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.
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Educational Philosophy Part 2

Know one self, develop mastery of one self

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

Doctoral Research Study – Part 1

My journey begins….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2014b) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 1st Observation

Commencing the doctoral program, I had a relative clear idea of my proposed research study problem. I say relative as, as I have progressed through the many twists and turns of my doctoral program, I have gained clarity regarding just about every aspect of my planned research topic – my practice, my self understanding, the music styles I am attracted to, the reasons I use certain technologies, workflows, just to name a few. In few ways do I consider my self to be the same person – the same practitioner as when I considered embarking on this post-doctoral journey in 2014. This is my journey. Buckle up, as I take you for the ride of my life.
By the end of 2014, I had a clear idea of my research study problem. I made music in two ways:
  1. using physical instruments; and,
  2. using digital virtual technologies
I wanted to know why I felt connected to my music-making when using physical instruments, and why I largely did not feel connected to my music-making when using digital virtual technologies.
I made music via physical instruments. I strummed chords on a guitar or piano, hummed or played a melodic phrase, developed lyrics, and over time a song emerged. I felt connected to the music. I recall getting positive feedback when I shared my acoustic instrument-based songs with an audience. I followed this approach many hundreds of times over several decades.
As technologies developed, I transitioned into music-making using digital virtual technologies. I invested in virtual technologies, trialling a number of virtual music-making applications – digital audio workstations (DAWs). I experimented; I spoke to local pro audio retailers; I experimented some more; I bought instructional books and videos; I studied; I experimented a lot more. Over a number of years however, I found that irrespective of how much time and money I invested into my virtual music-making production practice, I never managed to achieve a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – as I had music-making using physical instruments. There was one instance, a remix project where I felt a connection. That experience gave me hope that my attempts to use virtual technologies to make music I felt connected to, was not going to be in vain.

1st Observation.P1a.renamed

(2017)

End product orientated in my music-making

I acknowledged that I naturally took an end product focus with my music-making. Perhaps due to the relative ease I made music via physical instruments, I had never felt a need to consciously consider my music-making process. Similarly, I viewed my music-making in virtual technologies from an end product perspective. However, because I struggled with the results of my making music via virtual technologies, I had begun to realise that I perhaps needed to reconsider that approach. Perhaps I needed to consciously consider my music-making process?
A question that arose in my mind was:
  • how did I achieve this connection in one form of music-making – using physical instruments, and not another form of music-making – using digital virtual technologies?
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study Part 2a (Page 2015). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 1st Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015. Doctoral Research Study Part 2a Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study Part 2 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
– @David L Page 29/01/2015
– David L Page 15/04/2015
– David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 2

A year to remember….

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2014b) for the previous blog.

My life – music-making and education & learning

My journey in music-making commenced a number of decades ago. I made music via physical instruments. I strummed chords on a guitar or piano, hummed or played a melodic phrase, developed lyrics, and over time a song emerged. I felt connected to the music. I recall getting positive feedback when I shared my acoustic instrument-based songs with an audience. I followed this approach several hundred times over several decades, and because of the relative ease these songs came to me, I never had felt a need to consciously consider my music-making process.

Guitar Room.20141004.P2.v3

(Page 2014c)
As technologies developed, I transitioned into music-making using digital virtual technologies. I invested in virtual technologies, trialling a number of virtual music-making applications – digital audio workstations (DAWs). I experimented; I spoke to local pro audio retailers; I experimented some more; I bought instructional books and videos; I studied; I experimented a lot more. Over a number of years however, I found that irrespective of how much time and money I invested into my virtual music-making production practice, I never managed to achieve a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration grew using virtual technologies to make music. I enrolled into a practical tertiary course. The course assisted me greatly to develop my theory and practical skills. However, using virtual technologies to make music that I felt connected to, (largely) continued to elude me. There was one instance, a remix project where I felt a connection. That experience gave me hope that my attempts to use virtual technologies to make music I felt connected to, was not going to be in vain. I continued to experiment; I continued to read; I continued to invest; I continue to immerse my self into my virtual music-making production practice. However, I still found I wasn’t achieving a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – using virtual technologies to make music as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration was at an all-time high. I had arrived at a juncture in my life where I felt there was now no alternative: my virtual music-making production practice needed an intervention. I needed to put my creative practice using virtual technologies to make music, under scrutiny.
AE Project Studio
(Page 2014d)
In 2013 I applied to a formal academic research program – a professional doctorate program. I was accepted in readiness for commencing in 2014. However, as I neared the 2014 commencement date I accepted my very busy education and training role was not going to be conducive to embarking on such a demanding journey as a doctoral research study, at that time. I therefore immediately applied for a delayed commencement to 2015.

qut-logo

With my delayed commencement formalised, it allowed me to reconsider – to delve down into the many ideas I had for a higher degree research study topic. I developed mindmaps for each of the nineteen (19) potential topic ideas I had, drilling down to see where they took me. I was looking for a topic that allowed me to research as many aspects of interest.
saeq-joint-logo-201309
In 2013/2014 I was practicing creatively, while also lecturing in creative media across the range of audio production modules – audio theory, signal flow, microphones, processing – , and a cross-disciplinary creative media studies module. SAE Institute has been going through exponential development – strategically and structurally.  With a radical change to the focus of their academic programs, new academic staff were being recruited to lead the re-writing of the academic programs. SAE Institute revised focus was now to be project-based learning, promoting learners to engage to more in the learning process, developing assessment tasks that met their interests while realising the required learning outcomes. A major benefit of this approach was the possibility of cross-disciplinary collaborations. As part of the revised focus, all undergraduate programs were now to include studies in the broad discipline of creative media studies and critical thinking. As a Senior Lecturer with broad experience across a number of disciplines, I was assigned to assist on one of the new cross-disciplinary creative media studies module. Late last year the new versions of the undergraduate programs were rolled out.

cooltext170962165748837

However, despite many decades of post-compulsory education experience, I found in talking to the newly recruited academics a lot of their language that largely went over my head.  These new peers were recruited from within the Australian higher education (HE) institutional system. Following completion of their doctorates, most had taught in the specialised HE environment, whilst continuing with their research projects and publishing schedule.
As part of the creative media studies stream at our Institute, learners were now to be immersed in specific creative media lexis and theory, via tasks that guided the aspiring practitioners in the development of them selves as unique and individual creative media identities. They were to learn to critically consider what creative media is for them as practitioners; researching and investigating concepts and areas of the creative media industry they may possibly choose to engage in via their practice. They were to then apply these concepts to develop their unique creative media practice. With a developed sense of themselves, having time to form their world views, they would be guided in their development as aspiring professional practitioners; and as undergraduate academic researchers.

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014e)
My background, and therefore my approach, was so different. I had developed my multiple forms of practice throughout my life, fundamentally as a craftsperson. I was practical. I liked to be hands-on. I had learnt to become a successful practitioner via the 10,000 hour rule – practice, consider, practice, reconsider, practice, etc. I had a Masters level of education, but I didn’t ever consider my self as a higher education critical thinker. I was a practical person that looked at outcomes. This is what I did for organisations over a number of decades – I improved outcomes. I was analytical for a functional outcome. My brief entrée in an education doctorate program in 1999 reinforced this. I accepted I was not naturally inclined as a scholar. I was a functional, practical practitioner.
When the newly recruited academics began arriving at SAE Institute late last year, speaking a language that largely went over my head, I felt very out of place. By the beginning of this year, I felt very challenged. Challenged on every front: as an educational practitioner, despite my years of experience, knowledge and developed skills; as a music practitioner – again, despite my years of diverse experience, knowledge and developed skills; as a guide and mentor to my learners. A question I asked my self was: how could I guide others when I was struggling with my own learning? I was struggling to both understand and engage in all forms of technology and networking opportunities currently on offer via the internet that were now part of the Institute’s degree program. I recall questioning my place within the higher education environment; I recall questioning my place within the Institute; in fact, I even recall questioning my place within an organisational workplace.
full-2
I have never considered my self smart, but had the experience of knowing what had served me well for most of my life: the principle of 10,000 hours (Page 2004). I decided to engage developing this new knowledge and approaches to contemporary creative media practice in the only way I knew how: hours of research, and hours of trial and error. My motive to engage in this were: I knew I needed to learn in order to model to my learners what their assessment tasks were asking of them; I needed to learn in order to be able to guide my learners as to how to do such tasks effectively and efficiently; I needed to learn in order to model the importance of these approaches in order for them to develop an industry ready practice by the end of their degrees; I needed to learn in order to engage with my new peers – the recently recruited academics; I knew I needed to learn in order to embrace new ways of seeing my practice – to see my creative practice through a different set of eyes. After all, my eyes had only gotten me so far in my creative media career. I was also reminded that my entire point of my engaging in my intended higher degree research was to discover what I had not been able to discover within my own means. Whilst this process was not yet part of my doctoral research study, I recall seeing the situation I found my self in as an opportunity to learn and develop under the tutorage of several published creative media academics. In addition to understanding the value of hard work, I also understood that I had always been an opportunist. I decided to embrace this opportunity of these new found peers, irrespective of whether I could immediately see the point or benefit of how such new knowledge or approach was going to apply to my creative practice. Frankly, I couldn’t. My head chatter throughout the year has been at a critical level. Internally, almost on a daily basis, I have been debating the pros and cons of such knowledge or approach, particularly in regards to the internet-based technology and networking opportunities.
learning-philosophy
Below is a small sample list of journal entries I have written in 2014. These journal entries record my newly acquired knowledge and approach to my music-making practice. These have been written for my eyes only, in order to record my learning, and to frame my position with regard to these topics as a practitioner; particularly for my role as an education and learning practitioner in a creative media higher education institution. You will note: some of the journal entries are more technical in nature – for example, the first four (4) Critical listening journals; some are about developing how, as a practitioner, I interact with society – for example the Media Identity and Curation journal; whilst others are about reflecting on my autobiography, and starting to consider who I was as a music practitioner – for example Beginnings, Life is About the Moment, What Brought Me Here and Genealogy. I concluded this year with the journal entry Reflecting Part 1 (as described in Doctoral Research Study Part 1  (Page 2014b), reflecting upon my life up until now. I was about to embark up a new journey in academia, and needed now to ground my self, and begin to focus on the journey in front of me.
(Page 2017a)
I believe going through this intensive one plus year long process was worthwhile in my development as an education and learning practitioner, in the specific discipline of creative practice. As I acquired this new knowledge, I found I now:
·       felt more broadly informed when I taught related topics at this Institute; and
·       more informed and better able to engage with learners in a range of discussions that I had been able to previously;
·       more equipped to respond quickly to their many questions, irrespective of which discipline they were engaged in;
·       whilst I was not of the belief that I had yet arrived at a clear sense of my identity following this twelve (12) to fifteen (15) months worth of development, I did accept that I now had a positive view of the direction I was heading in. I had a sense that I was on the right path.  I was seeking new knowledge about alternative approaches to what I had previously considered. I had a sense that my nervous excitement, looking to the horizon in front of me, was infectious, and motivating for most of the learners that I engaged with at the Institute.
~DLP Gretsch Profile.20141006.v2
(Page 2014f)
I therefore consider this experience to have been very worthwhile in my development as an education and learning practitioner, in the specific discipline of creative practice. I inherently knew that it also prepared me better for my pending studies in 2015.

Preparing for 2015

Yes, I was excited about my pending studies; nervously excited about the journey into what was largely unknown territory for me – academic research. In some ways, I likened my nervous – apprehensive – excitement to that of the character Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit (Bros 2014): nervous about embarking on a new adventure – perhaps even somewhat resistant; but trusting I was in need of going on this adventure, for a greater good. It was for me, in many ways, a self-imposed intervention process. I know I needed to look at my creative practice through a different set of eyes. As I have mentioned: the eyes I had previously been looking through had only gotten me so far in my creative media career. I knew I needed to walk down new paths in order to discover new knowledge and approaches that I had not been able to discover within my own means in all my prior decades of practice. I was ready to apply my self to the commitment that others had led me to understand was going to be required. Of the new academic peers I had met, one had taken ten (10) years to attain their doctorate; another seven (7) years; another six (6) years; another five (5) years. I knew undertaking a three (3) full-time doctoral program, whilst working in a very demanding full-time education and learning role, was going to need focus, and lots of hours: probably 10,000 hours.

qut-logo

2017 Update

I commenced the doctoral program in 2015. My formal research journey had begun. On the back of the new acquired knowledge and approach in 2014, I implemented a new blog strategy at the beginning of 2015. This saw me changing my blog site from tumblr.com to wordpress.com. I did this for a number of reasons, but primarily due to:
  • wordpress.com is what we were guiding our students to create as their primary creative practice blog site;
  • functionality of the wordpress.com site, including the use-friendly nature of the interface, the editing features, and the ability to publish multi-media within the one entry.
wordpress-site-20160129
(Page 2017b)
These journal entries were published retrospectively in wordpress.com as blog posts as soon as I opened that site. The small sample of blogs I currently have listed on my wordpres.com site under the menu category DCI Phase 0 – Starting Point (Page 2017c) – are representative of some of this new knowledge and approach I acquired and developed during this period. These journals/blogs were completed prior to my official commencement of my doctoral studies, the research study I was choosing to embark on to hopefully find answers to my long-term queries regarding my music practice: 10,000 words book-ending the beginning of my research study.

images

 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with A creative artists need (Page 2015). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
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.
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning Accessed 17th December, 2014
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017a. DLP Blog Category Topics Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2017b. David L Page wordpress.com site Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2017c. DCI Phase 0 Starting Point Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2015. A Creative Artist’s Need – Gratitude Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Linked-In site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 1 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014c image courtesy of David L Page My Space site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014d. David L Page Pinterest site Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014e image courtesy of David L Page You-tube site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014f image courtesy of David L Page About.me site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 17th December, 2014
Pulsating image courtesy of:  Image Accessed 17th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of: QUT Accessed 17th December, 2014
SAE QANTM image courtesy of: SAE QANTM Creative Media Institute Accessed 17th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 8th March, 2014.
– @David L Page 17/12/2014
– 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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Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 1

Preparing for my research study

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

 (Page 2014a)

Learning and development

Just being me……

I have never considered my self smart. My schooling test results were mainly above-average, but I worked consistently, and often for long hours in order to achieve these. I recall I often looked to those who got the top grades – those who appeared to do it effortlessly – and wondered what they had inside their heads that I didn’t. My mother was strict, and prohibited me from going out to play until I had done my chores, and homework. I therefore sat there, and continued to toil, in order to be able to get outside. It brought both resentment (for being denied play time) and conviction (to get my chores or home tasks completed, in order to get outside to enjoy playtime). Possibly this was imposed as a result of other behaviour I exhibited in the years prior, but I don’t recall what or when this, may have been.
I do however recall I always seemed to get into trouble with my parents, relatives and teachers, just for being me.  Mmmmm……… Ok, I was probably mischievous. Thinking back, there was the time I talked my neighbour’s sister into going with me to the local gas station to buy a packet of cigarettes. I recall I was seven (7) years old, and she was possibly four (4) years old at best. What was the fuss? No one was harmed – just a simple afternoon walk. It was of no consequence to anybody really…… well, except the girl’s parents. When they eventually found out, they in turn told my parents. Mmmm…. banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month.
I perhaps had a limited filter between my thoughts and my mouth. I thought, I spoke, I acted.
images
 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
My mother was an active P+C member in my schools, and therefore she knew the teachers, and most likely, the principal. One of my school principals was a very social person. He would hang in the school grounds and talk to the students at break times. He was large – a big guy – with snow white hair, and a large jovial face. Much like I imagined Santa Claus would look like in an everyday suit. He was well over weight. I recall – when I was about six (6) years old – during a playground catch up sharing with him what my brother and sister called him at home – Fatty Arbuckle.  Several days later, I recall coming home to be greeted by my mother…. mmmm….I was  banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month. She had heard through the Principal at a P+C meeting what I had shared with him. I hadn’t told him to be malicious – I just thought it was funny, and wanted to share it with him. I was sure he would enjoy it. Mmmmm…. note to self.

Left-handed

I was left-handed. Up until I was about eight (8) years old, the teachers at my first primary school made me sit on my left-hand during class times, to (as they said) ‘get it (my left-handedness) out of my system’. I remember when I moved up to the next class level at another school, being told to sit on my left-hand was no longer a focus of the teacher. I recall wondering whether this ceasing to focus on my left-handedness being an issue at the new school was due to the teacher, the school’s approach, or in fact it was just the end of an era of left-handedness being considered wrong.

Always smiling

I recall I was naturally happy – smiling, and this too caused issues. Again with parents, relatives, and teachers – wondering with such a smile on my face, what I was up to. I recall a teacher talking sternly to our class one day (we had possibly been talking and acting up while waiting to be let into our home room after a lunch break). All students were standing, ready to be seated by our teacher prior to class, as she dressed us down for our noisy behaviour in the corridor. I was apparently standing there, during this dressing down, with a smile on my face. “What are you smiling at?” she barked. “I, I , I am happy?” I responded meekly. The class laughed, though I am unsure of whether they were laughing with me, or perhaps laughing at me?
DLP_Age 4_Cropped_Fade.P2
 (Page 2016)
I was average at individual sport, but recognised early on, the advantage of team sports. I learnt that within a team I could excel. I became a year house captain within my school; and played in team sports on Saturday mornings, with a team that was consistently in the top two teams in the district over an 8 year period.

Practical approach

I was always a practical person, wanting to do things with my hands, but also realised I wanted to know how it worked, and how I could use it for other applications. I pulled apart all kinds of gadgets, toys, billy carts, wheel-barrows; antique clocks, motor mowers, motorbikes, and cars. I admit I didn’t like the follow up process – the putting back together of these things. I had learnt in pulling them apart what I needed to know – how it worked, so that I could then consider other applications. I made (make believe) sports cars, space ships, and moon craft with the many parts I had before me – all in the backyard. Once I had created my make believe craft, I would then move onto the next thing. Yes, I got bored quickly.

Industry beckoning me

I quit school because I was bored, preferring to get out start working with adults. I started engineering at a trade level, but quickly realised, as soon as I had worked out the how, I was again ready to move on. I then applied to enter tertiary study, fumbling my way through a bachelor’s degree without having completed the final two years of high school. I used the time to explore all manner of things – philosophy, re-engage with my music-making, experiencing social events, bands, pubs, live gigs, and girls. I struggled to find my place in that institution studying a business degree, but looking through many photos of that era, I recall I had a lot of fun trying. Eventually, when I ended up graduating, I immediately headed overseas to explore the world. I arrived in Asia to an opportunity in corporate education and training. I played in a number of cross-cultural band, performing at many cultural festivals. As a foreign educator and trainer, I was also volunteered to make addresses at significant events in the local region, such as at the openings of bridges and at local government and community meetings. I gained invaluable experience and skills, that had I stayed in my native Australia, i would not have had similar opportunities. Several years passed and I returned home. I considered my options, and chose to formalise my experience gained in education and training with qualifications, in order to be able to continue my education and learning practice in Australia.
japan_grunge_flag

Corporate experience

After some ten (10) years of practice, the next level of formal qualifications beckoned. I re-entered university to complete my masters degree. At its conclusion, it was suggested I progress onto a doctorate in that discipline. However, after only a short time of study, I was tempted back into industry. The choice was easy for me to make – to apply in real life my proposed thesis topic, rather than remaining at university and developing the thesis statement theoretically.
I commenced managing a local site of a globally-run business, and within a few years had surpassed all projected targets. I progressed into a number of global leadership roles. These required much local and international travel attending conferences, and leading staff training and professional development sessions across a number of content areas: organisational and operational management (including finance, HR, business development, systems and processes), and my developing expertise -corporate culture. Within a global business with over 30 sites around the globe, there was always a need for re-aligning sites to the organisational needs. My demonstrated expertise in change management provided an opportunity to move overseas permanently, heading a region that was now in financial difficulty, and facing deregulation by the countries’ governing body. Over a three year period, I liaised closely with government, governing bodies, financial institutions and head office to return the regional multi-site entity to full accreditation and profitability.  Unfortunately, just a few months after this GFC hit the global economy and over a twelve month period, the corporate entity – located in Japan – went into receivership. Fortunately, the region I had led in its development was one of the few secure entities to survive the GFC, and was able to be on-sold. My wife and I returned home to Australia, to enter our next phase.

Formal Studies

As my career had developed into governance roles, I formalised this experience with a qualification upon returning home. As a number of education, training and consulttancy opportunities arose, I arrived into the industry of my main passion, creative arts. Firstly, an education and training role in music and sound; followed by governance roles in film and arts business development. Having embarked on a doctorate previously, and not choosing to continue it, I had a feeling of incompleteness. In addition, having only formally studied my area of passion – music and sound – at an entry tertiary level, and still having so many unanswered questions, I decided to enquire what possible programs I could consider. In talking to several industry contacts, I was quickly referred to the Head of Department at one of Queensland’s leading universities, and over the course of a fifteen (15) minute conversation, a Doctorate of Creative Industries was suggested. I proposed a topic and after some months I received confirmation of my acceptance.

Symbol of my learning and development

Over the past number of years, I have used the image of the purple onion to represent my approach to life. I am committed to learning – something I have done over most of my life – looking under the many layers of my practice or self in order to gain more insight into life and practice. I still do not consider my self smart, but experienced. I believe in Ericsson’s 10,000 hours  (Ericsson in Page 2004), and believe much of my life’s success is based on constant and continued work, rather than any presence of intelligence. I therefore embark on my doctoral pilot study journey with this in mind, and trust that this approach will be sufficient to have me realise the required milestones, at the level of rigour expected of Australian tertiary studies.

onion-layers

My journey begins….
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 2 (Page 2014b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
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.
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning  Accessed 15th October 2013
Page, David L. 2016 image courtesy of: Slideshare  Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 2 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 15th December, 2014
Japan Grunge Flag Image courtesy of:  Japan Flag  Accessed 15th December, 2014.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 15th December, 2014.
– @David L Page 16/12/2014
– 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 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 5

Doctorate of Philosophy (Education) proposal

qut-logo

Further to my previous 3 part blog series International Edcuation and Leadership, I decided to embark on a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education. The following represents my Doctoral Research Study proposal submitted in October 2000, and accepted by Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia.
phd-cover-page-20001016                                               
Section 1.1 – Research Study Proposal Objective                        
Section 1.2 – Research Study Proposed Title                              
Section 1.3 – Research Study Proposed Question                 
Section 2.1 – Preliminary Literature Review                    
Section 3.1 – Methodology                                        
Section 4.1 – Suggested Time Line                              
Section 5.1 – Bibliography                                         

Section 1

Research Study Proposal Objective

  • Recently ELICOS ESOL teachers’ roles have been reported to have broadened beyond what was previously expected (Crichton 1994;Walker 2000). I propose that this development has been as a result of the industry’s and providers’ attempt to improve the service provision (TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic in nature) for the customer’s (ESOL student’s) benefit, rather than as the result of developments in ESOL theory and methodology.
  • Such a customer-centred perspective emerges out of the contemporary management paradigm of service orientation. Central to this perspective is the ELICOS providers’ intent to remain market-responsive and profitable, securing their market share through providing a competitive TESOL service.
  • Within a ‘service organisation’, the attitudes of the employee towards their roles impacts directly upon how they will perform within the organisation. Specifically, what they are prepared to do and what they aren’t prepared to do: what they perceive as useful activities, and what they don’t. It is therefore important to the organisation to ascertain these employees’ opinions and perceptions. Given this then, it would be beneficial to identify ELICOS teachers’ attitudes and perceptions.
  • I feel that ELICOS ESOL teachers could have opinions about perceived trade-offs that may be considered to exist between the various aspects of the new broader ELICOS teaching roles. It is important to survey these service providers’ attitudes about their perceptions of their new broader roles. It is for this reason that such a research study has been decided to be undertaken: to gain distinctions of ELICOS ESOL teachers perception’s of their roles within an ELICOS service organisation.
The merit of highlighting the perceptions of ELICOS teachers of their roles is:
  • Such insights could provide valuable feedback for ELICOS Managers, Educational Managers and Program Coordinators about current professional development and teacher training practice for ELICOS ESOL teachers for the Australian service-orientated ELICOS context. This could be useful for both formal (University education training programs and ELICOS intensive teaching certificates) and informal teacher training program/event (in-house professional teacher development; conferences – EA, NEAS,ATESOL; association workshops – QTESOL; institution induction processes) purposes.

Research Study Proposed Topic

Given the contentious nature of the appropriateness of the inter-relationship between the two models, I have worded my topic as follows:
Have I Sold My Soul To The Devil?”
 However, due consideration of the inter-relationship of these two models I believe is deserved. Trying to derive possible benefits and synergies between two considered ‘incompatible’ disciplines could be a worthwhile exercise. As such, I have added the following advice:
“True Happiness Does Not Come From Obtaining What One Likes: It Comes From Cultivating A Liking For What One Dislikes” Gandhi-ji

Research Study Proposed Question 

  • What are ELICOS teachers’ perceptions of their new broader ESOL teacher employee role (in contrast to the more accepted expected ESOL teacher educational role) in the new market-based TESOL provision environment of College X?

Section 2

Preliminary Literature Review

THE NEW MARKET-BASED TESOL PROVISION ENVIRONMENT
The ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) industry in Australia was established in the early 1980’s. In 1982 there were 9 ELICOS member associations, with two of those commercial entities. The ESOL (English as a Second Other Language) industry was “still in its infancy, and managed to maintain a good reputation”. “However”, they pondered, “if the current rise in (ESOL) student numbers continues, it is likely that more commercial enterprises will spring up to deal with the demand” (EA:1990:9). Over the past eighteen years there has been comprehensive growth in the Australian ELICOS industry. The EA’s 1982 prediction has proved correct, with now over 190 NEAS accredited commercial institutions competing to service the 65,671 ELICOS students (1999) that have come to study in Australia [average of 345.6 students per college per year] (EA:2000:4).
As part of the global English language learning phenomenon, the number of nations providing ESOL has also grown over the past 20 years. In 1982, Britain was the main provider country of ESOL instruction (EA:1990:9). By 2000, the continents of Europe (England, Ireland), North America (Canada, USA), and Oceania (Australia, NZ) all provide TESOL opportunities, giving students now wishing to study ESOL a range of English speaking countries to choose from. These nations compete to gain the business of the potential ESOL student (Singh:2000:12).
In this preliminary literature review, I will show how this competitive English language learning phenomenon has had an impact on ELICOS ESOL teacher roles, broadening what is expected of the teachers. I will show how these developments are a result of the industry’s and providers’ attempt to improve the service provision (TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic in nature) for the customer’s (ESOL student’s) benefit, in order to remain competitive. The major development has come as a result of how ELICOS institutions are perceived conceptually from a management paradigm, more so than from developments in ESOL theory and methodology. This approach could be graphically represented as such below, showing the relationship between the two theoretical frameworks of service organization management and TESOL. 
service-organisational-paradigm-200010
As a result of these developments however, irrespective of whether one sees such development as necessary or even philosophically correct, a tension exists between the expected role of the ELICOS ESOL teacher educator, and this broader role now required of the ELICOS ESOL teacher as an employee of a service organization. Specifically therefore, in order to explore the extent of such tension, the preliminary literature review will examine:
  • Firstly, the service organization management paradigm and the role of the service organization employee, and;
  • Secondly, TESOL and the ESOL teacher role – both the expected ESOL teacher educator role, whereby generally only TESOL-academic activities were considered part of the ESOL teacher’s role, and the new broader ESOL teacher employee role which includes both TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic responsibilities, inside (classroom activities) and outside (non-classroom activities) of the classroom. 
The contrast between the two considered roles could be described as: 
service-employee-role-200010
Firstly, the service industry. The service industry is defined as one that is made up of service organizations, where each organization is providing a service to a (range of) customer/s (Hicks & Gullett:1976:44). McColl et al defines a service as “an activity or benefit that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything” (Kotler & Armstrong, 1991 in McColl et al:1998:45). The early definitions of services referred primarily to ‘essential’ (usually government-owned) services, such as hospital services, etc (Leebov,1988). A service organization was defined as one “that stands ready to assist persons without requiring full pay from each recipient of service” (Hicks & Gullett:1981:44). As such, “early economists paid little attention to services, considering them to be totally unproductive” in terms of contribution to the nation’s GDP (McColl et al:1998:45). However by the mid 1990’s, there was a shift in perceptions of what a service was, and what an organization that delivered service could be defined as. McColl et al contributed a broader definition of service: “the production of an essentially intangible benefit, either in its own right or as a significant element of a tangible product, which through some form of exchange satisfies an identified consumer need” (McColl:1998:47). This broadening of definition was due in part to a recognition by organisational managers of the importance of considering the needs of the consumer, as a result of increasing competitiveness in the global marketplace (Schneider & Bowen:1995:3). Classified in terms of characteristics held, a service organization is now said to be one that includes: ‘intangibility of service; inseparability of service; variability of service; perishability of service; and lack of ownership of service’ (McColl et al:1998:51). Schmenner claimed in 1995 that 70% of total employment in the US was now recognised as being attributed to the service sector. In fact, due to a broadening of the definition of ‘service’, Schemmer claimed that it would be now difficult to find any organization that couldn’t be classified as a service organization, given that all organizations could be defined as ‘attempting to satisfy a customers’ need’ (Schmenner:1995:2).
Walker (1999) suggests that the provision of TESOL should also be considered one of service, rather than in terms of provision of a product. Such a position accepts the ELICOS organization as a provider of language learning and associated services to international customers, rather than the provider of a ‘tangible product’. George in his study of ELICOS expectations found that the majority of ELICOS students surveyed, uncompromisingly expect a high level of service in all areas of living overseas, both academic and non-academic (George:1994:26). It is against this backdrop, that I would like to explore the implications of such a shift in organisational management paradigm upon one of the important roles of the ELICOS organization: that of the ELICOS ESOL teacher.
Discussion about the specific roles of ESOL teachers have continued over the past decade. Crandall’s (1999) “Preparing Teachers for Real Classrooms” highlight the fluidity of the TESOL area, with constantly changing roles and responsibilities of ESOL teachers, and therefore the need to continually reappraise the ESOL teacher role (Crandall:1999:1). Nunan confirmed this, finding that ESOL teachers were now expected to go beyond what they have previously been expected to do. When asked to summarise their perceptions of their newer ESOL teaching roles, “one group of teachers reflected that they saw themselves as having primary responsibilities for the following: firstly, identifying the learners’ needs; secondly, selecting and grading syllabus content; thirdly, selecting and creating materials and learning activities; fourthly, monitoring and assessing learner progress; and lastly, course evaluation” (Nunan:1998:8). Therefore, according to Nunan, it could be said that the two primary areas of a ESOL teachers responsibilities are considered to be that of TESOL-academic classroom activity and TESOL-academic non-classroom activity.
Last century marked the development of theory and teaching practice related to the provision of English as a Second Other Language (ESOL). Much research, debate and discussion over the last century was focussed upon the development of traditional perspectives of (first) language acquisition theory into a specific discipline of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Theory and ESOL Teaching Methodology (Nunan:1991:228). As a result, by the later half of the century, new theoretical and practitioner perspectives continued to emerge. Nunan (1991), in summarising some of what he considered to be the main methodologies of the century, suggested that these methods should be considered complimentary and therefore used in an eclectic approach by TESOL practitioners. Such eclectic approaches became very topical in the 1990’s, with Williams (1995), Lashway (1995), Fotos (1993), Howes (1993), Crabbe (1993), Freeman & Richards (1993), Imel (1986) and Richards & Rogers (1986) contributing their views on possible combinations of ESOL teaching approaches. The eclectic method, whilst perhaps providing an answer to a number of highlighted ESOL teaching methodological issues, is not without its’ own shortcoming. Namely, the effectiveness of a teacher to select from the various methods to make a pedagogically sound decision. (Kumaravadivelu:1994:28).
Kumaravadivelu (1994) suggests that the Post Method Condition, through principled pragmatism overcomes the weakness of the eclectic method and empowers the practitioner to construct a classroom oriented, location generated theory and practice. It also promotes teacher autonomy and this autonomy empowers the teacher to theorise from their practice and practice what they theorise (Kumaravadivelu:1994:31). Kumravadivelu describes the key to the post method condition as the ‘strategic framework for L2 teaching’. This framework consists of macrostrategies and microstrategies which assist the teacher to make theoretical, empirical and pedagogically sound decisions. A macrostrategy is the broad guideline, while the microstrategy refers to the classroom techniques. Therefore the macrostrategies are made operational in the classroom through the microstrategies (Kumaravadivelu:1994:32).  
 The ten (10) macrostrategies consisted in the framework are as follows:
  1. Maximum learning opportunities;
  2. Facilitate negotiate interaction;
  3. Mimimise perceptual mismatch. Through the awareness of the 10 potential sources of mismatch, the teacher is able to effectively intervene whenever problems are noticed in the classroom. The 10 potential sources are a) cognitive, b)communicative, c) linguistic, d) pedagogic, e) strategic, f) cultural, g) evaluative, h) procedural, i) instructional, j) attitudinal;
  4. Activate intuitive heuristics;
  5. Foster language awareness;
  6. Contextual linguistic input;
  7. Integrate language skills;
  8. Promote learner autonomy;
  9. Raise cultural consciousness;
  10. Ensure social relevance (Kumaravadivelu:1994:33-42). 
Kumaravadivelu proposes that the strategic framework encourages the development of strategic teachers who:
  1. a) reflect on the specific wants of a situation;
  2. b) reflect on the process of learning;
  3. c) stretch their knowledge, skill and attitude;
  4. d) stay informed and involved;
  5. e) design appropriate macro and micro strategies to maximise learning;
  6. f) monitor their response and create meaning (Kumaravadivelu:1994:43).
Kumaravadivelu (1994) however warns that in current language teaching institutions, two key changes will have to occur before the true potential of the post method condition can be realised. The first is that the institutions will have to implement a teacher training and development program so that the teacher can be truly empowered to be autonomous; and the second challenge is for institutions to go through a cultural readjustment as far as the attitude towards syllabus-dominated teaching is concerned.
It would seem therefore that ESOL teaching role expectations are largely derived from the institutions and groups with which the teachers work: schools systems, tertiary institutions, programme administrators, professional colleagues, teachers and students (Turney and Wright:1990:31). In reporting her experience as an ESOL support teacher in a mainstream school in Melbourne Australia, Akoudis highlighted the unique (and often under prepared and under considered) set of circumstances that ESOL teachers had to cope with, as well as the attitudes and limited understanding of the programme administrators and professional colleagues (Akoudis:1994:51). Whilst Crandall’s issues essentially surrounded her academic role as ESOL teacher (‘expected’ ESOL teacher educator role), the issues that Akoudis highlighted clearly involved a range of factors that existed additionally outside of this world. It included issues of both TESOL academic and non TESOL-academic responsibilities, requiring activities both inside and out of the classroom. These could be said to be the basis of the new broader ESOL teacher employee role.
Crichton, Jameson and Walker supports the view of the new broader ESOL teacher employee role, with both TESOL academic and non TESOL-academic functions. Crichton in his article ‘Students as Clients: Consequences for the Construction of Teaching Roles’ puts forward what he sees as two most prominent classroom roles of contemporary ELICOS teachers: that of teacher and marketer. Rather than being critical of the ‘conflict’ in the role, Crichton “challenges the assumption, prevalent in the content of ELT (English Language Teaching) training courses, that the role of the teacher is exhausted by the competent application of a particular methodology. This view of the teacher’s role pays insufficient attention to the complex and potentially conflicting obligations inherent in the role of the teacher/marketer (Crichton:1994:14). Crichton finally offers the suggestion that perhaps more valid consideration needs to be given to the context of the ELICOS classroom that the trainee teachers will enter upon their graduation. “ELT teacher training courses, which typically focus on the teacher/student relationship, would do well to pay attention to the constraints and dilemmas which face teachers in the management of clients” (Crichton:1994:14). Such observation shows the acceptance of a broader ELICOS teaching role. Acceptance also implies the willingness of Crichton to accept an increase in terms of the teachers’ duty and responsibility, given the additional non TESOL-academic nature of the role (teacher as marketer). Jameson reports on a model of ESOL teachers’ roles for an aspect of the ESOL industry in which she is involved in, workplace TESOL programs. The “role of the ESOL teacher” (methodological issues in the classroom) “is only one of many different roles that the workplace instructor is expected to fill. Other roles range from curriculum developer to program evaluator, from market analyst to program salesperson”. Such description highlights a ‘broader’ range of duties, four in all: marketing,  planning and development, implementing, and evaluating (Jameson:1997:1). Extending upon this, Walker (2000) puts forward that teachers in the provision of ESOL should be considered as service industry providers. “In terms of some of the roles and skills required, as well as the nature of the work itself, ESOL teachers’ work already embodies classic service provider fundamentals” (Walker:2000:30). Walker continues by outlining some of the benefits of doing this. ”Commercial TESOL operations exist within a competitive environment where success is linked to creating service quality” (Walker:2000:30). This perspective clearly shows a ‘market-based TESOL provision’ perspective, in contrast to the more traditional expected role of ESOL teacher as SLA methodology practitioner. Rifkin (1996) and Dent (1995) put forward that such a view of a service provider is indicative of the demise of the state run institutions during the dawning of the post-market era. They propose that such ‘multiple roles’ should become the norm rather than the exception in the 21st century (Dent:1995:261). Jameson agrees that a teacher with expertise in the TESOL classroom has to learn to cope with such ‘multiple roles’ (Jameson:1997:1). Such discipline will allow the teacher to maintain mobility, flexibility and market-responsiveness and therefore remain competitive in the global market place.
To focus on the TESOL-academic aspects of a ESOL teachers’ role, whether classroom or non-classroom, limits the potential of the organization to act in a capacity of a service organization. As a service organisation, “the organisational culture, whereby customer satisfaction is the dominant value, is part of an approach founded on service excellence” (Fabien & desMarchais:1998:12). A service organization accepts and therefore expects its members to be involved and responsible to a level where product organizations do not. “The contribution of contact personnel is pivotal to customer satisfaction and centres on delivering service” (Fabien & desMarchais: 1998:12). Walker claims: 
“TESOL institutions…can capitalise…by assisting their teachers to become better acquainted with services management principles”,… “function as professional consultants and marketers ‘so that they see themselves as satisfying customers rather than just teaching students”.  
Walker suggests that it is the frontline ESOL teachers who are the personnel with direct contact with the organisations’ customers. As such, it is these teachers that “have most potential to influence the customer’s perception of the quality of the service” provided (Walker:2000:30). This view again supports the broader employee role of ‘new market-based TESOL provision’ perspective, in contrast to the more traditional expected role of ESOL teacher as SLA methodology practitioner. Service organisational employees are expected to possess affective behavioural traits such as “internalised values and attitudes that are coherent with the target culture”. Staff are recruited upon their perceived suitability to serve the customer, and to support the organisation in its aims of service excellence. In addition to ones’ ‘technical’ qualifications, experience and expertise therefore, it is imperative that service organization employees exhibit three ‘functional’ capacities. These are: the ability to listen to customer’s requests; the ability to interpret customer’s requests; and, the ability to communicate to the customer (Fabien & desMarchais:1998:12).
Like other service organizations, Walker argues that similar employee characteristics are desired by TESOL organizations. Singh supports this with his calls for greater involvement of all TESOL participants:
“….decisions have to be made by everyone from classroom teachers, through teacher education and public servants to politicians about the TESOL industry that will bring about innovations in particular English language businesses and their classrooms” (Singh:2000:12).
One way to holistically secure this innovation could be in the organization of the ELICOS institution. As part of a need to become more mobile, flexible, market-responsive and therefore competitive, consideration needs to be made as to how to involve all employees of the organization. Perhaps the key here is how ELICOS institutions are perceived conceptually from a management paradigm. Therefore a TESOL organization, Walker concludes, should be approached from a service organization management perspective, rather than from a standard product management perspective that has occurred during much of the nineties (Savage,1996;Pennington, 1991). This would allow customer-conscious providers of ELICOS to have a framework with which they could constantly be in the process of looking for more efficient ways of providing a better level of service.
As one can see from the chart below, the role of the new broader ESOL teacher employee includes both TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic responsibilities, both inside (classroom activities) and outside (non-classroom activities) of the classroom.
 service-employee-role_non-tesol-200010
As already noted in the service organisation, the attitudes of the teachers towards their roles impact directly upon what how they will perform within the organization. Specifically, what they are prepared to do and what they aren’t prepared to do: what they perceive as useful activities, and what they don’t. It is of great importance to ascertain these opinions and perceptions. The discussion in this literature review thus far has not broached the possible trade-offs that may be considered to exist between the various aspects of the new broader ELICOS teaching roles. Whilst I do not feel that it was appropriate to discuss their possible existence here, it is this area that I presuppose that teachers’ will have opinions about, and for that reason it is important to survey their attitudes about the conflicts of such broader role expectations. Once their opinions and perceptions have been elicited, it would then be possible to consider appropriate professional developments sessions to address those points and issues of concern that are highlighted as potentially impeding the change process.
Over the course of this preliminary literature review, I have looked at the relationships between two theoretical models/orientations: 
  • Firstly, the service organization management paradigm and the role of the service organization employee, and;
  • Secondly, TESOL and the ESOL teacher role. 
As an integrated model, this could be graphically represented as:

service-organisation-management-paradigm-praxis-200010

Specifically, I have noted the competitive nature of ESOL provision; both in terms of the nation, and individual colleges. I have shown how this has had an impact on ESOL teaching roles, broadening what is expected of ESOL teachers. This breadth has been both in terms of their TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic roles, both inside and out of the classroom. I have proposed that such development of the ESOL teaching roles has been as a direct result of the industry’s and providers’ attempt to improve the service provision (TESOL-academic and non TESOL-academic in nature) for the customer’s (ESOL student’s) benefit. The major development has come as a result of how ELICOS institutions are perceived conceptually from a management paradigm. Such a customer-centred orientation has its roots firmly entrenched within a more widely applied contemporary management paradigm; that of service orientation. Central to this perspective is the Australian ELICOS providers’ initiative to remain mobile, flexible and market-responsive, securing their global market share through a competitive TESOL service.
As a result of the developments, irrespective of whether one sees such development as necessary or even philosophically ‘correct’, a tension exists between the ‘expected’ role of the ELICOS ESOL teacher educator, and the broader role now required of the ELICOS ESOL teacher as an employee of a service organization. Given this, I have chosen to undertake a research study to gain greater distinctions of this tension. 

Section 3

Methodology

RESEARCH PROPOSAL QUESTION
What are ELICOS teachers’ perceptions of their new broader ESOL teacher employee role (in contrast to the more accepted expected ESOL teacher educational role) in the new market-based TESOL provision environment of College X?
METHODOLOGY
 Survey research is the methodology that has been deemed most appropriate to assist in the achievement of this research proposal objective. Survey research is one of the most important areas of measurement in applied social research. The broad area of survey research encompasses any measurement procedures that involve asking questions of respondents. A “survey” can be anything from a short paper-and-pencil feedback form to an intensive one-on-one in-depth interview. There are however some misconceptions about these methods. Perceptions seem to be that questionnaires always ask short closed-ended questions while interviews always ask broad open-ended ones. However, some questionnaires include open-ended questions (although they do tend to be shorter than in interviews) and there will often be a series of closed-ended questions asked in an interview. Irrespective of the detail of each of these, the survey researcher’s main job is “to ask questions in such a way as to obtain valid responses and to record the responses accurately and completely” (Burns:2000:582).
Given the research question is aiming to highlight the perceptions of the current teaching staff of a service orientated ELICOS institution (“College X”), a survey that focuses upon the beliefs and values of people is required. Hence, an attitude survey. The attitude survey is one that attempts to apply “standardised questionnaires to enable individuals to be placed on a dimension indicating degree of favourability towards the object in question” from the point of view of their beliefs (Burns:2000:555). The advantages of the attitude survey (utilising the Likert scale) are according to Burns (2000): “greater ease of preparation”; greater objectivity than the Thurstone approach; the “validity and reliability are reasonably high” due to the “more homogenous scales” (Burns:2000:560).
 A disadvantage of the attitude survey (utilising the Likert scale) is according to Burns: the Likert is “an ordinal scale”, rather than being capable of providing “interval data”, as many assume; “the total score of an individual has little clear meaning” (Burns:2000:560). Burns continues: “The chief criticism that might be levelled at all attitude scales is concerned with the indirectness of measurement”. Burns suggests that it is possible for attitude scales to be “easily faked”. Attitude scales are self-report measures and they suffer the from the same problems as all self-report techniques” (Burns:2000:564).
In addition to the attitude survey, a semi-structured interview will be used to elicit more rich data from each participant. The semi-structured interview will allow for more specific items to be addresses across the whole population. The researcher will have a pre-determined list of questions that should elicit open-ended responses. The results can then be quantified to a degree and evaluated to ascertain further distinctions as to the perceptions of teachers of the newer broader ELICOS organisation ‘teaching role’. The advantages of the structured interviews are: “observation of the respondent’s non-verbal communication and environment”; “the interviewer is able to control the sequence of the items”; and the ability to obtain responses from people who would otherwise “find a written response impossible”(Burns:2000:583).
The disadvantages of the semi-structured interviews (based on Burns 2000) that may impact this research are: expense and the time factor; the skill of the interviewer – an untrained interviewer may affect the interaction between the interviewer and respondent” and “respondents may feel that they are being ‘put on the spot’”; the downside of having flexibility in survey responses may mean that “difficulties may arise when attempts are made to categorise and evaluate responses”; attention must be given to the validity question – whether “the interview or questionnaire is really measuring what it is supposed to measure” (Burns:2000:583). There are certain ways to over come some for these disadvantages. These are: to ensure this validity is maintained by recruiting the services of a learned colleague to “examine the items to judge whether they are adequate for measuring what they are supposed to measure”; having two different interviewers interview the same individuals to check on the consistency of the results is one procedure for assessing reliability”. Additionally, “internal consistency may be checked by building in some redundancy”, such as including some items that are rephrased and repeated in the same interview (Burns:2000:585); in order to ensure the reliability and validity of the survey, sound sampling procedures should be used, following the guidelines for developing, administering, and analysing surveys.
SURVEY SAMPLING METHOD
There are two types of sampling methods: non-random sampling and random sampling. Non-random sampling is when statistical validity is not a concern. In these instances, researchers tend to pick someone like themselves or choose a convenient location for the surveys. Non-random sampling is widely used as a case selection method in qualitative research.  Random sampling is data collection in which every person in the population has a chance of being selected which is known in advance. Random samples are always strongly preferred as only random samples permit statistical inference.
 For the purpose of this research, a college that has attempted to deliberately embrace a service orientation will be the focus (‘College X’). The ELICOS institution will be chosen as a college that is deemed to be managed by a Principal in a service management manner. The service management framework introduced in the preliminary literature review will be used as the criteria to develop a series of questions to determine the eligibility of the ELICOS organization to be the subject of the Research Study. I would like to choose a service orientated ELICOS college in which to study; that is, a like-minded principal. I would like to determine a particular ELICOS college that is service orientated, and survey the teaching staff for their perceptions. In such an instance, it would be a non-random sample. However, in determining whether a college is one of a service orientation, it may be determined that no ELICOS college meets the criteria of a service organization management paradigm as defined in the preliminary literature review. As this evaluation process has not commenced yet, this is a possible outcome that has to be considered. In such an situation, where an ELICOS college can not be determined clearly as following specifically a service organisation management paradigm, an alternative sample method may need to be considered. Perhaps a random sample of all south-east Queensland ELICOS colleges could be an alternative.
ATTITUDE SURVEYS & INTERVIEW QUESTIONS CONSIDERATION
Once the survey research method and the subjects have been selected, the attitude survey and the semi-structured interview itself will be constructed. There are a number of issues that will need to be addressed, including: the different types of questions; decisions about question content; decisions about question wording; decisions about response format; and, question placement and sequence in the survey instrument.  It is planned to recruit the services of professional peers to assist in the complex question formulation process.
QUESTIONS
A range of possible questions to be used as a basis for development of more specific questions for the attitude surveys and interviews, to allow elicitation of the distinctions regarding the differing perceptions of teachers.  Who are you type questions:
  1. educational experience?
  2. educational training/background?
  3. ESOL experience? Onshore? Offshore? Adults? Children? Accredited college?
  4. perceptions of industry of TESOL; current forces at play within the industry; positives? frustrations?
  5. Current educational (teaching) role?
  6. Duties expected?
  7. Beliefs around relevance/importance of duties?
  8. Using a summary of academic literature re ‘teachers roles’ and ‘employee roles’ to gain teachers’ perceptions of how best to describe/categorise their roles in contemporary TESOL environments
  9. Extra supporting comments re above question to give greater understanding
  10. What assistance/professional training/induction process have you as teacher received from your place of occupation?
  11. How has this been of use to you in better equipping you as a professional given questions 3 – 6 (8)
  12. Reflective comments re progress of perception of role over the past say 5 years? 10 years? (ie questions 4 – 8),
  13. Reflective comments re progress of professional’s institution’s perception of role over the past say 5 years? 10 years? (ie questions 9 – 10),
  14. Comments re professional educational training being provided to the industry – formal and informal
It is intended to determine the profile of the interviewee for the purposes of having a broader portrait to better frame the perceptions elicited. It is not at this point intended to use such a profile as an evaluation criteria to determine the eligibility of the interviewee. It has been suggested that such an evaluation process may be valid. At present it is just that: a suggestion.
ETHICS AND SURVEY ADMINISTRATION
When carrying out the survey process, certain ethical guidelines will be followed. As a basic guideline in survey research, the surveyor is to make sure that: no individual suffers any adverse consequences as a result of the survey; the survey process involves voluntary cooperation from potential respondents; it’s OK to encourage participation, but individuals should never be forced to complete a survey; potential survey respondents should be informed that their participation is voluntary; respondents are to be assured of confidentiality; if there are limits on the confidentiality that is being offered, they should be clearly stated; respondents are to be informed of the interviewer’s name and the purpose of the survey, and how the data will be used.
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
As it is intended for the subject group to be contained within the one institution, I do not foresee as many logistical challenges as a traditional survey research may encounter. Nevertheless, in order to ensure a valid research process, due consideration to the method of data collection needs to be given. As part of my initial plan, I intend to: commence the study with the attitude survey. It will be arranged for the subjects to receive the survey at a common time, have time to respond, and return the completed surveys by a pre-specified date. Following this, the study will continue with the semi-structured interviews. It will be arranged for the subjects (and interview assistant) to be available at pre-determined times, allowing enough time for the subjects to respond concisely and thoroughly, and to have the whole subject group completed by a pre-specified date.
RECORDING DATA
An electronic device will be used to ensure that the information elicited during the semi-structured interviews is recorded accurately for analysis at a later time. Patton says that a tape recorder is “indispensable” (1990:348). However, to avoid the intrusion of a recording device that Lincoln and Guba warn of (“do not recommend recording except for unusual reasons” (1985:241)), it is recommended that the recording is done knowingly but discreetly. Lincoln and Guba base their recommendation on the intrusiveness of the recording devices and the possibility of technical failure. Recordings obviously have the advantage of capturing data more faithfully than hurriedly written notes might, and can make it easier for the researcher to focus on the interview. As the data that this research intends to collect is rich and descriptive, a tape recorder will be used to allow for a better accuracy and reference.
METHODS OF ANALYSIS
Bogdan and Biklen define qualitative data analysis as “working with data, organizing it, breaking it into manageable units, synthesizing it, searching for patterns, discovering what is important and what is to be learned, and deciding what you will tell others” (1982:145). It is the objective of this study to similarly work with a situation, to analyse the data elicited, to query, to reflect and then make some interpretations for the benefit of the TESOL industry.
NVIVO software (1999) will be used iteratively to look for patterns and further determine categories. Analysis may require some creativity. The challenge is to place the raw data into logical, meaningful categories; to examine them in a holistic fashion; and to find a way to communicate this interpretation to others. As the raw data is broken down into manageable chunks, the researcher must also devise an “audit trail”. That is, a scheme for identifying these data chunks according to their speaker and the context. The software package will allow for the above to take place.

Section 4

Suggested Time Line for Completion 

MONTH
PROCESS / PROCEDURE
One
Approach potential supervisors
Finalise the supervisor
Commence the study logistics (approvals),
Approach Experts to Assist with Survey/Interview Questions
Commence Drafting the Survey/Interview Questions
Refine Selection Criteria for an ‘Appropriate’ Service Org
Two
Draft the Survey/Interview questions
Finalise the study logistics (approvals)
Refine Criteria for an ‘Appropriate’ Service Org
Contact Range of Potential ELICOS Service Org
Pre-Test ELICOS Service Orgs for Suitability
Three
Review/Refine the Survey/Interview questions
Ensure ethics are considered – both in terms of surveys and research proposal; approach ‘designated institution’ for necessary approval to conduct study
Assess Service Orgs for Suitability
Approach subject group for ‘invitation’
Four
Finalise the Survey/Interview questions
Approach subject group for ‘invitation’
Arrange interviews; arrange attitude surveys
Five
Arrange interviews; arrange attitude surveys
Six
Conduct interviews; arrange attitude surveys
Collect responses
Seven
Conduct interviews; arrange attitude surveys
Collect responses
Eight
Conduct interviews; arrange attitude surveys
Collect responses
Nine
Collect responses
Appraise responses / Data analysis
Ten
Appraise responses / Data analysis
Eleven
Appraise responses / Data analysis
Twelve
Appraise responses / Data analysis
Commence to write up Findings
Thirteen
Write up Findings
*Propose Organisational Training Manual
Fourteen
Write up Findings
*Develop Organisational Training Manual
Fifteen
Write up Findings
*Develop Organisational Training Manual
Sixteen
Write up Findings
*Develop Organisational Training Manual
Seventeen
*Refine Organisational Training Manual
Eighteen
*Finalise Organisational Training Manual
Submit Draft Doctorate
* = Additional Project Element Required for EdDoc 

Section 5

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– ©David L Page 16/10/2000

Concluding comment

Whilst I decided to embark on this Doctorate of Philosophy in Education, and had my Doctoral Research Study proposal submitted and accepted by Queensland University of Technology, after a number of months I got very busy with my educational management role in GEOS Corporation.

geos

I began to realise my management role actually provided me the perfect opportunity to apply what I had been theorising in  my Doctoral Research Study proposal into an actual industry situation. Quickly I gained further insight and understanding  that the life of a proactive industry management practitioner was similar to that of a doctoral student embarking upon a research study. They must research in order to appraise the environmental context of their organisation – both internal to, and external of; then they much critically analyse; they must along the way reflect, hypothesise, and develop a strategic option; seek feedback from key stake holders (executive management, governance members, industry, mentors and peers); refine the strategic option developing a strategic plan; consult, refine and test this plan; implement it; analyse the results; and again seek feedback regarding its’ degree of success; modify the strategic intuitive and strategise further implementation plans. I accepted that the opportunity before me as a practitioner was a unique one, and therefore focussed my energies in that area for the next ten years. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my role and apply my doctoral research project  proposal to an industry-based context: an educational institution.
All other images and charts courtesy of: DLP Accessed 15th October, 2000
GEOS image courtesy of:  GEOS Corporation   Accessed 18th November 2010
QUT image courtesy of:  Queensland University of Technology   Accessed 18th November 2010
– updated ©David L Page 19/11/2010
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 4

Summary: Changing Agendas in Leadership

 

global_leadership
In my last blog in this series, I  attempted to analyse the QRITC  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 chose these as the priority of what an organisation should consider. These macro issues were 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. I also noted how I planned 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.

queensland-racing

Background: QRITC

The necessary background information about the organisation (QRITC) that I have chosen to investigate, in order to contextualise the investigation;
The Queensland Racing Industry Training Centre (QRITC) was established 4 years ago in response to a number of Industry Reports, both State and National, recommending Government intervention in the initiation of vocational training in the Queensland Racing Industry. The objective was, in the short term, to assist the three codes of the Racing industry -the thoroughbreds (or gallops); the standardbreds/harness (or trots); and, the greyhounds (or dogs) – in the establishment of a training infrastructure. The benefit in the long term was identified as being the continued growth and development of a major revenue-generating industry in the State.
This infrastructure has since provided training to both State participants as well as participants from International markets that want to take advantage of the level of training that is offered in Australia for this Industry. Since 1995, over 200 Australian students have been, or are currently being trained and educated throughout the State. In addition to the State training, the training of International persons began about 3 years ago. As a commercial venture, some 250 students have been, or are currently being trained in various aspects of the equine industry. Delivery is via nationally (Australian) accredited curriculum that is claimed to be on par with world Racing Industry Training standards. QRITC currently operates as a sub-program of the Racing Division, within the Department of Tourism, Sport and Racing. The Racing Division is responsible for :
  • Advising/Constructing Government Policy with regard to the Queensland Racing Industry
  • Providing Leadership to an Industry
  • Implementing Government Policy- Training and Education-in a specific industry
  • Management and Leadership of a Public Service Division of a Department
  • Management and Leadership of a Commercially Run Operation Sub-Program
The sub-program is operated centrally by the Division with all control of the finance, physical and human resources held there. The purpose/rationale for this centralised approach is ambiguous, but one view is that due to a lack of faith in the management /accountability process of the sub-program, and given the highly political environment that the sub-program exists within, the Director of Racing Division is not of a mind to relinquish control. It is my intention to show indirectly, that 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. I intend to show that the ethos of the department to be centralised, and the need for a commercially run educational institution – in order to remain relevant, competitive, and therefore viable – to operate out of a decentralised structure, are mutually exclusive. I intend to show how this contradictory situation has impacted the organisation’s delivery effectiveness. I will cite what I perceive to be evidence of this, both at the macro level of failing to fulfill the industry needs, and secondly at the micro level of the operation, failing to satisfy the staff and client’s needs. I will then present a summary of these educational institution’s (QRITC) management and leadership oversights.
A summary of the effects the institution’s (QRITC) management and leadership style has had in my view, follows;

Inappropriate strategic management (purposeful company)

  • Failure to involve the Industry in the development of its’ industry;
  • Failure to position the organisation within the industry appropriately (that is, delivering a relevant product/training);
  • Failure to position the organisation within the industry within a certain period of time, achieving a level of self-funding/governance;

Inappropriate operational management (integrated whole company system)

  • Failure to strategically plan the organisation’s development;
  • Failure to operationally plan the organisation’s development;
  • Failure to provide appropriate leadership to the operational decision-makers, particularly concerning the above two points;
  • Failure to provide the appropriate management support to the operational decision-makers;

In terms of product delivery,

Inappropriate methodologies management (curriculum-program)

  • Failing to consider the course objectives as a whole, in detail and determining how, if at all, technological resources could be incorporated as one of the methodologies, as an instructional tool for enhanced learning within this context;
  • Failure to determine how the competencies were to be assessed, and then failing to utilise appropriate methodologies to assist the learners in arriving at this point;
  • Neglecting the style of course being offered and failing to incorporate much needed industry ‘practical’/experiential sessions;
  • Failing to determine whether the course, given the time constraints and the learner group, would be of an ‘instructional’ or ‘discovery’ style;

Inappropriate methodologies-learner (learner differences-learner style)

  • Failing to address the range of learners attending the course and determining if technological resources could be incorporated as an instructional tool for whose particular enhanced learning;

Inappropriate methodologies-learner (learner differences-motivation)

  • Failing to address the range of learners attending the course and determining what they would be interested in, and offering them a range of options;

Inappropriate methodologies-learner (learner differences-educational background)

  • Failing to address the range of learners attending the course by ignoring the disparity of technological literacy levels.

Inappropriate methodologies-teacher (teacher training-lesson plan)

  • Incorporating technology as an add-on (that is, for its’ own sake) instead of as a tool of leverage. That is, in the playing of games instead of utilising the technology for the support of the ‘acquisition of the content’ process;

Interdependency

Whilst essentially this investigation commenced as a fairly general applied analysis of both management and leadership issues in a 1990’s educational institution, the two (2) ‘distinct’ areas that became obvious were:
  1. The management and leadership processes of the delivery of the curriculum, and;
  2. the management and leadership processes of the organisation.
The distinction is supported by my feeling for quite some time now that both processes are interdependent (linked by necessity) for the successful realisation of an effective 20th century educational institutions’ goal (Limerick and Cranston : forthcoming:8:table 2).
However, in my experience of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) institutions, these two processes are more often than not, treated independently, and usually separately by both different organisational members: the curriculum by educational staff and the organisation by business managers.
It has been my opinion that for Australian EFL educational institutions to progress to the next level of exemplar service delivery, EFL management and leadership has to be produced collaboratively between business and educational minds. I would go a step further and suggest that educational staff need to develop their business knowledge and skills and likewise, for any business person that chooses to be involved within an educational institution, needs to become aware of fundamental educational issues (Limerick and Cranston:forthcoming:8:table 3).
I hope to show, as a result of further analysis, that the two distinct areas of management and leadership processes in a contemporary educational institution (management and leadership of the organisation and the management and leadership of the delivery of the curriculum/program) are in fact interdependent. Both processes are in actual fact not that distinct, but very much interrelated and dependent upon each other for each areas’ effective realisation. For this to occur, each discipline must learn from the other discipline, and contribute to the decision-making process of the institution as a whole (Limerick and Cranston:forthcoming:8:table 3).I also hope to show that this view of interdependency in itself, exemplifies the characteristic traits of the female ethos (Rogers:1988:1).
At QRITC, the two distinct areas of this contemporary educational institution are operating out of diametrically opposed ethos. Interdependency remains a theoretical concept, with little application. I propose that for this particular educational organisation to realise effective commercial education delivery, the two distinct areas of management and leadership processes (management and leadership of the organisation and the management and leadership of the delivery of the curriculum/program) have to be considered interdependently.

Further research

Two Projects that arise as a result of this investigation, are:

vision-blue-print-image

  1. may be to look at how we can, as educational institutional leaders, influence/manipulate the historically male organisational structures in an integrated business development sequence, moving them to 4th blueprint type organisations;
or
  1. perhaps how we can, as educational institutional leaders, influence/manipulate the historically male society, in the development of the female ethos qualities of societal members, irrespective of their true gender/individual learner differences. This is based on the belief that irrespective of individual learner differences, people have been socialised by being a part of the current male ethos dominated society (organisational and educational systems). This action would be aimed at developing persons, suitable for a 4th blueprint type organisation society.

    global_leadership

With such vast issues remaining unresolved, it is little wonder that leadership and management issues will continue to be investigated and debated.
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Griffin, R. (1996) Management. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Hargreaves, A. (1994) Changing teachers, Changing times: Teacher Work and Culture in the Postmodern Age. London: Cassell, pp 163-183
Hart, S. and Quinn, R. (1993) Roles Executives Play:CEO’s, Behavioural Complexity, and Firm Performance. Human Relations, 46, pp543-574
Hitt, W. (1995) The Learning Organisation: Some Reflections on Organisational Renewal. Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, 16(8), 17 –25
Knight, J. and Ehrich,L.C. (1998) Leardership in Crisis. Flaxton: Post Pressed.
Leadership image courtesy of  Leadership Accessed 10th September, 2013.
(eds) Leadership in Crisis? Restructuring Principled Practice Essays on Contemporary Educational Leadership, pp1-14.
Limerick, B. and Cranston, N.   Forthcoming   Re/Engineering Leadership: Reconceptualing Our Understandings of Leadership, in Knight, J. and Elrich, L. (1998) Leardership in Crisis. Flaxton: Post Pressed.
Limerick, D., Cunnington, B. and Crowther, F. (1998) Managing the New Organisation: Collaboration and Sustainability in the Post- Corporate World. Sydney: Business and Professional Publishing
McKereghan, D.L. (1997) “What is leadership?” http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/marquisgranby/34/whatis.html
Noble, A., Deemer, S. and Davis, B. (1996) School-Based Management. http://www.rdc.udel.edu/pb9601.html
Ozga, J. and Walker, L. (1995) Women in Education Management, in Limerick, B. and Lingard, B (eds) Changing Gender and Management. Rydalmere:Hodder, pp 34-43.
Queensland Racing image courtesy of Queensland Racing  Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Rizvi, F. (1993) Contrasting Perceptions of Devolution. QUT Professional Magazine, 11(1), May, pp1-5
Rogers, J. (1988) New Paradigm Leadership: Integrating the Female Ethos. Initiatives,51, Fall, pp1-8
Senge, P., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Smith, B., Kleiner, A. The Fifth Discipline Feildbook. Great Britain: Nicholas Brealey Publishing Limited
Smyth, J. (ed) (1993) A Socially Critical View of the Self-Managing School. London:The Falmer Press, pp1-9.
Site-based management image courtesy of Site-based Management Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Vision blueprint image courtesy of:  Vision Blueprint   Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Watkins, P. (1989) Leadership, Power and Symbols in Educational Administration, in Smyth, J. (ed) Critical Perspectives in Educational Leadership. London:The Falmer Press, pp 9 -37.
– ©David L Page 18/06/1999
– 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.

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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.
References
Acker, J. (1990) Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organisation. Gender and Society, 4 (2), June, pp 139-158
Burchell, D. (1994) Economic government and social sciences: the economic rationalism debate. Cultural Policy Paper, QLD: Griffith University.
Caldwell, B. (1996) Beyond the Self-Management School: Adding Value in Schools of the Third Millennium. IARTV Seminar Series, No 53, Jolimont, IARTV, pp 3-19
Cope, B. and Kalantzis, M. (1997) Productive diversity: stories of organisation in the era of civic pluralism and total globalisation. Productive Diversity: A New Australian Model for Work and Management. Australia: Pluto Press, pp 128-129, 136-139, 189-198
Crowther, F. (1996) Unsung Heroes: Leaders in our Classroom. The Sixth William Walker Oration. Australian Council for Educational Administration, Perth, Sept
Drucker, P., Dyson, E,. Handy, C., Saffo, P., Senge, P. (1997) Looking Ahead: Implications of the Present . Harvard Business Review, Sept-Oct, pp18-20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30,32
Filson, B. (1994) The new leadership Hospitals & Health Networks. Leadership in Health care, Volume: 68 Issue: 17
Galbraith, J.R. (1977) Organisation Design. Reading:Addison-Wesley
Gemmill, G. and Oakley, J. (1992) Leadership: An Alienating Social Myth? Human Relations, 45(2), p113-127
Gerber, M. (1995) The E Myth Revisited. New York:Harper Business
Griffin, R. (1996) Management. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Hargreaves, A. (1994) Changing teachers, Changing times: Teacher Work and Culture in the Postmodern Age. London: Cassell, pp 163-183
Hart, S. and Quinn, R. (1993) Roles Executives Play:CEO’s, Behavioural Complexity, and Firm Performance. Human Relations, 46, pp543-574
Hitt, W. (1995) The Learning Organisation: Some Reflections on Organisational Renewal. Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, 16(8), 17 –25
Knight, J. and Ehrich,L.C. (1998) Leardership in Crisis. Flaxton: Post Pressed.
Leadership image courtesy of  Leadership Accessed 10th September 2013
 (eds) Leadership in Crisis? Restructuring Principled Practice Essays on Contemporary Educational Leadership, pp1-14
Limerick, B. and Cranston, N.   Forthcoming   Re/Engineering Leadership: Reconceptualing Our Understandings of Leadership, in Knight, J. and Elrich, L. (1998) Leardership in Crisis. Flaxton: Post Pressed.
Limerick, D., Cunnington, B. and Crowther, F. (1998) Managing the New Organisation: Collaboration and Sustainability in the Post- Corporate World. Sydney: Business and Professional Publishing
McKereghan, D.L. (1997) “What is leadership?” http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/marquisgranby/34/whatis.html
Noble, A., Deemer, S. and Davis, B. (1996) School-Based Management. http://www.rdc.udel.edu/pb9601.html
Ozga, J. and Walker, L. (1995) Women in Education Management, in Limerick, B. and Lingard, B (eds) Changing Gender and Management. Rydalmere:Hodder, pp 34-43
Queensland Racing image courtesy of Queensland Racing  Accessed 10th September 2013
Rizvi, F. (1993) Contrasting Perceptions of Devolution. QUT Professional Magazine, 11(1), May, pp1-5
Rogers, J. (1988) New Paradigm Leadership: Integrating the Female Ethos. Initiatives,51,Fall, pp1-8
Senge, P., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Smith, B., Kleiner, A. (1994) The Fifth Discipline Feildbook. Great Britain: Nicholas Brealey Publishing Limited
Site-based management image courtesy of Site-based Management Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Smyth, J. (ed) (1993) A Socially Critical View of the Self-Managing School. London:The Falmer Press, pp1-9
Student image courtesy of  Curriculum Design  Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Vision blueprint image courtesy of:  Vision Blueprint   Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Watkins, P. (1989) Leadership, Power and Symbols in Educational Administration, in Smyth, J. (ed) Critical Perspectives in Educational Leadership. London:The Falmer Press, pp 9 -37.
– ©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.

Leadership Part 2

What is 21st Century Leadership?

cooltext170962165748837

Many have attempted to define what leadership is. Galbraith for example:
     “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” (Galbraith:1977b)
This has set the platform for many others to follow in their expression of what leadership means. Xin puts forward a number of the views of what leadership has been considered over the century:
     “the ability to impose the will of the leader on those led and to induce obedience, respect, loyalty, and cooperation”   (Moore,1927 in Xin:1997) “a source of influence over others” (Weber, 1947 in Xin:1997) “the activity of persuading people to cooperate in the achievement of a common objective” (Koontz,1955 in Xin:1997) “the influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with routine directions of the organisation” (Katz & Katn,1978 in Xin:1997) “the process act of influencing the activities of an organised group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement” (Burke,1982 in Xin:1997) “the process by which an individual motivates or influences others to forego self-interest in the interest of a collective vision, and to contribute to the attainment of that vision and to the collective by making significant self-sacrifices over and above the call of duty willingly” (House, 1993 in Xin:1997) (Xin:1997:Chapter11)
As our primary image of the leader originally came from the military, leaders were once considered great because of their hero status, especially military heroes. Hero worship is both good and bad. Good if it inspires us to greater heights, but bad if it disempowers us and makes us dependent on our hero. The military hero knows where to go and how to get there so they can ‘lead’ from the front. This view has in some ways been transferred to how organisations have been led.
Leadership in organisations therefore is too often confused with the question of how people in positions of authority can influence employees to pull in the same direction. Fundamentally this is the traditional view, with studies having taken place in the early stages of the industrial revolution, making up the foundation of what we now call the science of organisational management. Some of the earliest systematic studies of industrialised organisations were by Taylor, Gantt and Gilbreth. They were “practical managers, driven by the problems of their time to a preoccupation with the relationship between the individual and the organisation of the enterprise in which they worked”(Lupton:1977:24). As Hitt writes, “This century has witnessed the emergence of three quite different organisational paradigms” (Hitt:1995:25): or as Limerick, Cunnington and Crowther address, this development of the science of management has been divided into what they refer to as 3 blueprints (Limerick et al:1998:27).
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The 1st Blueprint: “the traditional classical approach to management, which dominated western thinking from the turn of the century to well into the 1930’s, was a child of the Industrial Revolution. It was born in a society concerned with increasing productivity and industrial output” (Limerick et al:1998:29). “There have been a number of devastating critiques of classical theory in the management literature. At the heart of it all is a trenchant attack on the impersonal, dehumanising autocracy of such a system, a legacy of nineteenth century social stratification” (Limerick et al:1998:31).
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The 2nd Blueprint: “The focus (then) shifted from the formal organisation to the informal workgroup. The famous Hawthorne studies conducted at the Hawthorne works at the Western Electric Company from 1922 to 1933 brought about a revolution in the way human nature and the work situation were thought about”. Still considered significant, the study showed that the work group “played an important role – perhaps even more important than that of management- in determining the attitudes of performance of individual workers. The scene was set for the emergence of a new conception of people, expressed in the doctrine of social man. Money and economic motivations were now seen to be of secondary importance to how workers felt about their jobs. This led management to a focus on collectivity- on groups” (Limerick et al:1998:32).
“The human relations philosophy and its’ concern for social man lasted until the recession of 1957 – 58. The emphasis then shifted human relations to human resources.” “The human resources movement expanded the focus of the second blueprint from a concern with social group-level phenomena to a concern with the interface between individual and organisational effectiveness. It still located the individual firmly in the group context, however” (Limerick et al:1998:33).
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The 3rd Blueprint: “Yet sometime in the decade of between 1960 and 1970, the strategy for mass marketing, production and distribution of standardised encapsulated in the 1st and 2nd Blueprints began to fail “(Limerick et al:1998:35). “Dramatic changes in the world economy from the 1960’s on, saw a number of less developed economies enter the global marketplace producing goods in direct competition to developed economies such as the US. With production costs in these less developed economies a fraction of what the US was, the US model started to show signs of redundancy (Limerick et al:1998:36). A new model was developed, known as the open system model of management (Limerick et al:1998:37). This model contrasted to the 2nd Blueprint in so much as it focussed on what was happening outside the organisation, as opposed to that which was happening inside. The 3rd Blueprint argued that no one system of management would the optimum method. Rather, they concluded “that any system adopted should be in contingent on the degree of change or stability in the environment of the organisation. They distinguished between two systems”: mechanistic (organisations displaying characteristics of 1st Blueprint); and
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Organic (organisations displaying characteristics of 2nd Blueprint) (Limerick et al:1998:37). This model “gained in popularity in the 1960’s and dominated the 1970’s” (Limerick et al:1998:39).   It was said that the aim of systems theory was to facilitate better understanding in a complex environment” (Johnson in Limerick et al:1998:39), “relating the firm to its environment and administratively upon coordinating department specialties and points of view” (Andrews & Christensen in Limerick et al:1998:39).Naturally therefore, the model developed into an “intricate, complex contingency theory “ (Limerick et al:1998:40). Subsequent to this, by the mid 1970’s a variation of this theory was developed in the form of a ‘matrix’, whereby a suitable mix of management focus could be drawn upon depending upon the particular organisational requirements. Despite the complexities of this system, the one characteristic that seemed to arise out of this model was the emphasis on the unity of the TEAM: both the “development of team skills and the enhancement of team spirit” (Limerick et al:1998:40). As has been already highlighted, due to the development of the organisation in the Industrial era, the view of leadership has developed. 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). However Drucker poses that the emerging world as being of somewhat different form to that which all of the above theories have been based upon (Drucker:1997:19), thereby necessitating a change in our perspective.
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Leadership and management issues, have dominated human resource management journals for the last decade (Hart & Quinn:1993:544) and it appears as though it will continue. With the world continuing in its’ rate of development, further discussion is needed. In the eighties and early nineties social and economic uncertainties affected all countries. Unparalleled changes in the English speaking world occurred, particularly the UK, the USA and Australia (OECD: 1992:15). Resulting difficulties included the weakening of the middle class, the widening of the gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged classes, historically high levels of unemployment, the growth of foreign debt and the loss of economic competitiveness. These global realities as well as such as decreasing birthrates, retirement ages and the phenomenon of insufficient population numbers being available to meet the required demand for human resources, leads Drucker to believe that there will be therefore a different set of governing factors as we progress into the next millennium (Drucker:1997:20). 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 et al :1998:231). 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.
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The 4th Blueprint puts forth that the concept of leadership necessarily changes once the concept of authority is disregarded and one of participation is adopted. Fundamentally, therefore, 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 independent, self-regulating team player that is assisting the organisation to a greater, degree of success, whatever that may be. Limerick et al note that the 4th Blueprint is a fusion of several theorist’s views of a post-corporate era. Drucker proposes that knowledge is put forward as the variable that will determine who –which society- succeeds and which don’t (Limerick et al:1998:193). Spender in Limerick et al suggests that working patterns are changing so that employment may be found in ‘portfolio’ work rather than the traditional job (Limerick et al:1998:193).Limerick et al continue by noting that 4th ”Blueprint participants will confront immense uncertainty and massive challenges with regard to their work: “reconstructing their workplaces so that they are linked, to the greatest extent possible, to human and environmental well being, rather than to the the negative and degrading effects that some associate with industrial and corporate processes” (Limerick et al:1998:194). They continue that while “we can be guided by the utilitarian, performance –oriented values of corporate blueprints, or we can attempt to actualise our dreams of contributive, supportive systems of action in our social order and in our workplace” (Limerick et al:1998:194-5).
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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 need to be inside an organisation to achieve this. We already speak of ‘market leaders’. It follows then that leadership can come from anywhere. It could be said that this form of leadership is about innovation, rather than about developing personal influence skills to motivate lacklustre employees. As knowledge workers become empowered enough to think like entrepreneurs, perhaps they will look outside of the organisation for leadership if suitable leadership is not provided inside.
Second to this, is the distinction between the approaches to organisations from a philosophical viewpoint. Rogers puts forward that the distinction between authoritative and participative leadership approaches can be explained in what is referred to as a male and female ethos (Rogers:1988:1). The male ethos 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). The female-orientated organisation is by 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). Therefore, in a participative leadership approach, neither the concept of leadership nor authoritarian hierarchical rule exists. I think that at present, whilst it could be argued that we are moving towards such an ideal, our governments are controlled by organisations and ethics of the traditional male ethos of accountability, politics, power and securing and maintaining ones’ personal (financial) position. These views are in principle I believe diametrically opposed to the ethics of the female ethos.
I think that the question therefore needs to be asked. If these two philosophies are at opposite ends of the managerial and leadership spectrum, at what point will there be a fundamental change? To me such a switch in approaches of interrelating to, and the organisation of people, will be like switching the side of the road we drive on from one direction to the opposite. Unless it is done in one synchronised movement, there will be chaos. Whilst this metaphor assumes a relatively simple level of complexity, such a change of philosophical approach in the way we as human beings have been socialised to interact, will prevent such a straight forward solution to occur. I think then that this raises another question as to whether we as a society can accept a mutually exclusive view of these two ethos-male and female, or whether infact that all the characteristics displayed by them should exist somehow interdependantly.
Nevertheless, the current period of global development has highlighted the need to reconceptualise what it is that is required for us as a society to continue to function and enjoy the level of economic success that we have experienced in the past. Of consequence, the need to redefine the role of the organisation and how it functions has been highlighted. However in this process of redefining, it has become apparent that much broader than the organisation are the relationships between individuals of society and the very ethos that motivate our interaction on a daily basis. Merely reorganising organisations will not achieve much without society accepting the need for and the driving of , the philosophical developments necessary.
It would appear that it is now accepted that the success of both governments and business organisations is largely dependent upon quality leadership. I would extend that the success of society is also dependent upon quality leadership. However, it is the definition of leadership that is very much still being debated. If the definition of leadership as proposed in the female ethos was to be adopted, social participants would play a much greater empowered role in society, leading small productive groups as equals. This then raises other questions such as how we as a society would arrive at an empowered model, without becoming dependant upon the being led stage? Perhaps then, what is required to ensure that the 4th Blueprint vision is realised, is to lead society to the belief that this is a realistic, viable alternative to the current being led model. Yet again herein lies the dilemma. At what point does ‘being led’ as a society cease, and leading as empowered individuals begin? It is for this reason that leadership and management issues will continue to be investigated and debated.
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Whilst the focus of this essay has been that of organisations and its’ leadership, I hope to have shown that as organisations are only a product of our social relationships, and any discussion needs to include what we as a society are developing into.
In my next blog in this series, I plan to discuss Changing Agendas in Leadership.
References
Characteristics of a Leader image courtesy of Characteristics of Leaders Accessed 10th September 2013
Drucker P, Dyson E, Handy C, Saffo P, Senge P (1997) Looking Ahead: Implications of the Present Harvard Business Review, Sept-Oct, pp18-20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30,32
Filson, B (1994) The new leadership Hospitals & Health Networks “Leadership in Health care” Chicago. Volume: 68 Issue: 17, 1994
Galbraith J R (1977) Organisation Design Reading:Addison-Wesley
Galbraith J R (1977b) The Age of Uncertainty EPS 12:Democracy, Leadership and Commitment UK:BBC Recording(Video)
Gemmill G, and Oakley J, (1992) Leadership: An Alienating Social Myth? Human Relations, 45(2), p113-127
Hart S, and Quinn R (1993) Roles Executives Play:CEO’s, Behavioural Complexity, and Firm Performance Human Ralations, 46, pp543-574
Hitt, W (1995) The Learning Organisation: Some Reflections on Organisational Renewal Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, 16(8), 17 –25
Leadership image courtesy of  Leadership Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Limerick, D , Cunnington, B and Crowther, F.(1998) – Managing the New Organisation: Collaboration and Sustainability in the Post- Corporate World, 2nd Edition, Sydney: Business and Professional Publishing
Lupton, T (1971) Management and the Social Sciences, UK: Penguin
OECD (1992) The World Competitiveness Report Geneva: The World Economic Forum
Organic image courtesy of Organic Symbol Accessed 10th September, 2013.
McKereghan D L (1997) “What is leadership?” http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/marquisgranby/34/whatis.html 1997
Question mark image courtesy of: Cool Text Accessed 11th September, 2013.
Rogers, J (1988) New Paradigm Leadership: Integrating the Female Ethos Initiatives,51,Fall, pp1-8
Society image courtesy of Development of society  Accessed 10th September, 2013.
Xin Katherine R. “Leadership” Leadership. Accesseed 10th May, 1997.
Vision blueprint image courtesy of:  Vision Blueprint  Accessed 10th September, 2013.
– ©David L Page 21/03/1999
– 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.