FLIP: synthesizing my learning experience

COURSE: Fostering Learning in Practice

FORUM: Koala

TOPICS: Fenwick, reflections, adult learning, experiential learning, constructivism,

WEEK 10 – Task 2: synthesizing my learning

Link to forum    Link to blog

TASK 2 WEEK 10

1)   What is your case (expressing the learning dimension in your workplace) a case of? (restate)

My learning dimension is the Intercultural Communication dimension.

My hot case clearly shows that in my professional context there is a prevalent lack of consideration for issues related to the intercultural learning dimension. My hot issue prompts me to advocate for the introduction of Intercultural Communication practices into the college educational and work environment.

2) What do you now see as the identity issues that relate to your learning dimension?

I have identified two levels at which identity is negotiated within my professional practice:

At the micro-level, we engage in identity building, i.e. the building of our autobiography, through the construction of a narrative made up of carefully selected episodes. Such narrative is likely to fit into existing discourses of education and actualization.

At the macro-level, we engage in the contextual reality of our professional practice, which may result in having to negotiate our identity and “adjust” it to our workplace environment.

3) What conceptual understandings of adult learning in practice do you feel relate to your learning dimension?

The most appropriate approach cannot really be established a priory.

The following structure develops from a system, non-linear perspective.

I would exclude Lave and Wenger’s participation perspective, as it believes that “the educator’s role is not to develop individuals, but to help them participate meaningfully in the practices they choose to enter.” (Greeno, 1997) (Fenwick, p.36)

I have selected two levels that will be helpful to outline my position.

Micro level:

Constructivist (humanist/progressive)

Macro (global) level:

Constructivist (radical)

Constructivist (transformational, Merizow)

System approach (enactivist perspective)

4) What are the best actions that you feel would move the learning dimension forward? Why would these actions be best? How might these actions be organised as a learning strategy in your workplace?

DEVELOPING A SOLUTION-ORIENTED RELATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Support noticing, mindfulness, and reflection activities.

Relational view (Chappell et al.)

By acting at the two levels suggested above, I will be able to raise awareness of the intercultural communication dimension. By acting as a communicator, story maker, and interpreter I will assist learners in the emergence of a new consciousness through processes of transformation.

At present, in my current workplace I can only see room for action at the micro level.

Injecting the intercultural learning dimension into my workplace will require institutional commitment. This will require me to renegotiate my role within the college by promoting my level of “intercultural expertise.” That would require a shift in my role towards a more pro-active and solution-oriented approach.

Firstly, with regards to the students, towards the recognition of the cultural differences embedded in their narratives. That could be done by implementing curricular changes in courses and by explicitly recognizing the intercultural communication competence.

Secondly, with regards to staff/faculty, towards the implementation of appropriate initiatives such as professional development opportunities, aimed at creating and promoting an understanding and awareness of the intercultural communication dimension beyond the make-shift approach currently in place.

Intervention at the macro level remains currently a philosophical exercise, given the education orientations currently in place. It remains to be seen whether changes at the micro level will also open the way to a transformation in attitudes that will acknowledge issues of false consciousness, confessional education, and governmentability. The kind of intercultural shift I am advocating would need to extend way beyond current essentialist views and embrace the challenges presented in a systemic paradigmatic shift.

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