For someone who studies and works at a university with ‘open’ in the name, I’ve kind of always assumed that I was therefore involved in open education. But this is only the case if you interpret ‘open’ in relation to the fact that there are no entry requirements and no selection procedures.
But recently, I have been studying material on ‘open education’ which has opened(!) up my thinking about what I understand open to be. Now this is a BIG topic with lots of jargon like ‘open pedagogy’ and ‘OER-enabled’ and I can’t cover it all in one post. Today I want to focus on the ‘openness’ of the artefacts that learners produce as we learn just to see where it takes me.
Note: today is 20 July 2023 and I just found this post in my ‘drafts’ folder. It was written 22 August 2014! I’ve read it through and it seems that the only thing I didn’t get round to doing was putting on a reference list and sorting out some formatting. Or, maybe I had some other points I wanted to make – perhaps more detail on policy process and/or health policy because I don’t touch on all the books who I introduce at the beginning. It’s interesting that at that time I was thinking about doing my PhD in ‘field’ of health in all policies, but now that in the past…..
A few months ago I wrote my Policy Safari post which outlined the reasons for my interest in policy. The interest has got stronger since then – the more I think about it the more I would like my PhD research to be in the ‘field’ of healthy public policy/health in all policies. I’ll write a post soon outlining the background to and use of these ‘ideas’, but in order to start to tease apart what they are and how you seek to achieve these ideals, I think you need to start with two contested concepts that underpin them – what is (public) policy? (plus what are the theories about how it is ‘done’?) and what is health? (plus what are the theories about how it is ‘made’/’damaged’?) As these two concepts are understood in such a multiplicity of ways in isolation then putting them together in phrases such as ‘healthy public policy’ and ‘health in all policies’ is kind of a recipe for complete confusion.
I feel as if I have 101 blog titles going around in my head at the moment. It’s getting hard to know which one to focus on. But I guess starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.
This blog is actually based on part of my PhD thesis (Wilding, 2021, chapter 3). The key points are the same but I focus a little more on my story of grappling with ideas that I did to reach the explanation and claims I made there. It illustrates how my traditions of systems understandings supported the development of a set of ideas about practice and its development. Hopefully, those familiar with systems thinking ideas and tools will recognise the bricolage of ideas that I draw on – I don’t want to explain or reference them all in detail as this blog would never get written. Continue reading
In Systems Thinking in Practice, we tend to refer to the ‘object’ of our inquiries as ‘situations’. There are variations on this term such as problematic situations, situations of interest or situations of concern which I have discussed in previous posts such as the ones in this search result.
In everyday situations, we tend to introduce situations with quite a long explanation. We often talk about how we think the situation came about, what the impact is and so on. We may even force a certain framing on the situation through phrases like “by saying x I mean y angle, not really z”. The difficulty I experience when people do this is it can be hard to really understand the focal point of their concern because they are bringing in lots of different angles. I also think that the person themself may not actually have got to the point where they have actually distilled the focal point of their concern. When this way of introducing situations is done, it also mixes up the introduction with the start of an analysis or understanding of the situation – an understanding that may have come about without using systems concepts and approaches as epistemic devices. Continue reading
Recently I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between systems thinking in practice and research. This isn’t a new stream of thought, I have been mulling it over for a long time and in some ways lots of posts I have done circle around this very issue.
It’s a dilemma that started when I did my capstone module for MSc Systems Thinking in Practice because I needed to do a piece of research that was relevant to my discipline. In one way or another I have continued to grapple with this throughout my PhD – although I wasn’t doing a PhD in Systems Thinking in Practice, I did want to ensure that what I did was authentic to me as a systems thinking practitioner (a PhD with systems thining in practice). Recently though, I think that this inquiry has gained more prominence. Now that I support MSc students on their capstone modules, I need to be able to advise students whether the research they are designing is appropriate or not. Continue reading
This week, I received notification that I have been awarded a PhD – the first piece of official correspondence I have received to Dr Helen Wilding. On the one hand this is very exciting, but it also feels a little bit of an anti-climax. As I was updating various online profiles today with start date of 2013 and end date of 2021, I realised that for a good part of the last 15 months or so I have been ‘waiting’ for my PhD, rather than ‘working’ on it.
This blog is prompted by a conversation I was in the other day with other Open University Applied Systems Thinking in Practice colleagues.
The conversation triggered three related but not yet integrated streams of thought – just want to get them down so I can crystalise them enough to reflect on them. Continue reading
I have just watched a number of really interesting videos presented by David White at the University of Oxford on a framework that helps understand the way in which people engage with the internet called the Visitors and Residents framework.
This blog isn’t to explain that framework as David White does that brilliantly in the videos (do watch them – there are links below) but to try to record some thoughts and tangents that they inspired based on the distinctions introduced in the video. Continue reading
People have a variety of different experiences that lead them to take up the formal study of systems thinking in practice. They also have different imagined trajectories moving forward. This is one of the aspects of diversity that makes it so interesting to teach and learn systems thinking in practice. But it can also be a bit of a challenge, not just for those with formal teaching responsibilities and for all of us who are learning with, and from, others in a community of systems practitioners. How do we all act and interact in a way that accommodates and facilitates different ‘inward’ and potential ‘onward’ trajectories? Continue reading
In the last few days, I have been in an email exchange with some other PhD students about literature review. The conversation made me realise how much my understandings of what this is have changed over the course of my PhD journey as I have drawn on both my tradition of systems thinking and literature about literature review.