#Becomingeducational Well you wait for months for a #Becoming blog – then two come along together! This is on making an SFHEA Application – and this time it’s personal
We have many colleagues who are preparing FHEA and SFHEA applications right now.
In our institution, LondonMet, our PGCert is mapped against the HEA Fellowship scheme and the University has an accredited system of validating FHEA and SFHEA applications ourselves – either written or via a Viva.
Whether you are writing an in-depth application or preparing a Viva, the pressure to de-code the task – and to make the time and space to reflect positively on your own experience and gather just the right evidence – can be exhausting and debilitating for many.
So it is with great pleasure we share Jane Secker’s blogpost on just that topic.
Thank you for writing and sharing this Jane!!
And to the rest of you – well – read this and get writing!
All the best,
Sandra & Tom
I’ve not written a blog post for quite some time and not because I’ve not had much to say, rather because there has been far too much going on. However, the occasion of being appointed a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy has prompted me to write a short blog post about this. Also because I have offered to mentor and support others and to share my fellowship claim.
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#Becomingeducational Taking Learning Developers to the Scaffold?
We wanted to share this excellent blogpost from our colleague Dr Helen Webster. Helen’s posts on Learning Development are always fascinating, well-theorised and thought provoking. This one is no exception.
Helen poses the seemingly innocent question: As LDers is our role one of scaffolding or not?
At first look it seems obvious that we are scaffolding by function – literally supporting people as they build the foundations to their own knowledge.
And yet she points to Hybrid Pedagogy’s Jesse Stommel who argues that some scaffolding is almost colonial in nature. There is the danger, he says, of the pedagogue completely controlling the knowledge to be aimed at – and how it should be gained. We take away student agency when we devise courses in patronising bite-sized chunks, leaving these like breadcrumbs taking the students off to the gingerbread house – to be consumed.
Take this trip with Helen – see what scaffold you might like to build so that your students too become the architects of their own rhizomatic learning.
All the best,
Sandra & Tom
A while ago now (oops) I was looking at Cognitive Constructivism in my series reviewing educational theories and their application to Learning Development. I ended noting that this school of thought sees learning as an individual activity, but that later, social constructivist theories would position learners not as ‘lone scientists’, but as interacting with others in a social setting in order to learn.
What is it?
Vygotsky saw learning as deriving from social interaction. This ‘dialogue’ could be with people (often more knowledgable or capable people, but potentially also peers) or with mediating cultural artefacts such as books or other learning materials. This interaction prompts and supports learners from their current level of understanding, where they are independently competent, to a level which represents their potential but is beyond their ability to reach by themselves. The place in between Can Do and Can’t Do, where the learning happens, he referred…
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This week we are sharing a post from our colleague – and newly appointed National Teaching Fellow, Helen Webster – as she asks us to consider whether there is actually a distinct pedagogy for learning development.
Helen starts like this:
Towards a Signature Pedagogy of Learning Development
The notion of signature pedagogies was developed by Shulman (2006) when looking at education in the professions. “These are types of teaching that organise the fundamental ways in which future practitioners are educated for their new professions. In these signature pedagogies, the novices are instructed in critical aspects of the three fundamental dimensions of professional work – to think, to perform and to act with integrity.” Each profession has its own characteristic way of doing this, reflecting the differing emphasis it places on each of the three dimensions. Think of the medics in their OSCEs and dissections or the lawyers with their case problems and debates.
And the complete post can be found here:
Do go to Helen’s original post – and join in the conversation!!
Happy new academic year!
All the best,
Sandra & Tom
#Becomingeducational Welcomes a cool look at Academic Literacies
We are so happy to re-post this blog from our Helen Webster.
It is rare to see such a clear exposition of the differences implicit in the Study Skills – Socialisation – Academic Literacies model first teased out by Lea and Street, 1998.
And if you are really interested in this – and are working it out through your own practice – do not forget JLDHE’s call for pieces on Lea and Street twenty years on – submissions by the 31st May.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
All the best,
Sandra & Tom
I’m off to London later today, at the kind invitation of the University Health and Medical Librarians’ Group, to talk about Academic literacy – what it is, what it covers, how it’s taught. Boy, are they going to be disappointed when I don’t actually have any sensible answers for any of those questions!
#Becomingeducational It’s so nearly Christmas…
This week we’ve become engrossed in Dr Helen Webster’s reflection on the ways we work as Learning Developers – specifically she’s discussing issues around whether or not we should read samples of the student’s writing in advance of having a one-to-one with the student – or – and possibly worse (?) – just reading and critiquing student writing without the student coming near us at all.
Helen makes the point that as part of our ALDinHE values, we are committed to working alongside students to help them make sense of academia… and if we are reading and working on *their* writing in our office, on the train, at home on the sofa… then we are literally not working alongside them: the students are far away and we are working only on their writing…
Whilst there are so many good reasons why committed learning developers might want to do this – including a commitment to and an understanding of the pressured, time-poor student – we are in practice saying: send me your work – and I will fix it for you!
In the end, despite the lack of resource of time and staff that is endemic in our profession, we have to work out what is in the best long term interest of the student – and what is in the best interest of the student and their understanding and development of their writing…
This is another of the big questions in Learning Development practice. Does your one to one service require students to send a sample of work for the Learning Developer to read before the appointment, or do you ask them to bring it with them on the day so you can skim through it in situ?
This issue has implications for logistics and practice, but also fundamentally affects how we conceptualize Learning Development, so it’s worth giving serious thought to. My practice has always been in teams that don’t read work in advance, so it’s what I’m used to, but discussions with LDers whose services insist on written work in advance have been very useful in making me reflect on whether I practise this way because it’s familiar to me, or because there is a pedagogic justification for it. Having given it long thought, I’m sticking with No Work In Advance, for…
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