Monday, January 28, 2019

Digital McKinsey – digital insights

The Digital McKinsey site came up through exploring the article on lifelong learning in a recent blog.

A complilation of top reads for 2018 provides 'from understanding to action' and links to a range of articles of relevance to thinking about the contributions and effects of digital tech on the future of work, learning and education.

There are guides to AI, digital strategy, agile organisations, analytics and blockchain. All written within the context of business organisations but of relevance to education.

I have now bookmarked the site and will keep an eye on future articles in the 'our insights' section.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Multiple Dimensions of Teaching and Learning for Occupational Practice - book overview

Here is an overview of the book  'Multiple Dimensions ofTeaching and Learning for Occupational Practice'  Edited by Professor Sai Loo and just published by Routledge 2019. The hardcoopy of the book arrived last week and I had a good read of it over the weekend.

Disclaimer: I have a chapter published in this book

Chapter 1
Researching occupational practice - SAI LOO
The first chapter, sets the scene by firstly detailing the rationale and origins of the book topic. The book seeks to provide perspectives from a range of tertiary education levels, sectors and discipline areas. Education which leads on to an occupation, or occupational teaching, is used as a term to include the various levels (post-school to higher education) and sectors (vocational, further, higher education, VET, TVET, TAFE etc.). Various chapters represent these levels and sectors through the book. Occupational teaching also includes continuous professional development. Brief overviews of each chapter are provided in this chapter.
Chapter 2
Ausbildungsberufe’ – a necessary and complex ingredient of the ‘Dual’ apprenticeship frameworks - LORENZ LASSNIGG
This chapter critiques the various socio, historical and political pressures brought to bear on the Austrian apprenticeship system. A quantitative approach is used to unravel the many stakeholders involved and how these have impinged on the evolution of the entire system. The Austrian system, with roots in the Germanic tradition, is argued to be unique in that there is a tight linkage between occupations and industry needs. In particular, the system used to ‘create new occupations’ is of interest due to the rapidly changing world of work.
Chapter 3
Occupational preparation for manual work: fitter/machinists and concrete operators- ERICA SMITH
Here, a comparative study is used to examine how two trades, have differing ways to prepare people for work. The study explores the ‘skilled’ vs ‘unskilled’ divide and how occupations become privileged through historical evolution (i.e. older occupations); support from trade unions; and a tradition of apprenticeship. This privileging allows for some occupations to have higher regard in the public eye and others to maintain their reputation as ‘dirty work’. Yet, all occupations have inherent skill complexity. Lots of food for thought in this article.
Chapter 4
Perspectives of beginning trades tutors on teaching and learning- SELENA CHAN
My chapter draws from the first project I undertook for Ako Aotearoa. This article, focuses on the concept of drawing from the knowledge and skill sets of trades practitioners, to support their ‘boundary crossing’ to become vocational educators. The article argues for a ‘strengths’ based approach instead of the prevalent ‘top-down’ and ‘we know best’ model whereby trades people, have to adopt the ways of teaching and learning which come through the school and higher education sectors. In particular, the chapter advocates for using apprenticeship approaches to assist new trades teachers and to introduce theories of learning (cognitive apprenticeship etc.) and types of learning literature, which align to trades people life and work experiences.
Chapter 5
A typology of occupational teachers’ capacities across the three academic levels - SAI LOO
Here, the editor presents a chapter on connecting the pedagogical practices across VET, higher and professional education. The epistemological focuses and perspectives are used, along with the framework of Berstein’s notions of knowledge to find commonalities and differences across the sectors. The knowledge schemas of teachers is expanded to include the range of knowledge, experiences, skills and abilities which inform teaching.
Chapter 6
Education and training in human movement programmes: stakeholder perspectives- SALLEE CALDWELL AND MELINDA HALL
In this chapter, the context of human movement and development is used to study how stakeholders perceive the preparation of students for work. A good example of engaging stakeholders and using the data to inform curriculum development and student learning.
Chapter 7
Educating work-ready youth workers: designing a university program for Australian and international contexts- JENNIFER BROOKER
Here, the preparation of youth workers within a university programmes is studied. Of interest is how the university, re-configured the programme to be more similar to VET type programmes, with a better balance between theory and practice.
Chapter 8
Learning to become an entrepreneur in unfavourable conditions: the case of new-entrants in the context of the Greek debt-crisis- KONSTANTINOS KARANASIOS AND THOMAS LANS
This is an interesting study, on how young people were assisted to move into agriculture whilst the country was wrestling with the challenges of an economy in meltdown. Of interest was the use of critical incidents technique to gather data. The 3-P model – presage, process and product – was also rationalised as a means to identify workplace factors which influence learning.
Chapter 9
Professionalism and affective learning for new prison officers: learning values, attitudes and behaviours in training at the Scottish Prison Service- KATRINA MORRISON
Reports on a longitudinal study of recruits into the Scottish prison service to understand how a new Officer Foundation programme has progressed. The programme has an emphasis on values, attitudes and behaviours as compared to previous iterations which had training focuses.
Chapter 10
The journey from healthcare assistant to assistant practitioner: working and learning- CLAIRE THURGATE
The journey of healthcare assistants to become assistant practitioners is described and illuminated in this chapter. Of relevance is the ways in which these learners were supported to become more self-directed. A conceptual framework is presented to describe and support healthcare assistants to become assistance practitioners.
Chapter 11
Understanding and appraising medical students’ learning through clinical experiences: participatory practices at work- STEPHEN BILLETT AND LINDA SWEET
This chapter reports on medical students’ learning during their clinical experience through ‘relational interdependence’. The authors argue that the process is reliant on the two-dimensional relationship between the affordances provided by the organisation and the way in which learners choose to engage with these.
Chapter 12
Learning decision making in Emergency Medicine- DUNCAN THOMAS CARMICHAEL
The decision making processes of emergency physicians is used to provide insights into how skills and experiences are honed through workplace learning.
Chapter 13
Reflections on the occupational practice- SAI LOO
The concluding chapter provides an overview of the findings, conclusions and implication for occupational education across the various systems, levels and disciplines presented in the 11 chapters.

Overall, a good collection of chapters, attesting to the contextualised and specialised journeys of people becoming through learning, work and reflection, to take on occupational identity. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lifelong learning - themes from 1000 articles summarised

The article discussed in this blog is via Jane Hart's blog consolidating her 'picks of the year'.

The article, presents the authors' learning through the trawling through 1000 articles on continuous learning. Ten themes are presented.

Of interest is that young people are particularly interested in continuous learning opportunities. This bodes well for the future but is also a telling indicator of the increased precarity in the workplace. There is no longer a guarantee of ‘jobs for life’ and people need to continually keep up with the play to keep themselves current and marketable. Who pays for this continual learning is not detailed. As it is, in the current neo-liberalist environment, individuals tend to pay for their post compusory school, pre-work learning. This is followed by professional development or on the job training as provided by some employers. Individuals seeking to shift their skill sets often then pay for their 'extra' learning themselves via MOOCs or other sources of learning. Organisations are pragmatic and will only fund training they deem relevant to their requirements. Individuals, to keep up with the play, therefore need to continually upskill, either formally or informally and company or self-sponsored. 

The authors also connect the above to the need for people to be continually learning as being driven by the knowledge economy and constant change. Change also involves not just learning the same old thing again, but requires unlearning and relearning.

Three themes revolve around the role of organisations to support life long learners and the need for learners to take responsibility for their own learning. Continuous learning is seem to be essential to career success and job security is predicated on being keeping up the skills etc. to remain employable.
There is promotion of the concept of ‘continuous learning platforms’ which are predicted to disrupt current learning approaches. This is to meet the future which is defined by the authors as being open, continuous and embedded. See Digital McKinsey Practice for greater detail.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Plans for 2019

Back into the fray after some rest and re-creation in the NZ mountains. Looking forward to another busy and productive year.

The first item to complete is to ensure the programme documentation for our new Graduate Certificate / Graduate Diploma in Building Information Modelling is approved for delivery for the middle of the year. I will also be working with various teaching teams to complete their teaching and learning plans and first delivery of their programmes. These include the new Master in Sustainable Practice which will a blended approach based on principles of ‘networked learning’ and the level 6 Diploma in Interior Design, which will also have a blended approach.

Reviews across the sector and within my institution will also generate activity. Change always requires adjustment to the socio-politics of new ways of doing.

The main objective this year is to complete a book for Springer titled: Processes, pedagogy and technology-enhanced vocational learning: Learning and teaching a trade. This book, summarises the work I have been doing across the last decade on understanding how people learn how to become trades people. I have been beavering at the draft chapters from late last year and hope to have most of it done by Easter. To assist the process of completing the book, I will be embarking on a short sabbatical at the end of the year. I hope to have completed the draft of the book by then and will work on refining the book after it has come back from peer review.

Conferences include one at the end of March in Germany for the biannual convening of the International Network on Innovative Apprentice. The annual AVETRA conference is on in Sydney in June and perhaps one later in the year.