When I studied TU812 in 2010 and first attempted an answer to this question, my domain of practice was very different to what it is now. Then I worked in local government and was engaged in policy development and partnership coordination. Now, I spend the equivalent of my ‘working week’ engaged in the practices of ‘researching’ (doing my PhD) and ‘educating’ (as an Open University associate lecturer).
On and off for the last 6 months or so, I have been trying to construct a ‘claim’ for associate fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (via a scheme operated by the OU itself). In essence this is a way of getting recognition for my teaching competences. One of the main elements of the claim is a ‘reflective statement’ that needs to demonstrate the ‘why?’, ‘what?’, ‘how?’ of my practice in supporting adults to learn at a distance and any ‘so what?’ that arises from that reflection. When I set out I thought that this would suit me down to the ground given how much I have written about my experiences and practices in the past. But, I have experienced it as really constraining and at times annoying. I think I can understand why. Firstly, there are certain ‘buttons’ that I have to press in terms of the range of tasks I am involved in, the types of knowledge I use as I am doing so, and, how certain values guide me. Secondly, there is word ‘guidance’ in essence a hint of how much material the assessment panel will want to read. These constraints are making me focus so much on achieving an acceptable output that I am not enjoying it or getting any value (i.e. learning) from the experience. Continue reading
I have been thinking about writing a lot recently. It’s partly because I have been reading a fab book by Rowena Murray on ‘How to write a Thesis’.
The last time I wrote about writing, was in the TU811 student forum for the recent presentation. Rather ironically it was written on 29 April 2017 – exactly 6 months ago. I have copied it below (with minor changes) Continue reading
My blog doesn’t get a massive number of visitors, but in the last couple of days I’ve noticed an increase in hits on some of my oldest blogs – the first ones I did as I studiously studied Tu812 Managing systemic change. Today’s busiest post – Taking a design turn in my systems practice – was written on 16 January 2011. That means that at this time in 2010 going into 2011 I was just grappling with the idea of the design turn for the first time. It was ‘that winter’, the one with really really heavy snow. I remember gazing out the window as slabs of snow slid down from the roof, enjoying the distraction from reading about the juggling balls and design turns.
In the last few weeks I’ve been appointed as an associate lecturer (aka tutor) for the Open University. I am going to be tutoring on TU811 “Thinking strategically: systems approaches for managing change” which I studied myself back in 2010. My studying of TU811 preceded the launch of Just Practicing so I may end up blogging about the approaches as I re-discover the module materials – backfilling a gap in this blog!
Since I’ve been appointed I’ve been on induction – induction at a distance given that it is the OU. It’s involved reading and watching short video clips about my duties and responsibilities, trying to master the ‘tech’ I will need to use, and, becoming familiar with procedures and resources.
I’ve realised that I am entering into a new (to me) ‘community of practice’ – Continue reading
Given the name of this blog and my use of the Leonardo Da Vinci quote in the side panel, it just came as a bit of a surprise to me that I haven’t really posted before on the inter-relationship of theory, research and practice (the main exception being one on Knowledge into action). Or maybe it is because the whole blog is implicitly about that very topic, that I’ve never thought to address it explicitly.
I saw a tweet recently that said something like “you know when someone says paradigm shift that it is going to be a long meeting”. No idea how long this blog will be – wanted to pull a few strands of thought together.
The thoughts were prompted by a friend of mine pointing me in the direction of a great on-line essay by Charles Eisenstein – called 2013: The Space between Stories. It really cleverly describes something I’ve experienced both as a ‘citizen’ and also in my ‘work’. I highly recommend that readers follow the link above now to get a sense of Eisenstein’s essay that starts:
Every culture has a Story of the People to give meaning to the world. Part conscious and part unconscious, it consists of a matrix of agreements, narratives, and symbols that tell us why we are here, where we are headed, what is important, and even what is real. I think we are entering a new phase in the dissolution of our Story of the People, and therefore, with some lag time, of the edifice of civilization built on top of it.
In fact if you’ve only got a few minutes, read that blog not this one!
Now that my ‘talk samples’ are coming in and I have transcribed a couple and listened to a couple more, I feel it is time to decide how I am going to analyse them. Continue reading
I am really clear now about my research project and what it is about.
In short – just in case you have not been following the last couple of months of blogs – I would like to analyse samples of the ‘talk’ of people in leadership roles to see whether or not they are systems thinkers. But there’s the rub……. Continue reading