When I studied the OU systems thinking modules, TU811 and TU812 (in that order), I remember getting a little agitated that TU811 used the term ‘situation of interest’ and then TU812 used the term ‘situation of concern’.  I did try at the time to understand the difference.  Looking back now, I did write a blog about this at the time but mostly I just decided that of all the new language I was coming to terms with it wasn’t worth trying to work that one out.

But recently, I have found myself coming back to this. I think I am mulling it over because I can’t decide which of the two terms to use in my thesis.  This is where my thinking is currently taking me.

Continue reading

Managing systemic change

Seems weird that since November I have been studying a course with “Managing systemic change” as the module title and I now start questioning whether I know what it is or not?  I think in part it is because I am trying to connect up how ‘social learning’ fits into ‘managing systemic change’.

There have been a couple of forum threads on what we understand by managing systemic change but each time I think I grasp it, it goes away again.

Continue reading

What is practice anyway?

My first routine use of the word “practice” was when I had piano lessons as a kid.  Practice was about repetition – playing the same pieces again and again until somehow they became easier to do.  My husband is currently studying the OU’s Beginner’s French course – there seems to be a lot of practice in that – partly the motor skills of pronunciation but again lots of repetition until it ‘goes in’.  So I suppose at its most basic level, the word “practice” is about becoming much more familiar with doing something so that it becomes a more natural part of your skill set.  I think that one of the reasons I have chosen to study Systems Practice is so that I can practice it – to keep using it so it is a much more natural part of the way I think and do. Continue reading

A practice performance

(TU812 SAQ 1.1)

Practice is a performance, each performance relies on a combination of four elements unique to the context:

Firstly, there is the practitioner – the individual with their mix of knowledge, experience and skills.

Secondly, the situation that the practitioner is working in.

Thirdly, the framework of ideas or theories held by the practitioner


Fourthly, the method used by the practitioner as they go about doing what they do.