Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 review

Time to have a look back on 2009 to assess what I have achieved and what I need to work towards. I have had a busy but interesting, intellectually rich and rewarding and productive (I hope) year. 2009 has been my first full year to concentrate on formulating and working on a new career direction into the areas of vocational education research and the teaching of adult educators.

In teaching with the staff education section, I am really enjoying working with tutors at CPIT and other institutions to improve teaching practice and to enhance student engagement and learning. The section has had to work hard at reviewing, re-documenting and re-developing the current Certificate in Adult Teaching and Diploma in Adult Education qualifications in to a new Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (level 6). Lyn Williams, programme leader for the staff education team has worked hard all year towards ensuring that we are all conversant with the overarching philosophies of the DTLT, to prepare people for teaching who are reflective inquirers, ready to continually learn the complex craft of teaching and who hold students as the centre of the learning process.

In research, I am starting to make progress in obtaining some funding to complete projects. The Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub fundedperspectives of new tutors’ project provided me with the opportunity to do some in depth reading into vocational identity formation and to learn how to use the nVivo qualitative analysis software.

Partial support with hardware from Renaissance computing in the form of two ipod touches and from the academic research committee with a PSP II has provided the opportunity to build capability with our new elearning team, Sam Hegarty and Alison Soo towards optimising Moodle for mobile access. Good progress in this area so watch this space.

A grant from the CPIT Foundation for a start to be made with a multimodal discourse analysis research programme on how trades students learn at CPIT. This first project is to work on the logistical issues related to using videos, voice recorders and mobile phones to collect evidence of student learning in workshops and classrooms. The Ako Aotearoa National Fund project is a project I am also really excited about starting early next year. I will be working with seven industry training organisationa (ITOs) to investigate the perspectives of first year apprentices on their apprenticeship experiences.

The only thing that has stalled is my PhD which I will have to work on over the coming summer to get to a final draft!! However, the various projects and the opportunity to teach research methods to others has meant that I now have a firmer understanding of how to re-structure and make appropriate links to previous research to my dissertation. My academic writing skills have also been developing well, partly through keeping this blog up but also in constructing various papers for conferences (7 this year!!) and seminars / presentations (9!). All good practice at organising my thought processes into a text / aural based literacy format.

So having just come off a very satisfying pre-Xmas tramp to the Tongariro National Park, I am looking forward to Xmas with the family and a camping / walking trip in Southland over the New Year. Then several weeks of intensive work on the dissertation before the 2010 teaching year begins :)