just the institution’s desired outcomes

References
Anderson, C, Carolyn Carattini, Heather Clarke, Gail Hewton, David Page 2015 QUT KKP623 Reflective Practice in Action Group Presentation submission Accessed October 24, 2015.
Angelo, Thomas A and K Patricia Cross. 1993. “Classroom assessment techniques: A handbookfor college teachers.” San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Billett, Stephen. 2001. Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Boud, David, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker. 2013. Reflection: turning experience into learning. New York: Routledge.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Esposito, Emily 2015 The Essential Guide to Writing S.M.A.R.T Goals  Accessed 20th November 2015
Fisher, Douglas and Nancy Frey. 2007. Checking for understanding: formative assessment techniques for your classroom. New York: ASCD.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. “Research and the self.” In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Haseman, B 2015. “Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change.” Accessed May 24, 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
McKee, Alan. 2003. Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London: Sage
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Pascal, J., & Thompson, N. 2012. Developing critically reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 13(2), 311. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795
Roth, Robert. 1989. “Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic“. Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35
SAE Institute, 2015 SAE Institute Accessed 28th March 2015
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Springer, Sally P and Georg Deutsch. 1993. Left brain, right brain. 4 ed. New York: WH Freeman & Company.
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Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 20th July 2015
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Educational Philosophy Part 2 Accessed 28th March 2015
Parker, A and J Cutler-Stuart. 1986. Switch on your brain: a guide to better reading, concentration and coordination. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.
Pedagogy versus Andragogy chart courtesy of: Pedagogy vs Andragogy chart Accessed 28th March 2015
Peters, Thomas J. 2003. Re-imagine! London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J and Nancy Austin. 1985. A passion for excellence. The leadership difference. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J, Robert H Waterman and Ian Jones. 1982. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Pieper, Martha Heineman and William Joseph Pieper. 1999. Smart love: the compassionate alternative to discipline that will make you a better parent and your child a better person. Boston: Harvard Common Press
Robbins, Tony. 1991. Awaken the giant within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
Schön, Donald A. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 355 + xvii pages.
Sperry, Roger W. 1975. Left-brain, right-brain. Saturday Review 2 (23): 30-32.
– ©David L Page 21/07/2015
– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
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.

Educational Philosophy Part 3b

On track to develop mastery of one self, what is your approach to education and learning?

Layer 8: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series: as I have indicated in my first blog, I have laid this section out in the following nine (9) parts.

Layer 8a: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 1

In preparing for an education & learning practice session, I develop a plan. In doing so, I commence five (5) tasks.
My first task in developing an education & learning practice session plan is to develop a succinct phrase of the title of the session:
  • The title of the session: What is the discipline topic of this education and learning practice session?
My second task in developing an education & learning practice session plan is to develop a succinct sentence stating the rationale of the session:
  • The rationale of the session:  What is the purpose of this education & learning practice session? What do I hope to achieve by the end of the education & learning session?
     TIP: Use future tense active words – such as will increase, will gain, will encounter – in developing the rationale of the session. These are to guide your development of practice during the preparation development stage of the session plan.
Examples of Rationale statements: 
1. This education & learning practice session will increase understanding  …..
2. Learners will gain a perspective on……….
3. Learners will encounter these concepts………..
          My third task in developing an education & learning practice session plan is to develop the aims of the session:
  • The aims of the session need to be holistic: What is the end goal of your education & learning practice session? What do you plan to do and achieve with the learners by the end of the education & learning practice session? It is very important when developing your aims to remain focussed on the primary aim of the education & learning practice session: to ensure the learners realise the agreed learning outcomes of this session. In order to assist in this process, it is suggested to use a goal-orientated guide such as SMART in developing your session plan: be specific; include measurable statements; ensure the final aim/goal is achievable; and relevant to the learner and the agreed session learning outcomes; and bound in time (Esposito 2015).
    TIP: Use active verbs words –such as practice, trial, discuss, search , research, gather, analyse, articulate, propose, develop, design, record, mix, produce or present – in developing your objectives to guide the learners during the education & learning practice session. The primary objective  of the education & learning practice session is to ensure the learners are engaged in learning as per the agreed learning outcomes of this session.
Examples of Aim statements: 
1. To offer experiential insights into ………
2. To expose the learners to the ……….
3. To have the learners engage in a………..
My fourth task in developing an education & learning practice session plan is to develop the objectives of the session:
  •  The objectives of the session need to be more specific than the aims, but still succinct sentences of intent: What are your smaller steps that will help you achieve the main aim of the session? These smaller steps should lead the learners to realise the agreed learning outcomes of this education & learning practice session. Each objective may have a number of learning outcomes. In order to assist in this process, it is suggested to use a goal-orientated guide such as SMART in developing your session plan (Esposito 2015).
TIP: Use active verbs words –such as practice, trial, discuss, search , research, gather, analyse, articulate, propose, develop, design, record, mix, produce or present – in developing your objectives to guide the learners during the education & learning practice session. The primary objective  of the education & learning practice session is to ensure the learners are engaged in learning as per the agreed learning outcomes of this session.
Examples of Objective statements: 
1. The learners identify ……….
2. The learners analyse  …………
3. The learners develop………..
4. The learners produce………..
5. The learners present ……..
My fifth task in developing an education & learning practice session plan is to develop the learning outcomes of the session:
  •  The learning outcomes of the session need to be more specific than the aims and objectives, but still succinct sentences of outcome: What are the learning outcomes for each specified objective of the session? These statements state the agreed learning outcomes of this education & learning practice session for both the learning facilitator and the learners. Each objective may have a number of learning outcomes. The learning outcomes must differentiate from each other in terms of an outcome, but may also overlap. In order to assist in this process, it is suggested to use a goal-orientated guide such as SMART in developing your session plan (Esposito 2015).
TIP: Use active verbs words – such as apply, identify, evaluate, formulate, implement, construct, critically analyse, articulate, communicate, develop, work with, create, maintain, plan, employ, demonstrate, develop, design, record, mix, research, propose and publish – in developing your learning outcomes to inform the learners’ from commencement of the education & learning practice session. The primary objective of the education & learning practice session is to ensure the learners are engaged in learning as per these agreed learning outcomes of this session.
Examples of Learning Outcome statements: 
1. The learners apply knowledge of ………
2. The learners evaluate the impact of ……..
3. The learners formulate and implement …….
4. The learners evaluate and maintain………
5. The learners plan…….
6. The learners employ (specific) concepts ……..
7. The learners demonstrate………..
8. The learners employ (specific) skills ………

Layer 8b: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 2

My primary goal for the learning practice session is to align the learning objectives, the learning activities, and the learning assessment tasks (Light et al 2009, 82). The goal in developing a learning practice plan is to focus, with the goal of optimising the effective student learning experience of the particular learners during a learning practice session. For me to develop learning practice plans for a specific environment and learning group, I must understand the parameters of both of these variables as a starting point.
  •         What will the learning environment be?
  •         And perhaps most importantly, who are my learners?
Learning Space
How I conduct myself in the learning environment will in many ways be dictated by the actual space. Questions regarding the learning space to be considered prior to developing a learning practice plan include:
  • Is the learning space part of an organisation with other inhabitants?
  • Is there natural light?
  • Is it ventilated suitably, or air-conditioned or heated in certain climates?
  • Is it free from disturbance from other activities in the shared building?
  • How large or small is the space?
  • Is it an open space?
  • Is it a space with other resources such as tables, chairs, computers within it?
  • Is there a degree of portability or movability with those resourses, or are they fixed?
  • Is the space naturally conducive to active learning, or passive lecturing?
  • Is there an appropriate space for the learning facilitator to manage the learning experience?
Knowing the space allows me to consider what learning activities may be appropriate. Or may prompt me to source alternative learning space options. For example, I may be able to use alternative space within the same building, outside, or even at the local studio or park. Once I have confirmed the learning space options available to me, I am then free to consider the learners.

Layer 8c: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 3

The Learners/Learner pre-assessment/pre-delivery session
The word assessment is an interesting term in education and learning. Mention of the word quite often leads people to recall past experiences of being formally assessed in schools, quite often tarred with negative memories or emotions. In extreme cases I have observed people experience a complete shut down of their senses due to the extremity of their previous formal assessment experiences.
The other use of the term in education and learning is that of informal assessment of a learner: an assessment of the learner from your professional practice perspective – a needs analysis as such of who the learner is. An informal assessment of what the learner needs to ensure they are developing their content, information knowledge base and skills level, in order to maximise their development, their personal empowerment, in order for them to ultimately realise their full life potential.
Step 1: In the development of initial drafts of a generic learning practice plan, I specify the learning aims and objectives. These aims and objectives need succinctly describe the education and learning practitioner’s educational approach, the outcomes of the session, and holistically establish the expected interaction between the learner and the practitioner, predict the likely learning activities, and infer the likely learning assessment tasks. The learning aims and objectives should be the mission statement for the particular learning practice session. It is essential therefore, that the aims and objectives remain the highest priority, as these become the ground that the learning practitioner can bring the learners back to during moments of uncertainty. With so many variables which can potentially change during a learning practice session, it is imperative that the learning practitioner does not waiver from, or neglect the aims and objectives of the learning session.
Step 2: Prior to the learning practice session I want to be in a position to pre-assess the learning group. The extent of the information I ideally need to know prior to developing my learning practice plans is about the background of each of the learners. Having taught across many nations and cultures, the following represents a typical list of information I would be seeking prior to a learning experience session:
  • Nationality – what is there nationality, and can any introductory stereo types be gleaned from this about this learner?
  • Culture – what is their culture, their values and beliefs? Are there any learners from a particular culture that may require consideration in the planning of this particular education & learning session?
  • Native Language – what is the 1st language of this nationality, and can any introductory assumptions be made about this learner?
  • Age – what is their approximate age, their life experience, and their generation?
  • Life experience – based on their age, can we make any assumptions about this learner?
  • Gender – what is their gender and can any national, cultural or age assumptions be made about this learner?
  • Education – where are they educated? and to what level of reading, writing and mathematics?
  • Work Experience – are they currently skilled in terms of an industry role/occupation, and if so, what type of skill is it (white collar, blue collar, other)?
  • Previous experiences in learning – what have their previous learning experiences been? And are these predominantly positive or negative experiences?
  • Learner personality. To what degree will the learners be able to engage in any and all types of planned learning tasks, without concern for their lack of engagement due to fears or discomfort with risk-taking, being shy, or introverted?
  • Learner aptitude – what are the learner’s aptitude to learning? To what degree have the learners previously demonstrated that they are able to learn in a learning session situation similar to what they are about to engage in?
  • Learner strategies – are the learner’s likely to have developed strategies to apply in this learning session situation to successfully realise the learning outcomes?
  • Learning styles – what range of learning styles are they likely to have; both in terms of VAKD modalities, and also according to Gardner’s multiple intelligences? How differentiated will the learners’ styles be within this group?
  • Learners motivation for engaging in this learning experience. What is their motivation for learning in this instance of learning?
  • Content experience – What experience do they have in the planned education and learning context? What do they already know of the planned content? What have they studied or learnt before? How will the planned content of this education and learning session potentially build upon their existing knowledge? To what degree can this learner already demonstrate understanding of content knowledge, or competency of the applied content?
  • Declared learning, medical, mental health, intellectual or physical impairment conditions. Do any of the learners have any declared learning, medical, mental health, intellectual or physical impairment that need to be planned for? Do any of learner’s suffer from hearing or sight issues? Anxiety issues that could be prevent them from undertaking a particular type of task? Are there likely to be environmental concerns such as access? How will you plan to support learners with declared learning, medical, mental health, intellectual or physical impairment conditions?
  • Undeclared or unaware disabilities that could affect the learners’ ability to successfully realise the planned sessions’ learning outcomes? How will you plan to support learners whose undeclared learning, medical, mental health, intellectual or physical impairment conditions may arise during your education & learning session?
Some important clarifying questions for this final point could be: Is there a required prerequisite to this learning session content?; and if so, what level has the learner likely to have achieved in that content – theoretically and practically? Has the learner also likely to have since that pre-requisite learning event, been able to gain experience applying it in a real world context? In terms of the cohort of learners for this learning experience: can it be assumed that all of the learners will be on the same level of this assumed pre-requisite content? If not, I would need to plan for a mixed-levels education and learning session, being prepared for disparate levels across the cohort, and have pre-thought of a range of multi-level tasks with varying degrees of expectations of activities and tasks, to accommodate the potential range of learner levels, depending on the learners actual level – theoretical or practical – at this time.

Layer 8d: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 4

 If the information highlighted in any of these points is not accessible prior to developing my learning practice plans, then I need to develop what I classify as a generic education & learning practice session plan – an education & learning practice plan which allows me to ascertain such information from within the classroom environment when I first meet with the learners, and then as I grow to know over the ensuing sessions that follow.
Step 3: In the development of initial drafts of a generic education & learning practice plan, I take into consideration the learning session aims and objectives, and plan for a number of education & learning experience scenarios. In order to address the likely event of having a greatly differentiated learner group – a learner group with a wide range of learner types with various thinking orientations or intelligence – I am likely to be in a position where I need to make assumptions, and plan for a range of different scenarios.
Stages of Practice
In every education & learning practice session, there are specific stages of practice. The stages of practice aid the flow of the practice session overall, by dividing the education & learning practice session into logical divisions of introduction, development, conclusion, and closure.
However, these stages of the practice session are dependent upon the approach – theory and method – of the education & learning practice. Therefore I need to answer the following question:
  • What is the approach that I will adopt for the education & learning practice that will inform my practice?
I consider a range of learning theories and methods that could be appropriate for this particular education & learning session. As an integral part of this process, I consider the basis of the learning outcomes. Are the required learning outcomes – in nature – technical? functional? interactive? or situational? I make a decision as to what approach I will adopt for this particular education & learning practice, and am now in the position to plan the stages of practice in greater detail. The four (4) stages are:
  • Stage 1: the introduction stage to the learners and the learning session  – sets out how I am planning to situate this particular  learning session for this particular group of learners?; how I am planning to illuminate to this particular group of learners, the planned learning outcomes of this session?
  • Stage 2: the central stage of the learning session (also referred to as the core stage of learning session) – describes how the purpose of the learning session – content and/or process – will be delivered across a series of tasks and activities. Describes how the learning session is going to be developed so that the desired content and/or process will align with the pre-agreed learning practice aims and objectives;
  • Stage 3: the evaluation stage – describes how I am planning to have the learning session evaluated in terms of the content and/or processes. How will I draw the education & learning practice session to a logical conclusion so that the learners can effectively and efficiently evaluate what they have learnt?  What evaluation tools will I use – informal and/or formal?
  • Stage 4: the closure stage – describes how the session will be closed.
Sub-stages of Practice
Stage 2 the main stage then needs to be further detailed into a number of discrete education & learning sub-stages. Depending upon the chosen theory or approach, the sub-stages of the Stage 2 learning practice can include:
    • Stage 2a: establishing the context for the learning content and/or process in a situational example;
    • Stage 2b; presentation/instruction stage, teaching of new content and/or process;
    • Stage 2c: a heavily guided scaffolded learning practice stage;
    • Stage 2d: a moderately guided scaffolded learning practice stage
    • Stage 2e: a lightly guided scaffolded learning practice stage, and ;
    • Stage 2f: a performance practice stage.
    • Stage 2g: a debriefing stage, reflecting on, and evaluating the experience of the practice stage
    For greater description of these sub-stages, I refer you to my blog.

Layer 8e: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 5

Step 4: The next step in developing the draft education & learning practice plan is to consider what learning activities and tasks I intend to draw upon to support the learning objectives.These education & learning activities and tasks need to be congruent with the learners background and their expectations, as discussed above. These activities can be intellectual, physical or multi-modal activities. Each of these stages of education & learning practice should allow the education & learning facilitator to facilitate activities and tasks that engage and mobilise the learners, providing effective and efficient opportunities for the learner.
All activities need to be carefully planned and described in detail, predicted times for each activity to be allocated, and clear instructions for those activities and tasks written. These activities and tasks may encompass one or more of the communication modalities: speaking and listening; writing and reading. For example, an education & learning activity and task could be:
  • a lecture,
  • a workshop  – the workshop is likely to include (in no particular order):
    • an individual work component;
    • a pairwork component;
    • a group work component – perhaps small group, or perhaps whole group.
  • or an external task-based project.
The learning session facilitator needs to consider the core learner modalities engaged in during a learning task. Is it predominantly verbal, visual (image, graphic or data-based such as text), or kinaesthetic? Will the planned task fully engage a differentiated learner group? If not, how can the task to be modified?
The learning session facilitator needs to consider the planned interaction that may occur during these activities and tasks, between the facilitator and learner. Facilitator talk is not problematic, providing the time spent is actually realising a very specific objective of the education and learning session.
I consider the likely flow of communication will be at each and every stage of the education & learning practice session. Ultimately: how much time will the facilitator be talking (Ft); and how much time will the learner be engaged in either speaking and listening, or writing and reading (Lt). On every education and learning plan, I provide a narrow column down the right-hand side, where I note the focus of the learning task – either Ft or Lt – and how much time it involves. I am then in a position to add these figures up, informing me of how much facilitator talk (Ft) time there is planned; and how much learner talk (Lt) time there is planned. This is a very quick way to ascertain the probable balance of the proposed education and learning session, with the opportunity for change prior to the session if a likely imbalance is predicted.
Lastly, I need to consider what activity is planned to occur during this time.
  •  What will learner be doing? 
I need to detail how the learners are expected to work during each specified task.
Similarly, I also need to detail what I as the facilitator will be doing
  • What will I do during this time?
    • classroom management?
    • managing education & learning practice session flow?
    • learning checks?
    • how will my voice likely be? animated? calm?
    • my positioning to the learners?
    • my engagement with the learners?
    • to what degree or distance will I be facilitating the process?
FINAL NOTE: Session activities and tasks need to be aligned with the chosen education and learning theory or approach, and ultimately the aims and the objectives of the particular practice session.

Layer 8f: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 6

Step 5: The next step in developing the draft learning practice plan is to consider what learning assessment tasks are going to be introduced throughout the learning practice, in order to evaluate the learners’ learning. These can be either:
  • Informal ‘on the fly’ formative assessment tasks by the learning practitioner;
  • More structured formative assessment tasks, or possibly even;
  • Formal summative assessment tasks as required for a formal accredited course.
The challenge of formatively assessing the learners can be outlined by the following questions:
  • How will I monitor learner progress and needs across the education and learning practice session?
  • How will I record the data or evidence of learner’s realised learning?
  • At any point in time, how will I best assess the learners are learning?
  • What prompting questions could I use to assist the formative assessment process?
  • What clarifying questions could I use to assist the formative assessment process?
  • What probing questions could I use to assist the formative assessment process?
  • What concept checking questions could I use to assist the formative assessment process?
  • Essentially, how will I identify if the learners have actually learnt the objective of the task?
 Irrespective of the type of learning session, it is usual for the first type of learning assessment to make up the majority of in-class assessment. It is not unusual for a proactive education and learning practitioner to be assessing the learners – individually, in small groups, in larger groups, or as a whole group – constantly throughout the learning session. Such attention to the learners at any point in time is I believe a significant aspect of the role of a contemporary education and learning practitioner. With large classes, such attention can become quite consuming; and therefore a more structured assessment task may be considered timely to relieve the education and learning practitioner for a period of time, effectively affording them a break from their practice oversight. Such a more structured assessment task can also afford the learner an alternative modality of engagement to the activities they have been engaged in. These learning assessments can be intellectual, physical or multi-modal activities. Irrespective, all learning assessment activities need to be carefully planned, times to be allocated carefully considered, and clear instructions planned. Lastly, it needs to be noted that these learning assessment activities need to be congruent with the proceeding activities, as well as the learners background and their expectations, as discussed above.

Layer 8g: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 7

Step 6: As indicated earlier, with my primary goal for the education & learning practice session to align the learning objectives, learning activities and tasks, and the learning assessment tasks, as I develop the draft learning practice plan, I take the predicted learner experience into consideration. I need to consider how the members of this particular learning experience are likely to approach the pending learning session. Entwistle and Ramsden outline a deep and a surface level of approach “used by students in a wide variety of tasks in different disciplines and departments” (1983, 136).
Deep levels of approach are listed as:
  • Personal experience – “integrating the task with one self”
  • Relationships – “integrating the parts into a whole”, and
  • Meaning – “integrating the whole with its purpose”.
Surface levels of approach are listed as:
  • Unrelatedness – “defining the task as separate or its parts as discrete
  • Memorisation – “defining the task as a memory task”, and
  • Unreflectiveness – “defining the task in an external way” (Entwistle and Ramsden 1983, 137)
Depending on the agreed outcome of this particular education & learning experience, the learners need to be prepared for the style of learning experience they are about to engage in. If the content is required for a competency assessment at a vocational level, one may find a surface level expectation is inherent within the learner. This may be appropriate to the way you as the learning facilitator may intend to engage in, and deliver the content. However, if a surface level expectation is inherent within the learner, and the agreed outcome of this particular learning experience is that of an undergraduate degree module, perhaps the expectation of the education & learning facilitator and the learner will be misaligned – at odds with each other. This misalignment of learning expectations could be problematic within the learning experience, causing a range of possible outcomes such as: learner resistance; learner unwillingness to be involved, engage, or share in the learning experience; further learner attitudinal issues such as becoming introverted, or in contrast, being disruptive or aggressive; or either learner of learner facilitator frustration. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the learner expectation and the learner facilitator expectations are aligned; and if not, addressed at the earliest opportunity.

Layer 8h: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 8

Step 7: The last step in developing the draft education & learning practice session plan is to consider what resources, tools and technology I may need to organise in order to support the specified learning objectives, learning activities & tasks, and the assessment tasks of that practice session.
Some focus questions could include:
  • What needs to be considered and completed before the education & learning practice session commences?
  • What materials and resources will I need to have prepared prior to class (human, physical, IT)?
  • What digital tools and/or resources will I want to use in this practice session?
  • Will I need any technical support? If so state what, where and when.
  • Do I need to contact IT support prior to my education & learning practice session?
  • Do I need to schedule time to load computer programs or learning technologies prior to class? 

Layer 8i: My approach in preparing for a learning practice session Pt 9

The final stage in this process – once the education & learning practice session plan has been developed – is to consider the various forms such a plan may be required to be presented in. Whilst I have outlined each of these forms via a specific applied example of education & learning practice in another blog series series (Page 1990), an overview of these are:
  1. Synopsis Education & Learning Practice Session plan: this summary paragraph will be used by the marketing department to actually advertise the education & learning practice session – to attract learners of the potential fit of this program for their specific needs
  2. Summary Education & Learning Practice Session plan: this brief summary document may include only a section of either the aims, objectives or learning outcomes; and probably the task headings of what is to be on the agenda of the education & learning practice session. It could be used to present to the learners at the start of the session to outline the skeletal program of the education & learning session. Good practice would be also to use at the close of the session to recap what has been covered over the course of the learning session;
  3. The Interpretive Education & Learning Practice Session plan: this document would include the rationale, the aims, the objectives, and the learning outcomes, but may or may not include an education & learning approach to be taken. This level of documentation could be used by facilitators who are going to deliver the program that can be afforded some individual freedom of the approach and the tasks;
  4. Prescriptive Education & Learning Practice Session plan: this document would include the rationale, the aims, the objectives, the learning outcomes, and the intended education & learning approach indicating the pedagogy or andragogy. This document can be used for facilitators who are required to deliver a course in a specific way. A tertiary level course with multiple tutorial groups could require this level of documentation. In this scenario there are likely multiple instructors across multiple classes of learners who the administrators believe would benefit from sharing a similar experience;
  5. Prescriptive Plus Education & Learning Practice Session plan: similar to the above, this document would also include the rationale, the aims, the objectives, the learning outcomes, and the intended education & learning approach indicating the pedagogy or andragogy. Perhaps a formal industry accreditation course with ongoing multiple tutorial groups could require this level of documentation. The facilitators are delivering a course with important outcomes, demanding a duplicatable session so that irrespective of which session a learner attends, the learners will share a similar learning experience to that of another person in another session;
  6. Full/Detailed Education & Learning Session Plan. This is the master, fully-scoped document that I as the practice session developer developed as part of my preparatory practice, detailing every aspect of the education & learning practice session, including the learner group, and contingency strategies to address possible changes in circumstances during the actual practice sessions; or
  7. Instructional Education & Learning Session Plan. This is another version of the full/detailed Education & Learning Session Plan, that may include specific criteria terminology outside of what one may expect in a usual Education & Learning Session Plan. The Instructional Education & Learning Session Plan may be provided to a practitioner-in-training in an organisation which requires specifically worded criteria to be met in order for that practitioner-in-training to meet minimum performance standards. Whilst the criteria terminology may be different to usual education & learning practice session, it certainly should only differ to a usual Education & Learning Session Plan in the way the essential elements are divided or described. It should in short, contain all of the usual Education & Learning Session Plan elements (Page 1990).
            This blog series is planned to continue with Educational Philosophy Part 3c .
References
Entwistle, Noel and Paul Ramsden. 1983. Understanding Student Learning. New York: Routledge Revivals.
Esposito, Emily 2015 The Essential Guide to Writing S.M.A.R.T Goals  Accessed 20th November 2015
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Educational Philosophy Part 2 Accessed 15th June 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Educational Philosophy Part 3a Accessed 15th June 2015
Page, David L. 2015c. Educational Philosophy Part 3c Accessed 15th June 2015
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 15th June 2015
Page, David L. 1990. E+L Session Plans Part 1 Accessed 15th June 2015
Bibliography
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Armstrong, Thomas. 1999. 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. New York: Plume Books.
Ashwin, Paul. 2006. Changing higher education: the development of learning and teaching. New York: Routledge.
Bradbury, Helen, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukus. 2010. Beyond reflective practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning. New York: Routledge.
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Boud, David, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker. 2013. Reflection: turning experience into learning. New York: Routledge.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2006. The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. 2 ed. San Francisco: The Jossey Bass.
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.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Brookfield, Stephen. 1986. Understanding and facilitating adult learning: A comprehensive analysis of principles and effective practices. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Chopra, Deepak. 1996. The seven spiritual laws of success: a practical guide to the fulfilment of your dreams. New York: Random House.
Covey, Stephen R. 2013. The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1991. Principle centered leadership. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1989. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Melbourne: The Business Library.
Dyer, Wayne W. 1992. Real magic: creating miracles in everyday life. Sydney: Harper Collins.
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.
Fisher, Douglas and Nancy Frey. 2007. Checking for understanding: formative assessment techniques for your classroom. New York: ASCD.
Gardner, Howard and Thomas Hatch. 1989. “Multiple Intelligences go to school: educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences.” Educational researcher 18 (8): 4-10.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences image courtesy of:  Gardners’ MI   Accessed 28th March 2015
Gawith, Gwen. 1991. Power learning: a student’s guide to success. Melbourne: Longman Chesire.
Gerber, Michael E. 2005. E Myth Mastery. New York: Harper Audio.
Gerber, Michael E. 1999. The e-myth manager: why management doesn’t work – and what to do about it. New York: Harper Business.
Gerber, Michael E. 1988. The E Myth. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena. Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. “Research and the self.” In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Haseman, B 2015. “Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change.” Accessed May 24, 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
Kemp, Anthony E. 1996. The musical temperament. New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowles, Malcolm S, Elwood F Holton III and Richard A Swanson. 2012. The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. 7 ed. New York: Routledge.
Lawrence-Wilkes, L. & Chapman, A. 2015. Reflective Practice. Accessed March 28th, 2015 http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm
Littauer, Florence. 1986. Your personality tree. Dallas: Word Publishing.
Markova, Dawna and Anne R Powell. 1996. How your child is smart: a life-changing approach to learning. Los Angeles: Conari Press.
McKee, Alan. 2003. Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London: Sage
Merriam, Sharan B. 2001. “Andragogy and self‐directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory.” New directions for adult and continuing education 2001 (89): 3-14.
Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L .2015d. Music Practitioner Part 3 Accessed 28th March 2015
Parker, A and J Cutler-Stuart. 1986. Switch on your brain: a guide to better reading, concentration and coordination. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.
Pascal, J., & Thompson, N. 2012. Developing critically reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 13(2), 311. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795
Pedagogy versus Andragogy chart courtesy of: Pedagogy vs Andragogy chart Accessed 28th March 2015
Peters, Thomas J. 2003. Re-imagine! London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J and Nancy Austin. 1985. A passion for excellence. The leadership difference. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J, Robert H Waterman and Ian Jones. 1982. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Pieper, Martha Heineman and William Joseph Pieper. 1999. Smart love: the compassionate alternative to discipline that will make you a better parent and your child a better person. Boston: Harvard Common Press
Robbins, Tony. 1991. Awaken the giant within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Roth, Robert. 1989. “Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic“. Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
SAE Institute, 2015 SAE Institute Accessed 28th March 2015
Schön, Donald A. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 355 + xvii pages.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Sperry, Roger W. 1975. Left-brain, right-brain. Saturday Review 2 (23): 30-32.
Springer, Sally P and Georg Deutsch. 1993. Left brain, right brain. 4 ed. New York: WH Freeman & Company.
– ©David L Page 17/06/2015
– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
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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Educational Philosophy Part 3a

On track to develop mastery of one self, what is your approach to education and learning?

Layer 7: My approach to educational practice

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series: as I have indicated in prior blogs “I have been fortunate in my educational practice career to have taught across different eras, across a diverse number of fields and disciplines, across different environments and situations, for different desired outcomes, and to vastly different sets of learners. I therefore, have had the privilege to develop a diverse range of educational practice, across many different learning theories” (Page 2004). Millwood’s (2013) project Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning  (HoTEL) visually highlights the many different approaches an educator or facilitator may approach a specific learning environment and group of learners. All are potentially useful depending upon the context, the desired outcomes, and the learners. As I stated previously, it “would be foolish, and I believe the voice of inexperience for anyone to suggest one discipline and learning paradigm as being superior to another. They are different, and have developed as a result of different needs in different situations with different practitioners for different learners” (Page 2004). Though with time and conscious development, I have developed my personal philosophical approach to not only life, but also to my educational practice.  Fundamentally,
“my educational practice, how I engage within the site, and with my learners, and in fact how I approach all aspects of my life – my practice, and my self – is within a Learning Organisation paradigm” (Page 2004).
Pedagogy vs Andragogy
A Learning Organisation paradigm fits appropriately along side of the andragogical movement of adult educational practice (Knowles et al 2012). The andragogical movement differentiates itself from a pedagogical perspective of practice primarily around the age and dependence of the learner. Pedagogy, based on the greek word for child assumes the learner is a dependent, reliant upon the educator in the learning environment. In contrast, the andragogical movement defined as “the art and science of helping adults learn”, assumes the learner is self-directed, and responsible for their own learning (Knowles in Merriam 2001, 5).

andragoigy-vs-pedagogy

Figure I – Pedagogy vs Andragogy Chart (2015)
There is some debate as to the validity of the andragogical approach being used in the same breath as a pedagogical method. However, my view is both approaches have their place in contemporary adult and education and learning practice. Whilst fundamentally I am predisposed to a andragogical approach to my education and learning practice, it does not exclude instances where I consider a pedagogical approach may be more appropriate in order to optimise the effective student learning experience of a particular learner or learners at that time (Boud in Ashwin 2006,19). I rely on sound sustainable and replicatable methodological approaches within my education and learning practice. As mentioned, I am in a position to draw on developed content, information knowledge and skill gained across a wide range of experience in different learning theories and approaches. I have yet to experience one theory or approach that is optimal in every contemporary adult education and learning practice context.
Multiple-facetted approach
I also rely on my life experience to assist in the learning process as I see appropriate.  I regularly draw on a broad range of roles and faces to assist me in my educational practice. Assuming that within a learning practice session of say twenty-four (24) learners, there is expected to be a wide range of backgrounds, personalities, thinking and learning orientations. I as the learning facilitator approach the learning experience knowing I need to be flexible and adaptable to cater to, or relate to, the individual learner. Some of the roles or faces I see my self as having include that of: an educator, a teacher, a facilitator, an authority, a coach, a motivator, a guide, a mentor, a consultant, a manager, a delegator, a performer, an adviser, a supervisor, a curator, a learner, a peer, a team member, an empathiser, a friend, a parent, a disciplinarian, a court jester, a cajoler, a philosophiser, an administrator, a carer, or a (small c) counsellor, to name a few (Light et all, 2009, 122). I find having such a multiple facetted role and face approach in the practice of education and learning is particularly necessary when approaching students who have varying degrees of learner experience and development. For instance, as Knowles et al summary of four (4) stages in Adult Learner Learning Autonomy highlights, for each stage of a student’s development, the learner facilitator will require a different role or face.
  • Stage 1 learner development: student dependence, in which the teacher may need to be one of an authoritative figure or a coach;
  • Stage 2 learner development: student interested, in which the teacher may need to be one of a motivator or guide;
  • Stage 3 learner development: student involved, in which the teacher may need to be one of a facilitator;
  • Stage 4 learner development: student self-directed, in which the teacher may need to be one of a consultant or delegator (Knowles et al 2012, 185).
Further to this, I have regularly found that even within the one learner, they may be at different stages of their learner development depending upon what the task at hand is. For example, if a learner is expected to engage in four (4) tasks during a 180 minutes learning session – for example researching, analysing, discussing and writing – a learner may have differing levels of aptitude, competence and development across these four (4) functions. Therefore, as a professional learning practitioner, I am likely to draw on a range of my multiple facetted practice roles and faces within the learning environment context in order to optimise my interaction with the learners.
My sole purpose of engaging in these multiple practice faces is to assist the learner in gaining an understanding or insight of their learning challenge at that particular point in time. My goal is always first and foremost to assist the learner, and optimise the effective student learning experience at that moment in time. I would also like to state: I would be incongruent if I was to claim that I always get the correct balance when approaching a particular learner or group of learners. I don’t. However, as a practitioner and social being I need to take ownership of what choices and decisions I have made at any point in time, and at a later time, make the time to reflect on my decisions, actions and  outcomes that presented themselves within the learning environment I was responsible for.
Replication and Duplication of Practitioner Practice
Some observers could consider such a multi facetted practice approach as being problematic in terms of institutional management, given that such an individual practitioner approach may not be a replicatable or duplicatable methodological approach across faculty.  As most are aware, the landscape of higher education has rapidly changed over the past decade, and is continuing to evolve. Business measures of success have increasing become measures of higher education institutions – economic effectiveness and efficiency.  Accepted business processes are being developed in order to attempt to control the three (3) pillars of higher education activity: teaching, research, administration & service (Light et al 2009, 3-8).  I believe the parameters surrounding these three pillars can be and should be defined to benchmarked best practice in order to maintain levels of service delivery to all learners irrespective of the institution they attend. But I do not agree that learning practitioners could ever, or should ever have their unique practitioner approaches restricted – as long as these practices are aligned with optimising the effective student learning experience of those particular learners. I rely on sound sustainable and replicatable methodological approaches within my educational practice. However, as developed across the preceding Layers, my view is that each practitioner is a unique self, with potentially differing culture, education, age (generational experience), work experience, previous experiences in learning, learning styles, motivation to learn, and prior experience in the pending agreed learning experience discipline or subject area. Each practitioner should also have a uniquely personalised and developed content, information knowledge base and skill level. Each practitioner will therefore bring to a learning experience a unique approach to practice, in order to optimise the effective student learning experience of those particular learners. I consider the uniqueness of the professional practitioner to being a valid and exciting aspect of the contemporary education and learning field.
Practitioner Congruence
It is important to note: in order for me to practice to a level of personal integrity – being professionally congruent with my practice – irrespective of who my learners are. I must ensure that my educational philosophy is aligned to the executive leadership of the education institution where I am conducting my practice. As a professional education and learning practitioner, I accept one of my core values is to assist people with their learning. Having experienced issues with learning at certain stages of my development, I consider my self to have an empathy and a holistic care for people, wanting to assist them in any way that they need, to ensure they are developing their content, information knowledge base and skills level, maximising their development, their personal empowerment, in order for them to ultimately realise their full life potential.
It would be problematic for me to engage in educational practice within an organisation or institution where their educational philosophy was not aligned to my philosophy and approach. In approaching an educational or learning program, I either commence by creating a curriculum from this philosophical stance. However, if I am in a learning institution where I have not been part of the curriculum development process, I need to ascertain and absorb the specifics of the content; determine how best this content can be delivered to address the learning outcomes in way that is aligned to my philosophy; develop a teaching program across the full duration of the course; and then at that point I can begin to draft the individual learning experience plans.
       Professional Practice
As mentioned in Layer 2 of my previous blog, my over riding philosophical stance embraces the 10,000 hours trades philosophy of skilled craftworkers (Ericsson et al 1993). 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.
            This blog series is planned to continue with Educational Philosophy Part 3b.
References
Ashwin, Paul. 2006. Changing higher education: the development of learning and teaching. New York: Routledge.
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.
Knowles, Malcolm S, Elwood F Holton III and Richard A Swanson. 2012. The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. 7 ed. New York: Routledge.
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
Merriam, Sharan B. 2001. “Andragogy and self‐directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory.” New directions for adult and continuing education 2001 (89): 3-14.
Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 28th March 2015
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David 2015a. Educational Philosophy Part 2 Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David 2015b. Educational Philosophy Part 3b Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 28th March 2015
Pedagogy versus Andragogy chart courtesy of: Pedagogy vs Andragogy chart Accessed 28th March 2015
Bibliography
Anderson, C, Carolyn Carattini, Heather Clarke, Gail Hewton, David Page 2015 QUT KKP623 Reflective Practice in Action Group Presentation submission Accessed October 24, 2015.
Angelo, Thomas A and K Patricia Cross. 1993. “Classroom assessment techniques: A handbookfor college teachers.” San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Armstrong, Thomas. 1999. 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. New York: Plume Books.
Bradbury, Helen, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukus. 2010. Beyond reflective practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning. New York: Routledge.
Billett, Stephen. 2001. Learning in the workplace: strategies for effective practice. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Boud, David, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker. 2013. Reflection: turning experience into learning. New York: Routledge.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2006. The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. 2 ed. San Francisco: The Jossey Bass.
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.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Brookfield, Stephen. 1986. Understanding and facilitating adult learning: A comprehensive analysis of principles and effective practices. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Chopra, Deepak. 1996. The seven spiritual laws of success: a practical guide to the fulfilment of your dreams. New York: Random House.
Covey, Stephen R. 2013. The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1991. Principle centered leadership. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1989. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Melbourne: The Business Library.
Dyer, Wayne W. 1992. Real magic: creating miracles in everyday life. Sydney: Harper Collins.
Entwistle, Noel and Paul Ramsden. 1983. Understanding Student Learning. New York: Routledge Revivals.
Esposito, Emily 2015 The Essential Guide to Writing S.M.A.R.T Goals  Accessed 20th November 2015
Fisher, Douglas and Nancy Frey. 2007. Checking for understanding: formative assessment techniques for your classroom. New York: ASCD.
Gardner, Howard and Thomas Hatch. 1989. “Multiple Intelligences go to school: educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences.” Educational researcher 18 (8): 4-10.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences image courtesy of:  Gardners’ MI   Accessed 28th March 2015
Gawith, Gwen. 1991. Power learning: a student’s guide to success. Melbourne: Longman Chesire.
Gerber, Michael E. 2005. E Myth Mastery. New York: Harper Audio.
Gerber, Michael E. 1999. The e-myth manager: why management doesn’t work – and what to do about it. New York: Harper Business.
Gerber, Michael E. 1988. The E Myth. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena. Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. “Research and the self.” In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Haseman, B 2015. “Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change.” Accessed May 24, 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
 Lawrence-Wilkes, L. & Chapman, A. 2015. Reflective Practice. Accessed March 28th, 2015 http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm
Littauer, Florence. 1986. Your personality tree. Dallas: Word Publishing.
Markova, Dawna and Anne R Powell. 1996. How your child is smart: a life-changing approach to learning. Los Angeles: Conari Press.
McKee, Alan. 2003. Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London: Sage
Page, David L. 2015c. Music Practitioner Part 3 Accessed 28th March 2015
Parker, A and J Cutler-Stuart. 1986. Switch on your brain: a guide to better reading, concentration and coordination. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.
Pascal, J., & Thompson, N. 2012. Developing critically reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 13(2), 311. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795
Peters, Thomas J. 2003. Re-imagine! London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J and Nancy Austin. 1985. A passion for excellence. The leadership difference. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J, Robert H Waterman and Ian Jones. 1982. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Pieper, Martha Heineman and William Joseph Pieper. 1999. Smart love: the compassionate alternative to discipline that will make you a better parent and your child a better person. Boston: Harvard Common Press
Robbins, Tony. 1991. Awaken the giant within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Roth, Robert. 1989. “Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic“. Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
SAE Institute, 2015 SAE Institute Accessed 28th March 2015
Schön, Donald A. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 355 + xvii pages.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Sperry, Roger W. 1975. Left-brain, right-brain. Saturday Review 2 (23): 30-32.
Springer, Sally P and Georg Deutsch. 1993. Left brain, right brain. 4 ed. New York: WH Freeman & Company.
– ©David L Page 25/05/2015
– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
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.

Educational Philosophy Part 2

Know one self, develop mastery of one self

vision-blue-print-image
Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series; I am a practitioner across multiple disciplines. My formal post-compulsory education qualifications include engineering, business, governance, teaching, education and sound production. I have held coal face type positions, project management and consultancy positions, numerous senior and executive management positions including leading a corporation in a managing director role, and have acted on several boards in governance roles. I have undertaken many more lessor accredited and non-accredited training programs across these disciplines and many industries. There are too many to list in name and content focus. I have been very fortunate to live in an era, a country and be of a gender and class where my access to knowledge is virtually boundless. What I have discovered over time, core to the range of roles I have engaged in professionally, irrespective of the discipline or industry, is knowing one self. Underlying what many are referring to as soft skills [see blog] , or as Light et al refers to as “Transferable skills – which include communication, teamwork, leadership, ethics, problem-solvingand information technology, etc – support the economic requirement of flexibility and adaptability which graduates expect to use in their future employment and careers, as well as in their life practices and activities”(Light at al 2009, 11). Skills which will enable people to manage themselves within society, and conduct themselves competently and professionally within industry.
As introduced in my blog Music Practitioner – Part 5 blog, “Ryan considers it essential for a creative arts practitioner to look deeper into self (Ryan 2014,77). Having been involved in multiple practice across disciplines, I would suggest that Ryan’s view equally applies to all practice. From the mid 1990’s there was a leadership movement present in most industrialised societies. Referred to by some as the new age management movement, industry or discipline leaders such as Tom Peters (Peters and Austin 1985), Michael Gerber (1988), Stephen Covey (1992), Anthony Robbins (1991), Deepak Chopra (1996) and Wayne Dyer (1992) presented seminars across the globe to concert halls of leaders, managers, entrepreneurs and  practitioners across a broad range of industries. The seminal message was very simple: for success you need to develop yourself as a practitioner. In order to do this, irrespective of your role or function, you will need to continue to develop your self until you have a degree of mastery of your self. Recent observations show an increased number of higher education learning support resources – what once had the singular focus of ontological, epistemological and methodological content – now reference learners and their self, their social and cultural considerations, their emotions, their learning styles and intelligences (Marshall and Rowland 2013, 2-16).
Core to my beliefs, a practitioner must get to know one self on many levels. For one to be able to interact and engage with others at an effective level, one must first understand oneself. I believe we as humans have multiple layers or facets which makes each of us truly unique. I personally like the analogy of an onion, peeling back each layer one by one as we progress through life, revealing another layer of our complex selves. For me, to consider my self as a learner practitioner, I must also include into my consideration, my self.  This should not perhaps be surprising given my higher degree research study is that of an auto-ethnographical study of my practice: an emergent research study that will no doubt have me revealing multiple layers of distinctions and understandings about my self, as I progress along my path – revealing my information of my practice, and my self.

onion-layers

Layer 1: My Background

I am a white male of european descent, born and raised in Australia by post-war baby boomers. I was raised and schooled christian, but have since spent time in both Japanese and Indian cultures for extended periods of time.  I share a culture with my life partner of Indian cultural background. As a result, we consciously developed a fusion of values and beliefs that were minutely agreeable over several decades to form our own unique culture. We have now been married for twenty-five years.
I was Australian public school educated. I was an above average student – working hard to achieve this – but several events inside and outside of my schooling discouraged my continuing engagement. I had found music, and by mid-high school I had lost interest and I left to pursue an alternative option – a trade. I recall the school counsellor advised my parents that the trade I was leaving to pursue was unlikely to keep me engaged for long; but my parents left the decision to me. Within two years I found the trade role was straight forward – just not interesting. By the third year, I found I spent most time at work in the medium sized business office serving customers, managing their expectations and developing the centre’s poor systems. By the fourth year, I was researching returning to school in order to enable me to enrol in a business degree.
Due to my school grades, my aptitude test, and my work experience, I was accepted into tertiary education. None of my family (immediate or extended) had pursued tertiary studies previously (I recall at the time only 11% of Australians went on to higher education). Having departed high school prior to Year 12 and having missed many of the formative subjects that the tertiary course content developed on from. I struggled through engaging in the course content to varying levels. I however chose to spend much of my time socialising and exploring the limits of being young and free in Australia and overseas. My love for and interest in music developed exponentially at this time, and I returned to a single-minded focus of music practice.
I left for overseas immediately after completing my final year, to which would become a significant period in my life. I got a role consulting with Japanese industrial organisations regarding their training and development. I was trained in educational practice and also delivered training across many industries.  I also formed an originals band with both locals and Internationals; played local venues, community events and festivals; writing, co-managing, and co-producing. I experimented with engineering on both analogue consoles and experimented within the developing digital technologies.
Upon returning back to Australia, I formalised my teaching experience, and gained diverse experience across a range of post-compulsory educational institutions –  including tertiary – experimenting, designing curriculum and programs, and teaching across a broad range of educational approaches (Milwood 2013). Additionally, I continued to develop and practice music – from writing to performing.
After several overseas ventures consulting with International organisations,  I formalised my education experience with a Masters degree. During this time, I was recruited by several educational institutions to assist them with leadership, curriculum design, developing systems, financial management, human resources management, strategic marketing, business development and governance. I continued with my music practice, outsourcing to many bands playing local venues and community events. I also engaged in community music programs as a mentor and coach.
During this time I took a leave of absence and studied at California’s Music Institute (MI) at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT).  I also ventured into the virtual world of music production (Pro Tools and Logic Pro) and explored the world of virtual instruments in contrast to the acoustic or electric instruments I had experience with until then.
 After a three year professional stint overseas, I returned to Australia and formalised my engineering and production experience in a course at SAE. One year later, I was invited to teach as a sessional Lecturer, which over time progressed into my current role as a Senior Lecturer. I am now formalising my broad Creative Practice in a professional doctoral program at Queensland University of Technology. What I am finding though, is that I am actually formalising all of my practice to date, across all disciplines and industries, with one of the two agreed outcomes being two original cultural productions (EPs) of my music and audio practice.

onion-layers

Layer 2: My generation

The types of information I ideally need to know prior to entering a education and training role, is to know myself.
I was born into Generation X (Gen X) – which has been referred to as the lost generation. As one of the smallest generational cohorts in terms of births, as a Gen Xer I found my parent’s baby-boomer generation to be quite overwhelming in terms of their large personalities and regular group get togethers. They were vocal, opinionated and highly engaged in living life to the fullest. As I was growing up, I recall I  struggled to find my voice at various times, often feeling relatively invisible. My dad worked in a senior Corporate role which occupied his days, including often his evenings and the weekends. He was well intentioned by volunteering to manage our local rugby teams, but the reality was that he was often unavailable due to work commitments. I would say therefore, that my father was relatively disengaged from me and my brother and sister’s lives. When I was almost seventeen years of age, my parents accepted an international position and moved overseas. This situation forced me to become independent virtually overnight. My parents were a very loving and compatible couple towards each other, and travelled extensively as part of their Corporate lives, inviting me over the Australian summer season. I have definitely absorbed these influences as my life with my partner has demonstrated, along my global travels.  I am also confident that my experiences of feeling invisible and voiceless at times allowed me to feel comfortable in engaging in other cultures of Japan and India.
Technology has played a major role in my life, having lives across many forms of developing media: from black and white television, to colour, to digital; computers from large room punch card devices, to personal computers, to portable laptop devices; landline to portable to mobile telecommunications devices; studios from large format studios to project studios to portable studios; analogue, digital and now digital virtual technologies in the music and audio field; This rapid change has aided me to being quite flexible and adaptable. One aspect that I have never felt a desire to embrace is gaming – digital or virtual. I was always too busy being physical or embracing physical instruments.
 As a result, I believe I possess the typical Gen X characteristics of: self-reliance;  seek a balanced life across work, family and interests; am relatively comfortable with technology; and comfortable working in non-traditional structures (environments,reporting lines, time of day, etc). The one train I do not share with fellow Gen Xers is my lack of adoption to DIY culture. I embraced punk is spirit, but not in activity.
“Whilst I am a very self-reliant practitioner, my over riding philosophical stance embraces the 10,000 hours trades philosophy of skilled craftworkers” (Ericsson et al 1993 in Page 2004)
I guess it is the phenomenologist within me, perhaps tied with my libran value of the aesthetic.
“In both myself and others, I value and believe in the merit of the the development 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 the development of a uniquely personalised quality end product. I accept at last that this is integral to how I conduct my self in my practice and life” (Page 2004).

onion-layers

Layer 3: My paradigm

As I outlined in my  Research Practitioner – Part 2  blog, my ontology is one of phenomenology. Specifically, I view the world through an experiential phenomenological lens. Experiential Phenomenology professional practitioners tend to be less interested in the philosophy of phenomenological method than its practice and application:
“In existential phenomenology the focus is on individual’s experiences of being-in-the-world” (Grace and Ajjawi 2010, 198).

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Layer 4: My epistemology

My epistemology is empirical, relying on my senses of observation and experimentation.  It therefore should not be surprising that the methodology using a mixed-method qualitative methodology, including that of: practice-led research, evocative auto-ethnography, reflective practice, and reflexive practice, over the two projects. Reflecting on my life across numerous disciplines, I recognise I am the archetype who has to experience activities in life, rather than just theorising about it at arm’s length. Irrespective of my creative, sporting, or professional endeavours of education and management, I learnt early that I need to experience something to understand it.

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Layer 5: My approach to all forms of practice

As introduced in my blog Educational Philosophy Part 1“My life philosophy is one of constant and never-ending improvement. It has been consciously so for over the past decade. Irrespective of what field or discipline I am operating within, I practice every day, in some way towards. As mentioned in Layer 2 above, my over riding philosophical stance embraces the 10,000 hours trades philosophy of skilled craftworkers (Ericsson et al 1993). I value the development of a skill, a trade, a craft, or art, developing specialist knowledge and tools over many thousand’s of hours of practice, to ultimately express my self through a uniquely personalised and developed content, information knowledge base and skill level. I consider this approach integral to becoming a professional practitioner.
As part of this practice, I also make time to reflect every day at some time upon some aspect of my diverse practice, referenced against other practitioners, whether peers or those who I value their cultural production. My focus is to gain clarity, greater understanding, increased insight, considering possible alternative workflows I could have pursued, and decide what form of practice I will pursue the next opportunity a similar circumstance arises” (Page 2004). 
I note that the life-long learning philosophy I have outlined aligns to what Billet and Newton refer to as a learning practice (Bradbury et al 2010, 52); and the daily practice I describe is both reflective practice (Schön 1983) and reflexive practice (West in Bradbury et al 2010, 66).

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Layer 6: My learning styles

In terms of a personality type, I demonstrate characteristics of Littauer’s hippocratic approach as a sanguine (expressive), choleric (driving). I also have relative high levels of melancholic (analytic). Irrespective of the personality type I have taken over the years, I consistently test to these types. Having been immersed within Japanese culture for many decades, it not surprising that my blood type [Funukawa blood types]also matches constantly with the range of my personality type tests (Littauer 1986, 235).
As a left-handed person, I draw predominantly on the right-hemisphere of my brain. “The right-hemisphere appears to be responsible for certain spatial skills and musical abilities and to process information simultaneously and holistically”. That is not to say that I do not have access to the left-hemisphere of my brain, attributes which are usually noted as “analytic processes, especially the production and understanding of language, and it appears input in a sequential order” (Springer and Deutsch 1993, 5).  I am a swimmer and previously a jogger, so both sides of my body, including the hemispheres within my brain have since a very young age got equal attention in their development. In terms of my music practice, I developed a degree of ambidextrousness playing a two handed instrument over about four decades. However in order to develop my music practice to another level, about a decade ago I decided to develop a fingerpicking style of playing (in contrast to straight single note or rhythm playing) using both a plectrum and my lower three (3) fingers. Whilst this style is now very natural, it took considerable time reprogramming my quite limited rhythmical left arm (strumming arm). As a result, I now find I have similar levels of dexterity, accuracy, strength, rhythm and feel from the fingers between both my right and left hands now.
In learning educational kinesiology (EK) such balance is not always the norm. It is not uncommon for people in their day to day activities, to develop one side of their body, and therefore one side of their brain in greater proportion to the other side. Through EK I learnt exercises to do when I feel that I have lost a degree of balance due to my everyday activities. These exercises allow me to “integrate both halves of the brain”again –  and sometimes apply to my students as I feel it is appropriate and required –  “to make learning both easier and more enjoyable” (Parker and Stuart 1986, 16). I consciously continue to exercise and develop my right side of my body, and therefore my left hemisphere of the brain,  in order to maintain a more of a balanced life, and be flexible to switch my orientations when the situation requires it of me.
I am naturally a visual, kinaesthetic, auditory thinker. The core language characteristic is: “Speaks from personal experience a circling way” (Markova 1992, 65). This is perhaps not surprising to my peers and students who may have experienced this within the class room environment. It is also possibly goes a long way to explaining my affinity to circular curriculum (see below Layer 7 for more on this). But to suggest that I am only this would be incorrect. As per my natural hemisphere orientation, I have consciously developed myself in this regard to be comfortable across multiple thinking orientations such as. In any ways, my doctoral research study is an opportunity to demonstrate a range of thinking orientations.
According to Gardner’s multiple intelligences “each human being is capable of seven relatively independent forms of information processing with individuals differing from one another in the specific profile of intelligences that they exhibit”(Gardner and Hatch 1989, 4). 
gardners-8-multiple-intelligences-chart
Figure I – Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences chart (2015)
The intelligences that I exhibit are in no particular order or priority, and I have found to depend upon the environment and context at a particular point in time. They are: visual/spacial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, interpersonal, naturalistic and musical/rhythmic intelligences. Depending upon the situation, I have also learnt to develop over time both my verbal/linguistic and my logical/mathematical intelligences.
In terms of learning types I demonstrate an affinity to Gawith’s multi-sense learning – physical and emotive learning (1991, 2-6); and that a baker in terms of learning type. That is, I “like to see the whole cake in the mind’s eye first. Bakers feel most comfortable when they can conceive of each part or ingredient in terms of what it contributes to the whole. Bakers tend to be visual, inventive, holistic, intuitive learners. They are driven as much by what feels right as what the book says is right” (1991, 9). But as previously mentioned, I have consciously developed myself learning types
As mentioned in Layer 5, I value and believe in a committed approach to becoming a professional practitioner. I am motivated to learn to constantly improve.  It is now firmly integral within my core being. I have tried and have found to be unable to extinguish my desire to learning. I also attribute this desire to learn as an underlying reason why I have been able to overcome some of the learning challenges I experienced in my undergraduate degree, following being somewhat unprepared as an early school leaver.
This blog series is planned to continue with Educational Philosophy Part 3a.
References
Bradbury, Helen, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukus. 2010. Beyond reflective practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning. New York: Routledge.
Chopra, Deepak. 1996. The seven spiritual laws of success: a practical guide to the fulfilment of your dreams. New York: Random House.
Covey, Stephen R. 1991. Principle centered leadership. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Dyer, Wayne W. 1992. Real magic: creating miracles in everyday life. Sydney: Harper Collins.
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.
Gardner, Howard and Thomas Hatch. 1989. “Multiple Intelligences go to school: educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences.” Educational researcher 18 (8): 4-10.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences image courtesy of:  Gardners’ MI   Accessed 28th March 2015
Gawith, Gwen. 1991. Power learning: a student’s guide to success. Melbourne: Longman Chesire.
Gerber, Michael E. 1988. The E Myth. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena. Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
Littauer, Florence. 1986. Your personality tree. Dallas: Word Publishing.
Markova, Dawna and Anne R Powell. 1996. How your child is smart: a life-changing approach to learning. Los Angeles: Conari Press.
Marshall, Lorraine and Frances Rowland. 2013. A guide to learning independently. 3 ed. New York: Open University Press.
Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 28th March 2015
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Educational Philosophy Part 3a Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Research Practitioner Part 2 Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2014. Soft Skills Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2010 Music Practitioner Part 5  Accessed 28th March 2015
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 28th March 2015
Parker, A and J Cutler-Stuart. 1986. Switch on your brain: a guide to better reading, concentration and coordination. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.
Peters, Thomas J and Nancy Austin. 1985. A passion for excellence. The leadership difference. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Robbins, Tony. 1991. Awaken the giant within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Springer, Sally P and Georg Deutsch. 1993. Left brain, right brain. 4 ed. New York: WH Freeman & Company.
Vision blueprint image courtesy of:  Vision Blueprint   Accessed 28th March 2015

 

Bibliography
Armstrong, Thomas. 1999. 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. New York: Plume Books.
Covey, Stephen R. 2013. The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Covey, Stephen R. 1989. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Melbourne: The Business Library.
Gerber, Michael E. 2005. E Myth Mastery. New York: Harper Audio.
Gerber, Michael E. 1999. The e-myth manager: why management doesn’t work – and what to do about it. New York: Harper Business.
Lawrence-Wilkes, L. & Chapman, A. 2015. Reflective Practice. Accessed March 28th, 2015 http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm
Peters, Thomas J. 2003. Re-imagine! London: Dorling Kindersley.
Peters, Thomas J, Robert H Waterman and Ian Jones. 1982. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Pieper, Martha Heineman and William Joseph Pieper. 1999. Smart love: the compassionate alternative to discipline that will make you a better parent and your child a better person. Boston: Harvard Common Press
Sperry, Roger W. 1975. Left-brain, right-brain. Saturday Review 2 (23): 30-32.
– ©David L Page 30/03/2015
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.

Educational Philosophy Part 1

Educational Philosophy

Education, training and learning is about achieving a specific intended end goal for a group of learners; and having the learners attain the learning outcomes of a particular discipline (Bowe et al 1992).

british-journal-of-edcuational-studies

 At the core of education, training and learning lays the education philosophy of the institution, which is then embedded within the curriculum – embedded within the design of the curriculum. Once the curriculum is designed, then the teaching program can be developed, and then the individual lesson plans can be drafted.
Designing the curriculum is the starting point of any effective student learning experience. The program should then effectively enable the educator to facilitate positive and effective learning experiences.  In contrast I would extend this to say, in my experience, that for every poor student learning experience, irrespective of the situation, there is an ineffective curriculum design. Further, in these situations I have experienced usually has a lack of developed or appropriate educational philosophy for the institution. This core reason for the organisation being lays within the executive leadership of the education institution. It would be of major concern to the organisation or institution and its future prosperity, if such an educational philosophy was either inappropriate, lacking or at worst, non-existent.

Educational Approaches and Learning Theories

To enter into the world of education and training, it is often challenging for an aspiring educator to become familiar with the scientific disciplines and the extensive list of learning theories.  Millwood (2013) in his project Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning  (HoTEL)  outlines twenty five (25) differing learning theories (red colour boxes) commonly referred to in the filed of education and educational practice. It is an exhaustive summary of contemporary educational practice –  an excellent summary for aspiring or developing educational practitioners. Listed are twenty-two (22) learning paradigms (blue colour boxes) across 9 scientific disciplines (bone colour boxes), and ten (10) key concepts (green colour boxes).
learning-theory-v6_millwood-d2-2-1-20130430
Figure I Millwood’s Learning Theories ‘HoTEL’ (2013)
As the chart visually highlights, there are many different approaches, all potentially useful depending upon the context, the educator or facilitator and the desired outcomes, and the learners. It would be foolish, and I believe the voice of inexperience for anyone to suggest one discipline and learning paradigm as being superior to another. They are different, and have developed as a result of different needs in different situations with different practitioners for different learners. 
I have been fortunate in my educational practice career to have taught across different eras, in different environments and situations, for different desired outcomes, and to vastly different sets of learners. I have therefore had the privilege to develop a diverse range of educational practice, across many different learning theories. Whilst I have written about a number of these previously (see education and learning blogs), the particular learning paradigm I want to focus on in this blog is based on the learning paradigm of organisational learning (lower left area of Millwood’s chart).

Organisational Learning

Generic organisational learning has occurred throughout history, but perhaps most significantly since the industrial era with industrial-based companies trying to maximise their production economies of scale. A more recent significant contributor was US-born Edwards Denning’s systemic management approach, embraced by post-war Japan in the hope that such a process could assist them in their goal to rebuild their country and recover economically (Walton 1988). The underlying principle of Denning’s approach was one of constant improvement within an organisation. All staff were encouraged to provide their particular insight into the organisation’s operations; to make suggestions for change to any aspect of the organisation that they believed could be improved to make the organisation’s products and services more efficient and effective (Walton 1988,55). Each of the suggestions were then considered on their merits, with line management selecting those suggestions that could have most significant or immediate benefit to the product or service process. Many innovations occurred during this time in their production systems, providing Japan’s industry with efficiencies across all levels of organisations that had not yet been considered in US production facilities at that time (Walton 1988,18). [The irony of this is that a number of US corporations had originally rejected Denning’s systemic management approach prior to him turning to Japan as a potential adopter].
learning-philosophy
The organisational learning theme continued throughout the 20th Century with systemic management approaches of one form or another being adopted and implemented in most first world countries’ medium to large organisations. As organisations developed to become far more sophisticated, research of organisational learning developed into more discrete areas of organisations including how information flows, is processed and knowledge created. Nonaka et al proposed analysis of such organisations “in terms of its design and capability to process information …… constitutes an important approach to interpreting certain aspects of organisational activities” (1994, 338). Nonaka and Takeuchi continue the organisational learning theme  examining how an organisation creates, maintains and exploits knowledge within that organisation”(2000, 5) .
In this era of organisational learning and development, the motivation is quite different. This time there was not the urgency to rebuild the nation’s economy post-war, but equally important from a corporate management point of view. To create organisational efficiencies, to continue to compete globally against market competitors within the constantly changing global economy (Hersey 2008).

Learning Organisation

As we entered the 21st Century, Senge (2006) offered a developed modern take on organisation learning in what he referred to as a learning organisations. That is, organisations that structurally and culturally developed, organically, beyond what the everyday management was directing the staff to do. Senge’s model was to create a dynamic cultural organism, that could develop, innovate and adapt as environmental circumstances changed. The environmental circumstances could include either global events, government policy, industry developments, or social or cultural trends (ie: the actual or potential clients).  The key assets of a learning organisations were highlighted as: culture, physical, systems/processes, human capital, and leadership. Such a view contrasts to a more conservative corporate view.

learning-organization

Senge’s Learning Organisations carry forth the tradition of the Denning Management Method core of constant and never-ending improvement, something that has become synonymous with the developing economies in Asia, commencing with the Japanese rebuild post-war.  Such an approach accepts that learning in never complete; that advantage is never won, and that humans should never cease to innovate. As a necessity, humans need to continue to develop themselves, in order to continue to challenge themselves, in order to continue in the space and attitude of innovation.
Senge outlines learning organisations  are those that include a culture where: information is shared; learning is emphasised and valued; where mistakes or failures are encouraged for what they are (ie: a learning experience, and therefore they are not punished); where people are not only encouraged, but expected to constantly learn.

learning-organisation

The objective is similar to previous innovative organisational approaches, to maximise the sustainability of the organisation. However, this approach acknowledges the importance of maintaining highly engaged members of staff that can then maximise the innovation within the organisation of its products and services, and its engagement with society.  Senge lists five disciplines that are vital dimensions in building organisations that can truly “learn, that can continually enhance their capacity to realise their highest aspirations” (2006, 6):
  • systems thinking – understanding that business and human endeavours are systems, intertwined by interrelated events
  • personal mastery – a special level of proficiency. “Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively” (Senge 2006, 7)
  • mental models – ingrained assumptions, generalisations, images of the world. Our beliefs and cultural paradigms.
  • building shared vision; is there an owned joint vision of the organisation?
  • team learning – is the collective IQ of the organisation greater than the sum of the individuals?
Finally, another primary value of a learning organisation is benchmarking.  Benchmarking is the practice of referencing one’s practice against another’s practice within a similar field or discipline in order to gain greater understanding or advantage for development and improvement of the practice over what they are currently achieving (Hersey 2008). Benchmarking is best practice and is an accepted management approach to attain success, whether as an organisation (eg: banking), or as an individual (eg: sportsperson or artist)

value-of-lo-benchmarking

My Practice as a Learning Organisation

My approach to my practice – irrespective of whether it is my practice as an educator, mentor, musician or engineer – share many of the same characteristics Senge outlines. As previously mentioned (see blog), I have practiced across a range of countries, industries and organisations.
I am very self-reliant practitioner, with my over riding philosophical stance embracing the 10,000 hours trades philosophy of skilled craftworkers (Ericsson et al 1993). In both myself and others, I value and believe in the merit of the the development 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 the development of a uniquely personalised quality end product. I accept at last that this is integral to how I conduct my self in my practice and life.
I consider my practices are dynamic cultural organisms, that develop, innovate and adapt as environmental circumstances change. The environmental circumstances have been known to include global events, government decisions, industry or company policy, industry developments, social or cultural trends, and the customers/clients I am engaging with.  The site may change, but my approach within the organisation or to the client does not.
The key assets of my practice are: culture (I have developed an organisational culture ethos document), physical (my nominated physical sites of practice), systems/processes (my diverse range of processes across all of my practices), human capital (the sum total of my self – my experience, my education and training received, my life and skills development), and leadership (my self as a leader – along with my core traits and approach).

learning-organization

My practice consciously carries forth the tradition of the Denning Management Method core of constant and never-ending improvement.  Such an approach accepts that my learning in never complete; any advantage is never won, and that I as a human should never cease to innovate. As a necessity, I am of the belief that I want to continue to develop my self, in order to continue to challenge my self, in order to continue in the space and attitude of innovation.
My practice includes a culture where: information is shared amongst my practice colleagues; learning is emphasised and valued;  learning experience is valued, and therefore mistakes or failures are not seen as negative events); where I encourage my self on a daily basis, but more so, accept that I am in this space as a human, to constantly learn.
My objective for my practice is to maximise the sustainability of the practice. I acknowledge the importance of maintaining my self as a highly engaged practitioner, in order to maximise the innovation within the practice of its products and services, and its engagement with my practitioner network.
Senge’s list of five disciplines (2006, 6) are all present within my practice:
  • systems thinking – I understand the systems of my practice, intertwined by interrelated events;
  • personal mastery – I constantly aim for an ever deepening level of proficiency;
  • mental models – I am clear as to what is, and understand my ingrained assumptions, generalisations, images of the world, my beliefs and cultural paradigms;
  • building shared vision – I possess a singular vision of my practice;
  • team learning – I believe that the collective IQ of the practice is greater than the sum of the individuals of my practice
The remaining primary value of my practice is benchmarking.  Benchmarking is my practice of referencing my practice against another’s practice within the similar fields and disciplines of my practice to gain greater understanding or advantage for development and improvement of my practice over what I am currently achieving (Hersey 2008). I accept benchmarking is best practice for a practitioner.
effective-practictioner

Conclusion

My life philosophy is one of constant and never-ending improvement. It has been consciously so for over the past decade. Irrespective of what field or discipline I am operating within, I focus every day at some time, reflecting upon some aspect of my diverse practice referenced against other practitioners, whether peers or those who I value their cultural production, attempting to gain clarity, greater understanding, increased insight, considering possible alternative workflows I could have pursued, and decide what form of practice I will pursue the next opportunity a similar circumstance arises.
My educational practice, how I engage within the site, and with my learners, and in fact how I approach all aspects of my life – my practice, and my self – is within a Learning Organisation paradigm. I have arrived here because of my diverse and broad experience. Similarly, I would encourage all practitioners to embrace new learning paradigms to develop their educational practice to broaden their knowledge and experience. Pursue different environments and situations, different desired outcomes, and to vastly different sets of learners. If you do, I believe you too will have the privilege to develop a diverse range of educational practice, across many different learning theories. As education and training is about achieving a specific intended end goal for a group of learners; and having the learners attain the learning outcomes of a particular discipline (Bowe et al 1992), the broader one’s experience as a practitioner, the more effective one will be at designing a curriculum, a program and a lesson plan for effective student learning experience; and the better your will be a both an educator and a facilitator. 
This blog series is planned to continue with Educational Philosophy Part 2.
References:
Bowe, Richard, Stephen J Ball and Anne Gold. 1992. “Reforming education and changing schools.
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.
Hersey, Paul, Kenneth H Blanchard and Dewey E Johnson. 2008. Management of organizational behavior. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Learning Organisation benchmarking image courtesy of:  Learning Organisation Benchmarking Accessed 15th August 2013
Learning Organisation image courtesy of:  Learning Organisation Accessed 16th August 2013
Learning Organisation infographic image courtesy of:  Learning Organisation infographic Accessed 13th August 2013
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning  Accessed 17th August 2013
Learning Theories image courtesy of:  Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430 Accessed 15th August 2013
Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 15th August 2013
Nonaka, I., Konno, N. and Toyama, R., 2001. Emergence of “ba”. Knowledge emergence: Social, technical, and evolutionary dimensions of knowledge creation1, pp.13-29.
Nonaka, Ikujiro, Ryoko Toyama and Noboru Konno. 2000. “SECI, Ba and leadership: a unified model of dynamic knowledge creation.” Long range planning 33 (1): 5-34.
Nonaka, lkujiro, Hirotaka Takeuchi and Katsuhiro Umemoto. 1996. “A theory of organizational knowledge creation.” International Journal of Technology Management 11 (7-8): 833-845.
Nonaka, Ikujiro and Hirotaka Takeuchi. 1995. The knowledge-creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Nonaka, I., Byosiere, P., Borucki, C.C. and Konno, N., 1994. Organizational knowledge creation theory: a first comprehensive test. International Business Review3(4), pp.337-351.
Page, David L. 1996. Leadership Part 1 Accessed 18th August 2013
Senge, Peter M. 2006. The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation. 2nd ed, Business Books. London: Random House.
Senge, Peter M, A Kleiner, Charlotte Roberts, Richard Ross, George Roth and Bryan Smith. 1999. The dance of change: the challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Senge, Peter M, Charlotte Roberts, Richard B Ross, Bryan J Smith and A Kleiner. 1994. The fifth discipline fieldbook: strategies and tools for building a learning organization. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Skills image courtesy of:  Skills  Accessed 18th August 2013
Walton, Mary. 1988. Deming management method London: Penguin.
– ©David L Page 19/09/2004
– updated ©David L Page 19/08/2013
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.

Leadership Part 3

Changing Agendas in Leadership

global_leadership
The following essay represents an analysis of a current leadership issue in an organisational context, referencing appropriate literature.

Glossary of Terms

ARI – Australian Racing Industry
QRI – Queensland Racing Industry
QRITC – Queensland Racing Industry Training Centre
SBM – Site – Based Management

Introduction

It would seem that economic rationalism is a characteristic of our time (Burchell: 1994:36). We as educationalists however still have our task at hand. That is, to educate. We must therefore learn to understand the issues of contemporary business operation in order to be in a position to ensure that the most effective educational delivery can be achieved, given the environmental constraints.
I have isolated two (2) issues that due to their impact on the effectiveness of this delivery, warrant a closer look. The first issue is the debate between centralised and decentralised management forms (Smyth:1993:1) ; and, the second issue is the discussion of engendering; particularly the differences between what is now referred to as the male and female ethos (Rogers:1988:1).
In order to show the effects of these issues, the essay will broach the following areas:
Firstly, the necessary background information about the organisation (QRITC) that I have chosen to investigate, in order to contextualise the discussion, is found in Appendix 1;
Secondly, a brief outline of this educational institution’s (QRITC) management and leadership style, and the effects this has had upon the organisation’s positioning for delivery effectiveness. Note, a summary of the effects the institution’s (QRITC) management and leadership style has had on the operation of the organisation, in my view, is found in Appendix 2;
Thirdly, the proposition that two (2) of the responsibilities of Racing Division, the Management and Leadership of a Public Service Division of a Department and the Management and Leadership of a Commercially Run Operation Sub-Program, are in effect conflicting ideals. Of consequence, the resultant culture at QRITC I believe exemplifies how a centralised ethos, and in this specific instance, one that possesses a lack of sound/accepted forms of management practice, can negatively impact the effective delivery of quality commercial education. It therefore provides the necessary justification as to why development is required to progress the traditional management and leadership style to a more progressive alternative ‘inclusive/ participative’ management and leadership style;
And fourthly, to outline a possible option – a more progressive alternative ‘inclusive/ participative’ management and leadership style – that organisations such as QRITC could pursue, to become a far more effective deliverer of commercial education.
I will analyse what I have learnt from the study of this institution, showing how the issues of ‘Leadership and Management: Changing Agendas in Education’ clarify my understanding of sound educational institutional practice.

queensland-racing

QRITC

Since its’ inception, QRITC has always been very central to political debate, speculation and controversy- sometimes with good reason and at other times merely as a ‘victim’ of political manipulation.
The areas of Government-Industry contention and disagreement seems to be around who has control of what, who should have control of what, and the degree of contribution, both in terms of time and resources. Whilst the Queensland Racing Industry has somewhat been involved in the training process of their industry over the past 4 years, the Government is bearing the greatest degree of responsibility to ensure the training takes place. Although it was originally thought that within this 4 year period, the Queensland Racing Industry would have been in a position to assume responsibility for the Industry, this is still not the case. Based on the current level of Industry involvement, I would guess that it will still be some time before the Queensland Racing Industry is in a position to assume responsibility for the training of its’ participants.
Part of the reasoning behind the media’s involvement and the politicising of the issues I understand is that the industry has felt the government has precluded the industry on any of its’ (major) decision-making processes. That is, the government’s centralised management and leadership philosophy has actually been blamed for the lack of involvement and ownership displayed by the Queensland Racing Industry. This viewpoint is denied by government. The government justifies their position by suggesting that the QRI has never displayed any degree of maturity in the professional running of the industry.
However, irrespective of which viewpoint one accepts (the governments’ or the industry’s), it seems to me that central to this debate is one of professional disagreement and mutual feelings of mistrust and disrespect. These attributes, displayed by the two (2) parties would seem to me to be those stemming from a male ethos, rather than the more collaborative attributes of the female ethos. Termed the male ethos, Rogers suggests it is characterised by a competitive operating style; a hierarchical organisational structure; a basic objective of winning; a rational problem-solving style; and other characteristics such as high control, unemotional, analytical and strategic methodologies (Rogers:1988:1-8). In contrast, the female ethos is characterised by a cooperative operating style; a team organisational structure; a basic objective of quality output; an intuitive and rational problem-solving style; and other characteristics such as low control, empathetic, collaborative and high performance standards (Rogers:1988:1-8) (my italics). This male ethos then is in principle diametrically opposite to the ethics of the female ethos. Given this distinction, it is not possible then to totally dismiss the industry’s claim that the government has not included them sufficiently in the development of the training sector of the Racing Industry. Perhaps then, the claims that the type of training that is being delivered as having only marginal relevance to the industry could be applicable as well.
I hold that these two ethos are mutually exclusive, and furthermore, when the controlling ethos is that of a male, then it is by definition, impossible for the female ethos to exist. I believe that it is perhaps this operational paradigm that has prevented the QRI from realising its true potential. That is, to be a self- regulating, responsible, accountable industry body.
It is clear that the philosophy that the division operates out of is one of a centralised approach. Characterised by a hierarchical organisational structure, the division views leadership in terms of how the managers can influence the staff to pull in the same direction. Staff are not asked to participate or contribute in the management process (except in the instances when a hard decision needs to be made and the division wanted the staff to arrive at the realisation that a hard decision had to be made) (Smyth:1993: 1). Gemmill and Oakley suggested that “as a result of deeply ingrained cultural assumptions, approaches to the study of leadership usually start with the idea that leaders are unquestionably necessary for the functioning of an organisation” (Gemmill & Oakley:1992:113). As Watkins noted: “Traditional stances in leadership take for granted the one-directional flow from the leader to the led” (Watkins:1989:10). When discussing QRITC staff relation issues within the division, the word most often used to describe how the division expected the staff at QRITC to behave was ‘compliance’. Rogers proposes that this traditional philosophy is of a male persuasion.
Struggling between the need for departmental compliance, and yet attempting to meet the needs of the fee-paying customers, the staff of QRITC have found themselves in a precarious operational situation. There have been many examples of the conflict of these contrasting needs, with the result being:
  • an inability of staff to meet the needs of the client, no matter how easy the solution would have been to effect, and;
  • spontaneous action on the staff’s part to service the needs of the client, only to be reprimanded for acting ‘out of authority’ (that is, not waiting for permission to act).
I think that the resultant culture that has formed is one of frustration (felt by those that can see what needs to happen but no authorisation to do anything about it), followed by operational performance mediocrity (when the staff console themselves of the situational helplessness, caused in part due to the slow response time between when things should happen and when they actually do).
However, at the core of this problem is a characteristic that I feel has had the greatest impact on QRITC. It is what I call the ‘centralised one day, decentralised the next’ syndrome. It is my observation that QRITC suffers from a lack of sound management practice. Defined by Griffin as “that practice that attempts to make the unpredictable, predictable”, sound management practice is clearly accepted as a key to effective commercial organisations (Griffin: 1996:48). It is also accepted that sound management practice results from either a sound manager or ‘sound’ procedures (Gerber:1995:81). The ‘centralised one day, decentralised the next’ syndrome is where the management practices are negligent, and the main controller rules by having a say in every day practice, and therefore never sets in place accepted appropriate management procedures. Things progress smoothly whilst the main controller is involved. Then because things are moving smoothly, the main controller offers or accepts other opportunities to expand the activities. This takes their attention from the original area of activity to the new area. This new entrepreneurial venture then occupies their time and concentration, rather than the original area. Again, staff find themselves in a precarious operational situation. With little direct guidance, staff find themselves in the situation with the result being:
           A.   Either the staff feel disempowered to make any decisions or show any initiative as they are dependant upon advice for an appropriate action/have been conditioned to be led to an appropriate action; or;
           B.    they proceed with what they feel is the appropriate action, only to be reprimanded for stepping beyond their authority or for taking the inappropriate action. A natural progression of this is that staff return to situation A.
The problem with the procedures being held  by the sound manager approach, is that it prevents effective delegation from occurring, as the delegate to the sound manager relies on their constant input and approval for the manner any delegations are effected. Add to this the situation where the manager is unavoidably removed from the day to day operations, and we have a situation that could go either way (staff respond A or B). Secondly, if or when that manager decides to leave the institution, the procedures leave with them. Perhaps some competent people join the organisation at various points (that is, the organisation buys in expertise to address an immediate/urgent need), and because of those professionals’ own skill levels, a positive impact can be made (to some degree). However, it was my observation, that at some point, those people also get relegated to situation A or B as the controller bounces between projects, giving little guidance, but still expecting to have a hand in the controlling of the operation. These professionals soon get frustrated, and leave. The controller at this point needs to make a mature decision to see the error of their ways (and I would argue that a mature decision-maker would not get themselves into that position in the first place). They need to reduce their activities back to the original core elements until such time that the appropriate procedures have been implemented. Until that occurs I believe, the organisation will stumble along into the future. The culture of these types of organisations becomes set in chaos, blame becomes a common characteristic, and ownership for the organisation is always controlled by the one person. Battling the elements of unpredictable business life soon becomes the way of life: the challenge for these entrepreneurial types. I think that compounding the centralised management style, without sound/accepted forms of management practice, the operational process at QRITC, ensuring the delivery of quality commercial education, broke down.
Drucker poses that the emerging world is going to be of a somewhat different form to that which the traditional theories have been based upon (Drucker:1997:19), thereby necessitating a further change in our perspective.  It follows then that a new organisational theory is needed. Limerick, Cunnington and Crowther present what they see as a new management process required for such organisations, given the times (Limerick, Cunnington and Crowther:1998:231).
vision-blue-print-image
Referred to as the 4th Blueprint, Limerick et al outline the characteristics that an organisation would be. Centred on a principle of participation, the new organisation utilises a new perspective (relative to the traditional view) of what leadership is required. In a participative leadership approach it is said, that neither the concept of leadership nor authoritarian hierarchical rule exists. Fundamentally, with the participative approach, the concept of who leads is a much broader concept. In such a model, everyone within the organisation can be seen as being a leader, an interdependent, self-regulating team player that is assisting the organisation to a greater, degree of success, whatever that may be.
global_leadership
Rogers puts forward that the distinction between authoritative and participative leadership approaches can be explained from the philosophical viewpoint, the male and female ethos (Rogers:1988:1). In a participative leadership approach, the characteristics of the female ethos (as already explained) exist. That is, a cooperative operating style; a team organisational structure; low control, collaborative and high performance standards (Rogers:1988:1-8) (my italics). In contrast, the concept of authoritarian hierarchical rule is characterised by the male ethos traits; a competitive operating style; a hierarchical organisational structure; a basic objective of winning; and high control (Rogers:1988:1-8). I would therefore put forth that only once the concept of authority is disregarded, can the concept of participation be adopted. It is at this point of mutual exclusivity, that the concept of leadership necessarily changes.
Organisations of the future need everyone thinking about what new directions to pursue. No one person can now lead from the front. Future leadership will depend on complex knowledge and innovation from all. Innovators will lead by showing where an industry is likely to go next. The implication of this is that leaders will not necessarily be inside an organisation to achieve this. We already speak of ‘market leaders’. It follows then that leadership can come from anywhere.
I think that at present, whilst it could be argued that we are moving towards such an ideal, our governments are controlled by the ethics of the traditional male ethos of accountability, politics, power and securing and maintaining ones’ personal (financial) position. I believe that the Division of Racing exemplifies this view. However, if it is the requirement of contempoary business to have many active participants throughout the organisation, it could now be said that this traditional ‘male’ concept of leadership is redundant. It has been suggested that a solution to this call for a more balanced view of educational organisations, incorporating more of a female ‘participative’ ethos, is site-based management.
site-based-management
I will take this opportunity to introduce the basic premise of site-based management, highlighting how an educational organisation could benefit, in real terms through such increased efficiencies in productivity, procedures and a greater degree of product/client alignment through product diversity (Cope and Kalantzis:1997:135). Site-based management has almost as many variants as there are places claiming to be “site-based”. Smyth, Caldwell, Crowther, Hargreaves and others note the diversity of terminology. The internet also displays the diversity of interpretation, with many using the expression as a recognisable ‘buzz-word’, irrespective of the authenticity of the concept.
Several reasons for initiating site-based management (SBM) have been presented. Noble, Deemer and Davis explain SBM is typically implemented for the following objectives: shared governance through decentralisation; and, collaborative decision-making. They continue by suggesting that “explicit and implicit outcomes for school- based management often…include 1) improved academic achievement; 2) increased accountability; 3)empowerment; and 4) political utility” (Noble, Deemer and Davis: 1996:1). Therefore the ultimate outcome of SBM could be seen as a way of improving learner achievement. Although site-based management appears in many guises, and at its core is the idea of participatory decision-making at the institutional site, despite all the variations in rationale, its main stated objective is to enhance student achievement. Participatory decision-making and school improvement are presumed to be related, but that’s not always the case. To others, site-based management is a governance reform designed to shift the balance of authority among institutions, their greater districts (in QRITC’s case, the industry) and the state. This tends to be the rationale behind state efforts rather than district reforms, and it is often part of a larger reform agenda that claims to trade institutional autonomy for accountability to the state (Caldwell and Spinks in Caldwell:1996:4). To others again, site-based management is a political reform initiated to broaden the decision-making base, either within the institution, the larger community, or both. But democratization of decision- making as an end in itself leaves open the question of who should be involved in which decisions (Caldwell and Spinks in Caldwell:1996:4). This would appear to be the QRI’s motive/view.
Site-based management may also be an administrative reform to make management more efficient by decentralising and deregulating it. Here, too, management efficiency presumably serves the ultimate goal of the organisation-student learning. Yet another premise of site-based management as educational reform is that the way to enhance student learning is to let education professionals make the important professional decisions (Rizvi: 1993:1). It is this practice that I believe QRITC has shown to benefit the learners. Decentralised management forms, allowing education professionals to make the important professional decisions, could net positive benefits for QRITC. One result could be a more aligned organisational/client product, effectively giving the learner a better education. I would argue that by preventing the educational staff at QRITC from consistently making these decisions, is negatively impacting the organisation’s ability to effectively deliver commercial education.
Some however are more cynical. Smyth reports that the “rhetoric of devolution” (one of the many terms for SBM ) is claimed to be occurring as a means for the government to be delegating the responsibility, but withholding the authority that normally goes with that responsibility (Smyth:1993:1). The situation I suggested earlier – when a hard decision by the division needed to be made, so the division (out of character) delegated the responsibility to the staff in order to have them arrive at the realisation themselves – exemplifies this. Further complicating the landscape, there are often underlying motives. Stated purposes may obscure far less lofty aims, such as weakening entrenched and distrusted local managers, creating the illusion of reform without investing more resources, putting a positive spin on central office downsizing by calling it decentralization, or simply trying to shift the blame for failure to the institution itself. It would appear that several have accussed the Division of Racing of being guilty of these practices.
To add another perspective to the positive picture being painted about SBM, I would like to propose the down side of participative practices. When a group is formed by bringing together people who have never worked as a group before, who may have no experience in collaborative decision-making, and who may in fact have a history of being adversaries (farriers and stewards, educators and business operators, for example), progress may not always be an ensuing result. This has been exemplified in several government initiated industry advisory panels. Individual lobby interests have taken precedence over the agenda items that effect the industry as a whole. To make matters worse, some members who may be subject to evaluation by other members (potential industry assessors and the QRITC manager, most obviously), have elected to withhold their opinion for the fear that their view would impact their potential assessing opportunity. I would ask, that in the examples presented here, is this participative process going to necessarily improve student/learner achievement? Will it in real terms benefit the learner? Or, will this participative forum have flow on effects, benefiting the industry or educational environment, perhaps indirectly influencing an improvement in learner achievement?
Participatory management (SBM) does not I believe hold the view that all parties have to be involved in all levels of discussion, everytime. Some decisions are best left to the professionals in the institution (as presented), some to parents, and others to students. Some decisions are appropriately made by representatives of several constituencies, others by a formal industry body. Nor does site-based management mean that all decisions are appropriately made at the institutional level. Institutions have to accept that they belong to a larger system—industry and state – that must provide a strong centre if decentralisation is to create effective education (Caldwell:1996:3-19)
An example of a decision that should be best left to the institution’s professionals is that of curriculum and instruction methodologies. Curriculum and instruction methodologies are difficult to deal with, for educators and non-educators alike. These issues are even more difficult to tackle when governing bodies mandate new assessments that require teaching methods that may be unfamiliar to the actual instructors that have to implement them.
curriculum-design
In addition, when there are serious consequences for unsatisfactory student performance – especially teacher or principal dismissal –  but a lack of knowledge about how to improve student performance, trust and constructive dialogue are further undermined. This therefore raises the issue of who decides what within the process. It has been my experience that sound decisions are made by those who are informed about and care about the issues and who know the context in which the decision will be carried out. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that these decisions will be any better than those made by policymakers many steps removed. In fact, it is even possible for this scenario to occur within a school-based decision framework if the decision is made by only one person, and that person was uninformed and insensitive to the context. This also occurred at QRITC some time ago, when the Division allowed delegation of responsibility for the curriculum. However, I would understand that this delegation occurred as a result of the Division not being:
  1. informed, or ;
  2. having the time to be involved due to other ‘pet’ projects in other areas.
As a result, the person that was delegated the responsibility also was not informed as to the specifics of the context.
The challenge I believe, is to maximise the likelihood that decisions will be appropriately participatory, informed, and sensitive to the context. It would appear that it is now accepted that the success of educational institutions is largely dependent upon relevant leadership. If the definition of leadership as proposed in the female ethos was to be adopted, social participants would play a much greater empowered active role in society, leading small productive groups as equals. However, as highlighted, merely leading small productive groups, supposedly as equals, does not ensure that the ideals of the female ethos are achieved. After all, if the participative activity is a manipulative attempt to realise male ethos objectives, then this does not equate to the inclusion of active participants. In fact, I would suggest that as the staff recognise the pattern, it further disillusions them, disempowering them from possible productive participation.

Conclusion

I have attempted to analyse this institutional situation, showing how two issues of ‘Leadership and Management: Changing Agendas in Education’ can impact the effective delivery of quality contemporary commercial education.
The issues I chose were: the debate between centralised and decentralised management forms (Smyth:1993:1) ; and, the discussion of engendering; particularly the differences between what is now referred to as the male and female ethos (Rogers:1988:1). I have chosen these as the priority of what an organisation should consider. These macro issues, are the issues that could without initial consideration, prevent the delivery of quality contemporary education. I feel therefore the organisation needs to give these conscious (philosophical) consideration.
I highlighted the educational institution’s (QRITC) management and leadership style, and the effects this has had upon the organisation’s positioning within the industry for effective delivery of quality contemporary education. I proposed that two (2) of the responsibilities of Racing Division, the Management and Leadership of a Public Service Division of a Department and the Management and Leadership of a Commercially Run Operation Sub-Program, were in effect conflicting ideals.
Of consequence, the resultant culture at QRITC I believe exemplified how a centralised ethos, and in this specific instance, one that possesses a lack of sound/accepted forms of management practice, negatively impacted the effective delivery of quality contemporary commercial education. It therefore provided the necessary justification as to why development is required to progress the traditional male management and leadership style to a more progressive alternative inclusive/ participative female management and leadership style.
In my next blog in this series, I plan to outline a possible option – a more progressive alternative inclusive/ participative management and leadership style, site-based management – that QRITC could pursue, to ensure a far more effective delivery of quality contemporary commercial education can be realised.
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– ©David L Page 30/05/1999
– updated ©David L Page 12/09/2013
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.