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Action Learning Workshop – creating and sustaining a learning conversation.

Rand, Jane ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2314-6761 (2016) Action Learning Workshop – creating and sustaining a learning conversation. In: Value and Virtue Conference 2016, 5-6 July 2016, York St John University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract - maximum of 300 words:

Action Learning is increasingly visible within education, typically at post-graduate level (Pedler & Abbott, 2013). It enables people to reflect upon (personally-oriented) situations that are ‘drawn from life experience …[and] ‘flawed’ for being filtered through unexamined views’ (Mezirow, 1981: 183).

I have been exploring under-graduate students’ reports of feeling “stuck” as beginning [social science] researchers (Todd, Bannister & Cleg, 2004). I found that, as pedagogy, Action Learning enables students to develop their identities as researchers through a deliberate ‘towardness’ (Ahmed, 2014) that follows the critical reflection and ‘learning from tackling significant problems in the[ir] real world[s]’ (Simpson & Bourner, 2007: 184). For third year dissertation students, Action Learning Sets enable a ‘beginning researchers community of practice’ (Rand, 2016). This is a mode of apprenticeship in which all members are equally peripheral, and is therefore distinct from apprenticeship in the natural sciences, where students are (legitimately) peripheral to an established community of laboratory-based research mentors and supervisors (Wenger, 1998; Thiry & Laursen, 2011).

As researchers ourselves we may similarly experience feelings of being “stuck”, and so I invite colleagues to participate in a workshop in the form of an Action Learning Set - as Set members, issue-holders, or both. The ambition is for membership to be representative of a range of nationalities, research interests, approaches and experience. In so doing, we will create our own community of practice based upon our shared commitment to practice-based research, and in which we are equally positioned. From this I hope we can continue and grow our community, and develop and share our learning conversation beyond the conference.

Any form of participation is welcome; to participate as an issue-holder please bring an idea of a problem, issue or challenge that is real to you as a practice-based researcher.

References (as appropriate):

Ahmed, S. (2014) The Cultural Politics of Emotion. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Mezirow, J. (1981) ‘A critical theory of adult learning and education’. Adult Education, 32(1): 3-24.

Pedler, M. and Abbott, C. (2013) Facilitating Action Learning. A Practitioners’ Guide. Berkshire: OUP.

Rand, J. (2016) ‘Researching undergraduate social science research’, Teaching in Higher Education, under review.

Simpson, P. and Bourner, T. (2007) ‘What action learning is not in the twenty-first century’. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 4(2): 173-187.

Thiry, H. and Laursen, S.L. (2011) ‘The role of Student-Adviser Interactions in Apprenticing Undergraduate Researchers into a Scientific Community of Practice’. Journal of Science Education Technology, 20(6): 771-784.

Todd, M., Banister, P. and Clegg, S. 2004. ‘Independent inquiry and the undergraduate dissertation: perceptions and experiences of final-year social science students’. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(3): 335-355.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1635

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