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Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.

1 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work

Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work.

Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work............................ 1 An overview of the ideas of variation and learning which have informed my investigation and the design of the learning experience....................................................................................................................................... 2 Description of 'reflective work', why it is important for learners to understand in a richer way and any difficulties that it poses for learners ................................................................................................................... 3 Outline of the approach I have taken to investigate variation in ways of experiencing reflective work. ........... 3 My analysis of the range of variation in ways in which I as a learner have conceived of reflective work, based on the investigation that I have done.................................................................................................................. 4 Identification of the desired outcome for learners in terms of particular ways of conceiving of reflective work ............................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of the use of reflective work to investigate an issue of practice in a group of peer practitioners......................................................................... 6 Analysis of Learning Experience Design in Phenomenographic View Terms: ................................................. 7 A conclusion where I discuss the benefits and limitations of my mini-investigation and learning design ........ 8 BIBLIOGRAPHY: ............................................................................................................................................. 8 NOTE TO JO: .................................................................................................................................................... 9 ATTACHMENT: ............................................................................................................................................. 10 Round 1: ...................................................................................................................................................... 10 Round 2: ...................................................................................................................................................... 11 Round 3: Reading Schon Vignettes and looking for teachers' variation design .......................................... 12 Forms for Undertaking Reflective Work:.................................................................................................... 14 Investigating variation and designing a learning experience: A report on a mini-investigation of variation in ways of experiencing 'reflective work', considered to be an important component associated with deep learning in higher or professional education, and a proposal for a learning experience which could enable learners to become aware of this variation. Dianne Allen, 2002

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.2 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work An overview of the ideas of variation and learning which have informed my investigation and the design of the learning experience Understanding learning in higher and professional education has two distinct components: understanding learning, and the context of higher and professional education. Learning as an entity, a phenomenon, has a long history associated with its study, and has been approached from a number of different perspectives. It has been found to be quite a complex entity, and there are a number of ways of conceptualising it. There are a number of elements that characterise learning: the aspect that represents the perceptual - change, and invariance; the aspect that represents the temporal - taking time, and having permanence, and changing over time; the aspect that represents its situational occurrence - as a natural, informal and apparently incidental development as distinct from the time-honoured mechanisms to systematically expedite it; the aspect that represents its character - its what (the content, the object of learning) as distinct from its how (the process, the path of learning). (Entwistle 1997) (Marton, Dall'Alba et al. 1993) For me, to learn is experience a change, and the change experienced is a change of knowing. The context of higher and professional education represents a special case, or context, of a certain kind of learning. It is generally agreed to represent more complex learning, both at the level of what and how, content and process. The SOLO taxonomy, which is one way of describing a range of levels of learning, designates the level appropriate to higher and professional education as at either the relational or the extended abstract level of learning. (Boulton-Lewis 1998) (Prosser and Trigwell 1999) The phenomenographic study, and consequent description of learning, and the attendant theorising about learning recognises the natural component of learning to arise out of our perceptive processes which require variation. It is premised on there being variation in phenomena and situations, and that we perceive this variation, indeed the perception of such variation is the mechanism by which we identify and recognise any phenomenon or situation. It is also premised on there being variation in the way that we perceive such variation. It posits that of the multitude of variants in a phenomenon or situation, only a few can be managed by an individual at a time, and so individual focal differentiation, implicit in and an expression of an individual's relevance structure, will determine what variation is experienced. It goes further and indicates that for particular learning, a particular kind of variation needs to be experienced in a particular kind of way. (Bowden and Marton 1998) (Marton and Trigwell 2000) (Marton and Booth 1997) For the more abstract conceptualisations of the constructed world that constitute the 'stuff' of higher and professional education, the phenomenographic approach has identified that there are a limited number of qualitatively different ways of experiencing a phenomenon or situation (Marton and Booth 1997). And that of this limited number, it is the more complex and inclusive conceptualisations that are usually associated with the thinking that is thinking-like-a-competent-X (where X is the specific instance, from a variety of disciplines of knowledge or areas of professional practice). Further, there is empirical evidence that shows that the activity of a person is related to their thinking, and the activity that flows from having the more complex and inclusive concept becomes what is identified as competent-X (Dall'Alba and Sandberg 1996). The phenomenographic approach then seeks to describe the characteristics that differentiate one conception of a phenomenon or situation from another. It also seeks to identify and describe the significant variations that need to be simultaneously in focal awareness in order to allow a perceiver (learner) to experience that particular combination of variants, and so potentially arrive at the more complex and inclusive conception. Then, applying the theory and the descriptions, it is postulated that learning experience designs can be formulated to assist the learner move from one conception to another. This theory also recognises that such a movement is not 'determined', that it is dependent on the learner's intent, and capacity to learn the particular. The capacity of the learner to learn the particular appears to be most dependent on the form of the idiosyncratic relevance structure that they bring to, or can be induced to have, while engaging with a designed learning experience. (Prosser and Trigwell 1999) Within this frame of thinking about learning, empirical studies indicate that there is significant correlation between the learner who has a deep approach to learning and the formation, within the learner, of the more abstract, complex and inclusive conceptions (Prosser and Trigwell 1999). Coming from another perspective, the literature of experience-based learning indicates that a significant contributing factor to the deep approach which assists a learner learn from experience is their capacity to be reflective (Boud, Keogh et al. 1985; Boud, Cohen et al. 1993).

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.3 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Description of 'reflective work', why it is important for learners to understand in a richer way and any difficulties that it poses for learners To 'reflect' has a range of different meanings in common usage (13 in the Macquarie dictionary). I am concerned with the meaning designated as 'think carefully'. 'Reflective', as a particular descriptor of 'thinking' is most closely associated with John Dewey (Dewey 1933). More recently it has become associated with Donald Schon's concept of 'reflective practice' as an epistemology of professional practice, and 'reflection-in-action' as a descriptor of the professional's thinking that appears to be a significant element in the development of 'expertise' in practice (Schon 1983; Schon 1987). In other literature in the field it is linked with judgment (King and Kitchener 1994), pedagogy (Bailey, Saparito et al. 1997), teaching (Marsick and Watkins 1991; Brookfield 1995), research (Fook 1996; Kressel 1997), learning (Marsick and Watkins 1991; Putnam 1991), thinking (Norton 1997), dialogue (Putnam 1996). There is a growing literature of the study of it in a variety of practices - nursing, environmental practice, teaching, teacher education, management, mediation, professional development, etc (Schon 1991; Reed and Proctor 1992; Smith 1992; Thomashow 1995). I have nominated 'work' as the vaguer catch-all for the other generic and specific activities that are described as 'reflective' within this Deweyan/Schonian/ thinking umbrella. Reflective practice is claimed to be a significant element of professional practice and the development of professional expertise (Schon 1983; Schon 1987). Part of the claim of effectiveness of reflective practice relates to the role of reflection as a component of deep learning, and the way to transform experience into learning (Boud, Keogh et al. 1985). Another part of the claim of effectiveness of reflective practice in professional practice lies in the element of reflective practice that constitutes an iterative inquiry process that the professional can use to manage the complexity that presents in the problem to be solved (Schon 1983; Dick 2000). But there are also indications that conceptions of reflective work are many and varied, which has given some commentators cause to challenge it as a useful concept or appropriate focus for study and use in the professional education arena (Raines and Shadiow 1995). The phenomenographic approach recognises the reality of different conceptions (Bowden and Marton 1998), and endeavours to investigate and describe the nature of these differences, as a precursor to considering design of learning experience (Prosser and Trigwell 1999; McKenzie 2002). This appears to offer a more realistic and hopeful perspective on this issue. Learning focused on reflective work faces a number of difficulties. As a process, reflective work is something that all do, (eg Schon's example of conversation) but not necessarily well. Because it is so pervasive, it has slipped from view (almost unconscious). Because it is a process, reflective work is often invisible/ tacit/ with a mixture of conscious and unconscious/non-verbalised and not readily articulated components. Those aspects of reflective work which are amendable to learning about, from a structured learning experience and in a group, are less than the whole phenomenon. [But that may always be the case for any non-trivial phenomenon anyway.] We only see the outcomes if and when they become public. The introvert, when required to speak, may well deliver on the outcomes, and this may be why introverts attain the descriptive tag of 'reflective'. The extrovert will do seen to do it, and the content will be available in a public form, if reflective work is recognised as happening in talking it out: co-counselling or issue debriefing. So a variety of modes need to be enunciated, and occasion to use each, needs to be made (Dick 1998). And the extent to which it will be 'visible' /attended to by the individual will vary. This may be part of the explanation of the range of different conceptions. To take steps to improve the process and its outcomes, the self-directed learner needs to become more aware of what they do (and, where possible, how) and how well they do it, comparatively, and how they might improve what they are doing.

Outline of the approach I have taken to investigate variation in ways of experiencing reflective work. The investigatory approach taken was to review documentary evidence of the impact/results of reading and writing about reflective work, undertaken over the period 1998 to the present, to identify and evaluate/interpret any change in my conceptualising of reflective work as recorded in that documentary evidence. As a selfdirected learner, trying to take steps to understand and improve my reflective work, I am aware of a recent, significant change in my conceptualising of reflective work. I am aware of the role of revisiting previously read and worked with material as a source of experiencing variation that results in change in the learned object (Marton and Trigwell 2000). I have previously named this process of change as a part of the 'hermeneutic spiral' associated with a change in understanding (Gummesson 1991). I have elected to track my own changes in understanding reflective work that has developed from repeated readings of the key texts of Schon's work over the period 1998-present, since this may illuminate the change in

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.4 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work conception experienced by a learner. The first two rounds of such reading occurred before my introduction to the concept of variation as a key component of designing learning experiences. The third reading occurred after the introduction of that concept. This third reading was followed up with the reading of a specific article discussing Schon's concept of reflection-in-action from the phenomenographic viewpoint.

My analysis of the range of variation in ways in which I as a learner have conceived of reflective work, based on the investigation that I have done Change in how I have conceived 'reflective work': (see attachment for more detail) In the first recorded instance of an expression of my understanding of reflective work it was a composite activity, where both reflective work and elements of research were intertwined. The expression was as follows: Reflection: thinking back on what was done; gathering data, say by journalling, or some other structured recording, of: the event/s past, and the intervenor's activity, and the responses of the other participants, in that/ose event/s; and reviewing that with a view to improving performance for the next time round" [January 1998 draft]. I would designate that expression as my 'natural attitude' - my attempt to describe how I was understanding something that I responded to because it resonated with my experience. As such I would describe this view as relatively undifferentiated. After the first round of reading Schon's material I had separated reflection from reflective practice and from reflective research of practice. Reflection, in the practice context, was identified as follows "thinking about it: before, during and after the doing; and, thinking about one's own responses in it: thoughts, feelings, actions, decisions, reasons for actions" [September 1998 draft]. Reflective practice was identified as follows: "So, Reflective Practice involves being more consciously aware of the practitioner's thinking which is informing/directing their practice responses" [September 1998 draft]. Reflective research of practice was identified as follows: "The reflective research of practice is the process of inquiring into the thinking of the practitioner that informs their action in the practice. It is essentially the natural form of inquiry common to all research endeavours. Its focus is different" [October 1998 draft]. I would describe this view as being 'more discriminating' - nearly the 'reductive' approach. My expression of my concept of reflective research of practice was modified between 1998 and 2000, with the following kind of refinement: "Its process depends on the iterative cycle, reflective work to capture thinking data, and the capacity to undertake critical analysis of the thinking-action complex in the practice context." [June 2000 draft]. In 2001, following further work on the nature of inquiry, and how different forms of inquiry might be appropriately evaluated, and in particular what evaluative criteria are appropriate for reflective research of practice, I engaged in re-reading selections of Schon's work. My particular focus in this re-reading of some of his vignettes as examples of storytelling, was to see if that informed me in my own writing and editing task of evaluating my stories that raised practice issues. I was now able to see the activity of reflective work, in the design process especially, to be a series of interactive evaluations. It is the comparing and contrasting that identifies 'surprise' - some consequence of action that was not predicted/expected. It is the comparing and contrasting that delivers, to the attentive self, the conclusion that some activity and its associated thinking is less effective than desired, and perhaps some indication of what might be an explanatory reason for this being the case. I expressed this in a contemporaneous personal note as follows: "Valuation/ judgement is an aspect of reflective work. The criteria for evaluation are many and variable. As one applies them in trying to design an understood best way, given what we know, the various criteria get mobilised and used as and when needed. The problem (ie how you frame it) will call out the needful criteria. There will be a hierarchy of their use. My preference is with the ideal, the consistently ideated approach." [6 December 2001 What I have learned note] At the same time I was becoming more and more aware of being less and less able to consider activities like learning, inquiring, and evaluating, as separate from one another. What might be considered appropriate boundaries were more and more blurred. The interactivity of: learning informing inquiry, of inquiry informing learning, of evaluating being an intrinsic part of inquiry and therefore learning, as well as being an intrinsic part of any decision to act, became more and more the reality for me. I would describe this view as being 'more integrated' than my previous position. In undertaking a third round of reading, I have done so having been introduced to the concept of variation, and its role in learning and the design of learning experiences. I found that I could see the aspects of 'variation', 'discernment', 'use of error for information', 'alternating focus and attention on things foregrounded', etc, as being

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.5 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work involved in reflective work. I could also see these elements appearing in the diagnostic and design elements of reflective work that a teacher seeks to use in responding to what is going on in trying to help a learner. But at this stage I found that this way of seeing was as an alternative view, and limited to just that, an alternative view. Compared with the sense of awareness that the evaluative component is an integral aspect of reflective work that developed after the second round of reading and writing, there hasn't been the same sort of 'ah-ha', the same sort of satisfaction of having a more compelling perception. Furthermore, reading Linder & Marshall's analysis did not generate any significant change for me (Linder and Marshall 2001). That being the case, I was prompted to review the nature of the changes that I have experienced - it begged the question of my interpretation of those changes. (See details in Attachment) The change: from 'relatively undifferentiated' to 'more discriminating' is, I think, within the same level. Phenomenographers might call this differentiation within the 'structural' aspects of description - separating parts from wholes, and distinguishing part from part (Marton, Dall'Alba et al. 1993), but without the kind of information that is available from comparing conceptions from a group of individuals, it is hard to be definite about these boundaries. The shift to 'more integrated', if it isn't at another level, is at least within another dimension - for me, 'evaluating' as a process has become distinct, whereas previously it was a tacit activity, and 'evaluating' has become an integrative theme. But I can also interpret the changes to be trending in a different way: the material that was tacit in my processing has become identified by courtesy of relatability with Kressel's conception and articulation and able to be distinguished as reflective research of practice - 1998 activity (Kressel 1997). That has been enriched and clarified by the first round of reading of Schon. Then that part of it which had not been enunciated, since it remained tacit, as well as pervasive - the evaluative process - has been able to be identified and articulated, and has become such an integrative factor that the whole has become an undefinable, rich dynamic - almost back to being tacit again, with me reluctant to try and work at 'definition'. It could be said that its indefiniteness has returned to vagueness. But it has also provided a capacity to allow yet another approach to be mapped to it (the phenomenographic variation analysis) so that it is open and inclusive, rather than being definite, closed and exclusive. At this point I am unable to judge between alternative interpretations. Something like the work needed to engage with other authors and their conceptions, or other learners and their conceptions, seems called for. But such work is beyond the scope of this paper. I would note that I am alert to fact that for some, 'reflection' is usually attached to self-awareness, self-disclosure, self-revelatory psychological aspects of thinking. For some, articulating thinking is sensed as being more self-revealing than it is for others, whether the articulated thinking involves self-referential material or not. Indeed it is revealing - it makes available, for another, information from which assumptions can be identified and challenged.

Identification of the desired outcome for learners in terms of particular ways of conceiving of reflective work In proceeding to design a learning experience, identifying a desired outcome for learners is required. Given that learners come to a learning situation with a variety of prior experience, a variety of idiosyncratic relevance structures, and a variety of conceptions of reflective work, it is difficult to be very specific about a desired outcome for a class group (Prosser and Trigwell 1999). I would be aiming for self-assessment of learning. Some general targets here include: change in awareness of their own practice of reflective work; change in their own level of valuing of it to devote time to work at it, and/or with it, to see change in practice effectiveness from it. So I would propose assessment before and assessment after using reflective work to track that (similar to Jo's assignment 1 process!). Given that my experience above is that associated with (1) being able to articulate what has previously been tacit, and then (2) to differentiate certain components of reflective work, before (3) discerning another tacit process that appears to be implicit in the whole activity, and that it has taken a lot of time and intensive work to reach this level, the best I can do, from my present experience and understanding, is provide a learning experience where there is a range of variations that may provide opportunities for the learners to experience a variation that becomes for them a learning experience. Given that my data may not cover the whole ground of variation and given that I have been unable, in my analysis, to identify any/those significant variations that describe and bound different conceptions, I am unable to design a learning experience that would be more likely to direct the attention of the learner to those significant variations that need to be held simultaneously, in focal attention to provide a potential learning experience directed to a more intentional change of conception (a desired outcome). What would then be the case, is that in the following designed learning experience, I would be operating as a learner about the learning available in this experience for different learners. This is somewhat similar to Schon's concept of the joint experiment approach to educating the reflective practitioner (Schon 1987).

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.6 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work There would also be the potential for me to gather, from the group discussions and from the individual reflective report from the session, some more information about how others experience and articulate reflective work. From that learning there is the potential to feedback such learning into future design, either of incremental change or something much more innovative and discontinuous.

Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of the use of reflective work to investigate an issue of practice in a group of peer practitioners. (This represents an enhanced version of a process I have used in the past. It is enhanced by the introduction of a number of different variations.) (I would anticipate needing a block of at least 4 hours for this work.) Exercise 1: Brainstorming an issue of current practice: (1) personal reflective work to get data: What are current issues of practice for you? - jot them down as they arise from the 'top of your head' How would you rank those in order of importance to you? Now that they are out on paper, forget them. Take a second sheet: think, back over your career; is there something that is a longer standing issue for your practice - something that is puzzling, or intractable to change from your end - what is it? Now look at 'top of heads' and 'puzzling/intractable': is there a 'top of the head' that is gathered into / a current instance of the 'puzzling/intractable'?; (2) followed by plenary group work: (1) collect the tops of the heads to a whiteboard: [identifying sequence of recording (extrovert/introvert aspect)]; capturing multiples of interest concern; is there any natural grouping of these -> abstraction of common concern (2) collect the puzzling/intractables to a whiteboard: [identifying sequence of recording (extrovert/introvert aspect)]; capturing multiples of interest concern; is there any natural grouping of these -> abstraction of common concern; (3) compare and contrast (1) and (2) results - is there a burning issue in particular within a general problem area that gathers in most of participants? Exercise 2: For that decided issue, brainstorming competent practice for it: (1) personal reflection work again: (a) jot down the specifics of most recent incident that raised that issue for you: who did it involve?; what was at issue?; how did it arise?; in what way is/was it not satisfactorily resolved as far as you are concerned? (b) recollect from your experience an incident when, in your view, you, or another, managed that issue well - what were the characteristics of that managing that you registered as 'good' (c) recollect from your experience an incident when, in your view, you, or another, didn't manage that issue so well - what are the characteristics of that managing that you registered as 'not so good/bad' (2) plenary group work: (a) collect the 'goods' to a whiteboard; capture the multiples from the individual work; capture the 'borderline' (those which for some, fell into the 'not so good' category) (b) collect the 'not so good/bads' to the whiteboard; capture the multiples from the individual work; capture the 'borderline' (those which for some, fell into the 'good' category) Exercise 3: Returning to the initial issues, either 'top of the head' or 'puzzling/intractable', pick one term from the board; one issue/aspect recollect an incident that comes to mind about that: what happened in the incident as you recall; do reflections using the Smyth list (see attachment) Exercise 4: NOW: consider the processes undertaken to date (exercises 1-3) and do Reactions, Elaboration, Contemplation (see attachment) for what you have been experiencing to date; share what you will of that with a partner; pairs share in quartets; quartets report back to plenary: common ground and variances Exercise 5: THEN consider the process undertaken to date and do the Tripp (see attachment) analysis of your preferred approach and what/how; again share with partner; pairs share in quartets (same) quartets report back to plenary: common ground and variances.

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.7 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Exercise 6: NOW compare outcomes from the three forms of reflective approach, Smyth vs R/E/C vs Tripp; again share with partner, pairs share in quartets but now change quartet; quartets report back to plenary; after plenary challenge plenary about any observations about process (of change of quartet) ; AND compare your comfort with the 'personal written' versus the 'spoken to another' approach; AND/OR imagine - how it would have been different if each time the pairs were different and quartets different; or pairs different and quartets same WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT REFLECTIVE WORK - WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED FOCUS IN IT? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE, THE BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE WORK; OF GROUP REFLECTIVE WORK (NOTE : the next phase of using reflective work to investigate and learn from experience concerning current practice issues would be the exploration of the 'borderline' items identified above, and begin to enunciate the way in which different values comes into play here.) (NOTE: As I considered this approach, I also considered one of the risks would be getting caught up with the practice issue exposed by exercises 1-3, and the constraints of time, resulting in not being able to work on the reflective work (process) aspect. I also have in mind the possible counterproductive nature of exposing the process of reflective work ((Bowden and Marton 1998), p.41 since reflective work is an aspect of the processes of learning). The group, once motivated and mobilised, might well consider the work on the reflective as being a distraction; and the practice issue as far more important to work on than the reflective. And if so what then? Take a physical break. Negotiate that when done reflective work analysis will be coming back to primary issue - that reflective work understanding is trying to help the process and deepen capacity to engage. Or design some mechanism for documenting the material gathered so far of the current practice for a later date - some sort of closure; do that; then focus on the reflective work process.)

Analysis of Learning Experience Design in Phenomenographic View Terms: (Sources: (Marton and Booth 1997; Bowden and Marton 1998; Prosser and Trigwell 1999; Marton and Trigwell 2000)) Object of learning: what is reflective work: for self, for others, by self, with others?; how do I and others go about reflective work: naturally, by preference?; are there ways of going about reflective work that can enhance my understanding of and activity with reflective work? Relevance structure: own current practice issues: 'top of head'; then, synergy of common ground aspect; relevance structure is also derived from recollection of experience - 'puzzling/intractable'; focusing on particular incidents - most recent; one which is an example of a particular issue If there is any connection between the 'top of the head' and the 'puzzling/intractable' for an individual, that may also constitute a relevance structure for their own later, deeper work Space of Learning: Time to do reflective work in professional development session || variation with other learning processes/experiences; peer sharing in the session Variations: top of head/ intractable; written/ spoken; personal /group; plenary group/ pairs/ quartets; good and bad comparisons from experience; the enunciation of the common ground by the 'who else this one'; my, or another's input on 'convergence' - variation of level of seeing the issues - linkages Discernment lies with the individual I can share my discernment, a story from my experience - reflective illustration - reflective in two ways - mirror as per my understanding, and my analysis of issues for me (if shared). That provides one variation in discernment. If it stimulates other sharing of a story and/or analysis nature then the individuals in the group will have access to other variations in discernment. The Specific Learning that has come from the discernment of variation and evaluations is specific to the individual, and could be recorded as a final 'reflection' -can you identify what you know now differently from what you knew coming in to the session?

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.8 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Path of Learning: ? awareness of natural attitude; awareness of variation in understanding of, and activity in reflective work of others; awareness of a need and a capacity to focus on reflective work, and the necessity to introduce variation to learn to undertake reflective work more effectively; awareness of the role of values and the process of evaluating as an aspect/the basis of reflective work

A conclusion where I discuss the benefits and limitations of my mini-investigation and learning design Variation in the experience of reflective work can be introduced in a peer group context of exploring a current issue in practice, as indicated in the design enunciated. At this stage of my understanding of the role of variation in learning design, especially the nature of the significant variations that need to be simultaneously in focal attention to allow for the development of a particular conception of reflective work, I am unable to design a learning experience that intends to address the formation of a specific conception. Part of this inability is a result of the limitations of the present study. It was a study of one, and change in one, and so may not have captured the whole range of variations. It certainly did not capture the richness of data needed to identify the significant aspects of variation that need to be identified to contribute to the design task as specified. Part of this inability arises from my lack of experiential knowledge of the processes of phenomenographic analysis and how they are used to identify the significant aspects of variation it speaks of. (I also suspect that my natural design processes may not be able to use this information as easily as the literature seems to imply that it should be able to be used. My inclination is that it is easier to analyse a design to check it for the appropriate components than it is to construct a different design.) I have benefited from this investigation and learning design process. It has made clearer to me the complexity of the phenomenon that I am endeavouring to deal with, and indicates some of what I still have to learn. It has helped me discern variation as I use it naturally/unconsciously in learning experience design. It has confirmed the value of experiencing variation in reflective work that has been part of my own learning process. It has confirmed the necessity to endeavour to have and use ways of generating variation for oneself, as part of the reflective learning process. It has helped me deal with unrealistic expectations of reading scholarly material to learn. It has helped me clarify my awareness of my learning processes as having a number of distinctive phases.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Bailey, J. R., K. Saparito, et al. (1997). A model for reflective pedagogy. Journal of Management Education 21(2): 155167. Boud, D., R. Cohen, et al., Eds. (1993). Using Experience for Learning. London, SRHE and Open University. Boud, D., R. Keogh, et al., Eds. (1985). Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London, Kogan Page. Boulton-Lewis, G. (1998). Applying the SOLO taxonomy to learning in Higher Education. Teaching and learning in higher education. B. Dart and G. Boulton-Lewis. Melbourne, ACER Press: 201-221. Bowden, J. and F. Marton (1998). What does it take to learn? The university of learning: beyond quality and competence in Higher Education. J. Bowden and F. Marton. London, Kogan Page: 23-45. Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Dall'Alba, G. and J. Sandberg (1996). Educating for competence in professional practice. Instructional Science 24: 411437. Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think: a Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Boston, DC Heath. Dick, B. (1998). Reflective mechanisms [On line]. Available at http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/arp/reflmech.html , based on Bish, A., and Dick, B. Reflection for everyone. A paper delivered at the Reflective practices in higher education conference, Brisbane, 1992. Dick, B. (2000). AREOL - Action Research and Evaluation On Line. URL http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/areol. Entwistle, N. (1997). Contrasting perspectives on learning. The Experience of Learning. F. Marton, D. Hounsell and N. Entwistle. Edinburgh, Academic Press: 3-22. Fook, J., Ed. (1996). The reflective researcher: social workers' experience with theories of practice research. Sydney, Allen & Unwin. Gummesson, E. (1991). Qualitative Methods in Management Research: case study research, participant observation, action research/ science, and other "qualitative methods" used in academic research and management consultancy. Newbury Park, Calif., Sage. King, P. and K. Kitchener (1994). Developing Reflective Judgment: understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Kressel, K. (1997). Practice-Relevant Research in Mediation: Toward a Reflective Research Paradigm. Negotiation Journal 13(2): 143-160.

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.9 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work
Linder, C. and D. Marshall (2001). The role of context in the characterizations of mindful conceptual dispersion and reflective learning. 9th European Conference of European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, University of Fribourg. Marsick, V. and K. E. Watkins (1991). Paradigms for Critically Reflective Teaching and Learning. Facilitating Adult Learning: a Transactional Process. M. W. Galbraith. Malabar, Fla., Krieger. Marton, F. and S. Booth (1997). Learning to Experience. Learning to Experience. Mahway, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 137-165. Marton, F., G. Dall'Alba, et al. (1993). Conceptions of Learning. International Journal of Educational Research 19: 277300. Marton, F. and K. Trigwell (2000). Variatio est mater studorium. Higher Education Research and Development 19(3): 381395. McKenzie, J. (2002). Variation and relevance structures for university teachers' learning: Bringing about change in ways of experiencing teaching. HERDSA 2002. Norton, J. L. (1997). Locus of control and reflective thinking in preservice teachers. Education 117(3): 401-410. Prosser, M. and K. Trigwell (1999). Students' Learning Outcomes. Understanding learning and teaching: the experience in higher education. M. Prosser and K. Trigwell. Buckingham, Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press: 108-136. Putnam, R. (1996). Creating Reflective Dialogue. Beyond theory: changing organzations through participation. S. Toulmin and B. Gustavsen. Amsterdam, John Benjamins: 41-52. Putnam, R. W. (1991). Recipes and Reflective Learning: 'What Would Prevent You From Saying it That Way?' The Reflective Turn: Case Studies in and on educational practice. New York, Teachers College Press. Raines, P. and L. Shadiow (1995). Reflection and teaching. The challenge of thinking beyond the doing. Clearing House 68(5): 271-274. Reed, J. and S. Proctor (1992). Nurse Education: a reflective approach. London, Edward Arnold. Schon, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. New York, Basic Books. Schon, D. A. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Schon, D. A., Ed. (1991). The Reflective Turn: Case Studies in and on educational practice. New York, Teachers College Press. Smith, B. (1992). Management Development through Reflection. Management Development in Australia. B. Smith. Sydney, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 28-41. Thomashow, M. (1995). Ecological Identity: becoming a reflective environmentalist. Massachusetts, MIT Pr.

NOTE TO JO:
Jo, apologies it is so long. At this stage I have no time, and no mechanism, to make it shorter. The investigation of this issue is more than an academic task for me. And my grappling with expressing what I understand learning to be is important. I still have the 'feel' that I am not understanding the phenomenographic approach at much more than analytical categories/privileged terminology = parroting level. I have used your criteria to structure my writing and found that this seemed to add to the need to write more - but concede that this is as more likely to be a problem of my approach /expectations / faulty conception of 'academic' as any problem with your criteria. I would find it helpful to see how one of my peers addressed this task while demonstrating the pass level and complying closer to the word count.

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.10 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work ATTACHMENT: Round 1:
Date of Reading Context of Reading Items Attended to: Evidence from items transcribed RT - interactive commentary Material cited in MDR Research Report 1998 probably April/May and July-October while drafting MDR paper To learn what was reflective practice, how Kressel was using the idea; what I understood the concept to be - its relatability to my practice RP: Preface: viii RP: Chapter 2: pp. 32, 54, 56, 61, 68, 69, RP: Chapter 5: pp. 130, 132-3, 141, 142-3, 145, 146, 152, 163 RP: Chapter 10: pp. 317, 323, 344, 350, 354 RP: Reading of other chapters, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 - examples material supporting the argument RP: No recollection, or evidence, of reading Chapter 9; but that was probably done, since I usually read the whole, although in trying to be strategic about study work there was the potential to have skipped it ERP: Preface: xi, xii, xiii, xiv ERP: Chap 1: pp. 6, 8, 13, 20 ERP: Chap 2: pp. 25, 27-8 ERP: Chap 11: pp. 303, 305, 311-3, 323-4, 326 ERP: Chap 12: pp. 330, 332, 339, 341, 342 RT: Intro: pp. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 RT: Chap 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - selected examples considered particularly relevant RT: Conclusion: pp. 343, 344, 345, 346, 347-9, 350-3, 355-6, 357-8 OL II Change article What is reflective practice in Schon's view What are the educational implications -> elective design Some alertness to rigor/validity aspect: critique of Technical Rationality; research credentials issues Generic process applicable to range of professions Reflection before reading: January 1998 Reflection: thinking back on what was done; gathering data, say by journalling, or some other structured recording, of: the event/s past, and the intervenor's activity, and the responses of the other participants, in that/ose event/s; and reviewing that with a view to improving performance for the next time round Reflection after reading, and other reading and writing: September 1998 Reflection: thinking about it: before, during and after the doing thinking about one's own responses in it: thoughts, feelings, actions, decisions, reasons for actions Reflective Practice: September 1998 (not clearly enunciated in January) So, Reflective Practice involves being more consciously aware of the practitioner's thinking which is informing/directing their practice responses. How to assist others develop their own reflective work Design of an Elective Unit for MDR; piloted at SCC Provision of time to engage in reflective work - mostly group discussion of practice developing from personal written work of two common experiences - movies; start made on discussion of practice instances Preparation to engage in reflective work on own practice Reflective Pro-formas collection: Basic one SCU; MSR Development of MSR for Management issues by negotiation In my first round of reading I think I was doing my first round of evaluation: was this relatable?, was it making sense to me to warrant attending to? At the first round of reading the main thing I got out of it was the importance of learning in relation to practice, the learning by/in experience related to practice as distinct from technical-rational disciplinary content of a practice.

Focus of reading: Interpreted 2002

Understanding of Reflective Work

View of that reading September 2002 before 3rd reading

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.11 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Round 2:
Date of Reading Context of Reading 1 December 2001-22 December 2001 After Drafting of Evaluation and a closer look at evaluation of reflective practice as needing to be different (Work on evaluation included a closer re-read of RT- intro & conclusion, and transcribing it, summarising it, and analysing & evaluating it with and against other scholars' inputs in the context of contributing to a table - July 2001 & September 2001) Trying to critique my own writing by comparing with examples of 'story' in Schon's material - can I cut out my stories? If not, why not? RP: Chap 5: pp. 135, 138, 147, 149, 155, 164 RP: Chap 9: pp. 273, 276, 277, 283 RP: Chap 3 design a multiple evaluations (inferred from other reflective notes - clear in memory PN 3/12; 21/12 enunciation of 'artistry') RP: Chap 4 different example from 3 - common ground question (PN 3/12) RT: Hirschhorn ?? - feeling I have seen it can't now find!! Seeing material in Schon that wasn't previously noted but which now had more meaning/ relevance in the light of work since 1998: evaluation aspects of reflective work; items in writing, conceptual understanding - experience as repertoire; transformation aspect; multiple tasks of 'experiment'; change phenomena/hypothesis -> fit/coherent story, Dewey's meaning-perception interaction; logic of affirmation; ethic of inquiry; differences in evaluation not objectively resolvable - plurality of inquiry processes and results; gap of the reality and person's capacity to describe, etc, and excess of information!; role of others Learning-Inquiry-Evaluation: to learn to change need to be able to undertaken congruent inquiry and as inquire to learn, am using values-in-use to determine what I can will to do /try/ be experimental about. Losing any sense of clarity in boundary between 'learning', 'inquiry', 'evaluation', and 'reflective work', which takes a variety of form, is 'only' another term for one's 'evaluative process' Reflection-in-action = multiple rounds of evaluation using multiple and different norms Notes 6/12/2001: Valuation/ judgement is an aspect of reflective work. The criteria for evaluation are many and variable. As one applies them in trying to design an understood best way given what we know, the various criteria get mobilised and used as and when needed. The problem (ie how you frame it) will call out the needful criteria. There will be a hierarchy of their use. My preference is with the ideal, the consistently ideated approach. Supervision 21/2/2002: "Notes that Schons reflective practice-in-action -> we evaluate on a range of criteria, and we go from one to another, once one, the higher priority is exhausted. Now (27/2/2002): we express the evaluation on the easy, the tangible, the readily confirmable." 5/7/2002 drafting notes: Checking in with Schon's design RP - multiple evaluations by multiple rules applied hierarchically and interactively Time for it Repetitive structure for it Using notes of remembering/ current construction and comparisons of good/bad experiences to enunciate understandings of issues in learning Collecting variant inputs from group participants (brainstorming) to capture variations and build a more comprehensive/complex picture of the object of learning (negotiation in ABE; group process in CHNS) Recognising written and spoken forms and outcomes (EDUT application) Revisiting prior reflections (CHNS) Using change in structures for it (self only) Determining own structure for intentional focus (self only) In my second round of reading I began to notice the role of evaluation in practice activity, in design, in diagnosis, etc. In this second round of reading I was seeing design, diagnosis, problem solving, etc, as a series of evaluations, and multiple evaluations, with a hierarchy of importance, with cycling back and forth between those various evaluations.

Items Attended to: Evidence from pencil annotations of date; pencil reflections; reflections notes Focus of reading: Interpreted 2002

Understanding of Reflective Work

How to assist others develop their own reflective work

View of that reading September 2002 before 3rd reading

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.12 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Round 3: Reading Schon Vignettes and looking for teachers' variation design
Purpose of Reading, going into reading, September 2002 I would be interested to see if with a third reading I start to see signs of the variations that stimulate and inform learning. In one sense I expect to, since one of Dewey's elements/stimuli of reflective process is 'surprise', and Schon's work was informed by Dewey, and surprise could be described as the variation that captures attention. But I would also be interested if I can see, in Schon' descriptive vignettes, variation in a richer way than just the difference that captures attention, rather variation and its relationship to the expert's design of the next 'step' in elucidating thinking in the practice context. 5-11 September, 2002 In considering the Schon items as a suitable source for the ULHPE assignment 2, I was remembering the level of primary data available - some transcript material. I knew it wasn't the whole transcript, but the material selected for Schon's purposes. I was hoping that since it was dealing with a learning context, that though Schon hadn't drawn out this concept of 'variation' per se, because it was a learning vignette, and of relating between master and novice, that if variation is there it will come out in the interchanges that are significant to demonstrate 'reflective practice' Schon's 'frame'. Further, I was hoping, by seeing the variations that the teacher was using, for a number of different vignettes, I would be able to identify something common about the variations that might give me a clue to 'learning-experience-by-variation' design. RP material (Round 1 = 4 pages - quotes drafting; Round 3 = 21 pages quotes drafting and interactive commentary records) RP Chap 3: 77, 78, 79, 94, 102, 103, 104 RP Chap 4: 108, 121, 126 RP Chap 5: 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 136, 137, 139, 104, 142, 145, 147, 149, 151, 152, 155, 162, 164, 165 RP Chap 6: 170, 175, 177, 182, 185, 186, 187, 201, 203 RP Chap 7: 210, 229, 231, 232, 234, 235 RP Chap 8: 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 260, 262 RP Chap 9: 267, 268, 270, 271, 272, 273, 275, 276, 277, 279, 280, 283 RP Chap 10: 313, 316, 317, 318, 320, 322, 323, 324, 330, 338 RP Preface: RP Chap 1: 14, 18, 19 RP Chap 2: 21, 39, 40, 43, 50, 53, 60, 61 ERP material (Round 1 = 3 pages quotes drafting; Round 3 = 23 pages quotes drafting and interactive commentary records) ERP: Preface: xi, xii, xiii ERP Chap 1: 4, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 ERP Chap 2: 22, 23, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 40 ERP Chap 11: 305, 309, 311, 313, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326 ERP Chap 12: 332, 333, 334, 337, 339, 341, 342 ERP Chap 3: 41, 63, 69, 70, 73, 76 ERP Chap 4: 80, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 95, 97 ERP Chap 5: 100, 103, 104, 105, 111, 113 ERP Chap 6: 119, 121, 125, 138 ERP Chap 7: 158, 167, 168 ERP Chap 8: 182, 212, 213, 214 ERP Chap 9: 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 230, 231, 241, 249, 250 ERP Chap 10: 264, 267, 268, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 276, 281, 284, 286, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296-301 Looking for information to help build an understanding of the use of variation in the design of a learning experience. However, the material that was relevant to my broader interests was able to claim my attention, as well.

Date of Reading Context of Reading

Items Attended to:

Focus of reading: Interpreted 2002

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.13 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work
Understanding of Reflective Work No significant change from Round 2. Reading of Linder & Marshall 28/9; : The L&M stuff seeks to 'gather in' the Schonian conception of reflection-in-action into phenomenographic terms. I can (to some extent) follow them in that. When I was reading Schon third round, I was looking for evidence of the phenomena and situations that the phenomenographic approach has discerned, in the terms that the phenomenographic approach has described them. I was finding them. Hence I recognised 'relatability' of the phenomenographic description, but the phenomenographic description was not transforming my conception of what I was reading in Schon. I am also wondering to what extent my reading in/of Schon was transforming my conception. It hadn't transformed from the evaluation view of 2001/2. I am beginning to wonder to what extent it has transformed my 'natural attitude'. Is it my natural attitude that continues to hold sway, since that is what I am forever working at?: to relate my reading to what it is that I understand of my experience, and I am simply learning to phrase it in the terms of others, or to continue to reject the phraseology of others and try and hold onto my phraseology - keeping it either simple or vague or both, and so essentially inexpressible since expression is limited - the map is not the territory. Or is it that the meaning-perception complex of my person-world shifts ground as more and more needs to be accommodated? At a personal level, one is less likely to be aware of the boundaries. Indeed, if one can hold a number of conceptions, and apply different conceptions, as appropriate, to the different presenting contexts, then such boundaries are indeed only constructs of phenomenographers! See Learning Experience Design - enhancement of development Analysis of EDUT-422, and consideration of processes in the B.Teach and B.Ed at UoW: whole curriculum as well as parts

How to assist others develop their own reflective work

Understanding Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Assignment 2 Dianne Allen p.14 Learning Experience Design for the development of a richer understanding of reflective work Forms for Undertaking Reflective Work:
Smyth Categories and Questions Smyth, John, (1996). Developing socially critical educators. p.41-57 in Boud, David & Nod Miller, eds Working with experience: animating learning. London: Routledge, 1996 1 Describe what do I do? 2 Inform what does this mean? 3 Confront how did I come to be like this? 4 Reconstruct how might I do things differently? p.53 questions to aid the process of confronting: What do my practices say about my assumptions, values and beliefs about teaching? Where did these ideas come from? What social practices are expressed in these ideas? What is it that causes me to maintain my theories? What views of power do they embody? Whose interests seemed to be served by my practices? What is it that acts to constrain my views of what is possible in teaching? Reaction/ Elaboration/ Contemplation Form: (derived from Hughes, D cited in Carson, L Reflecting on Participation in Groups: Study Guide) 1. REACTION (Initial responses, feelings, facts, issues) 2. ELABORATION (Expansion by explaining, giving examples, referring to other situations or general principles which are related) 3. CONTEMPLATION (Thinking about personal, professional, political, social or ethical problems, ie how you may use this information or how you could change your views) Tripp Categories Tripp, D. (1993). Critical Incidents in Teaching: Developing Professional Judgement. London, Routledge. Critical (Significant) incident you decide, your awareness, something (intuitive/unconscious) may help identify from all the incidents (note deBonos remarks about time boundaries!) which you identify as critical/ significant p.8 like all data, critical incidents are created. Incidents happen, but critical incidents are produced by the way we look at the situation: a critical incident is an interpretation of the significance of an event. To take something as a critical incident is a value judgement we make, and the basis of that judgement is the significance we attach to the meaning of the incident. p.12 Reflecting on what we do is essential to the development of professional judgement, but unless our reflection involves some form of challenge to and critique of ourselves and our professional values, we tend to simply reinforce existing patterns and tendencies. p.146 Unfortunately, psychological concerns on their own are inappropriate to teaching because teachers actually teach a set curriculum in a social group, which means that they are always dealing with motivation in terms of getting a group of students to do particular things. There are four ways of analysing them: Practical how you respond in practice, at the time, the tacit response

What can I do and how best can I do it?


Diagnostic to identify by careful observation categorising - looking at possible reasons Reflective how you feel about the incident the practitioners values and values immanent critique capacities

What should I do and why ought I to do it?


Socially Critical exploring the ideology for social justice power, gender, race, etc

uses socially critical analysis to also question the social assumptions on which practical and reflective judgements are based