Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plans for 2012

After last year’s interruptions, I am looking forward to a quieter and more productive year. However, the year ended with a good shake up on 23rd December with another aftershock and we have had several reminders the earth is still settling in with aftershocks in the first week of January.

I am hoping that plans for this year will eventuate as CPIT braces for another year. I have applied for two Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub funded projects. One with hospitality front office receptions tutors Debby Taylor and Heather McEwen to improve students’ critical reflective practice in front-office reception skills using net tablets to record and archive role plays. The other with the manufacturing (fitting, turning and toolmaking) team led by Tony Smith, to evaluate their project based learning approach and to do an impact evaluation of the effectiveness of embedding literacy and numeracy into their programme.

The other important objective for this year is to concentrate on dissemination of findings from the many projects completed over the last three years and the PhD thesis. Not only in the form of academic journal articles, but presentations at relevant forums. For instance to trade tutors and industry / employers forums on the first year apprenticeship project and the peer learning projects with Flip.

An article by Michele Martin via a November blog from the bamboo project, provides some direction for on-going professional development. She introduces the concept of being a ‘social artist’ linking to the work of Wenger’s ‘learning citizen’.

My Xmas present to self was the book ‘designing research for publication’ by Anne Sigismund Huff. This highly readable book, is a real ‘must-read’ for postdocs and aspiring academics. The book is full of insightful hints and provides good guidelines to plan a research pathway and trajectory. Of note is the need to ‘find the right conversation’, something I need to think through as I presently have a diverse (but I think connected) range of research topics. Mlearning/use of technology in teaching/learning, vocational identity formation for apprentices and trades tutors, skills acquisition/learning of novice trades students, apprenticeship processes, eportfolios and constructive/inquiry learning etc. to name the main strands! Bringing structure and cohesion to find synergistic links with these research topics makes life interesting, but they need to be carefully brought together.

So, there is much to look forward to this year :)