[Assessment 1541] Re: Getting staff to use data

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George Demetrion gdemetrion at msn.com
Wed Dec 17 11:01:07 EST 2008



Good morning Roger and all.

A couple of thoughts on theory:

If one defines that as a construction, then theory, articulated or not as such, is inescapable in any learning process. For me the question is less whether there is too much or two little theory, but its cogency in relationship to whatever prroblem or issue is at hand-oftentimes in the very shaping of the problem statement itself. The same goes with practice; not so much on whether its short or long, but its quality and comprehesiveness in relationship to the focus of study or problem situation. In this respect, Kolb's cycle of learning is as useful as anything http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-explrn.htm. See also the links to Dewey and Lewin which can be accessed from this page.

What is needed is good praxis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxis_(process). Of course what this is in any context may be contestable, but working toward developing good praxis among an informed body of participants in a given field is as decent a way of moving forward as any. On the latter, the communities of practice literature is worth taking a look at: http://www.ewenger.com/theory/. Note, too Jackie Taylor's recent article in the Fall 2008 Volume of the ABE Journal titled "Tapping Online Professional Development Through Communities of Practice: Examples from the NIFL Discussion Lists. The work of Lytle and Cochram-Smith on Teacher Research is important too in working toward the process of bringing theory and practice in closer alignment. The abundance of technical work on 20th century learning theory also needs to be factored in, where we don't jump into simplistic one theory solutions like MI, for example. Broadly speaking, theoretical work and formal research in adult literacy needs to be embedded wkithin educational scholarship as a whole. We've got a ways to go. Working through the difficult issue of good theory cosntruction is an essential part of the process.

George Demetrion



From: bergroger at mac.comTo: cjones at theliteracycenter-lv.org; assessment at nifl.govDate: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 10:20:23 -0500CC: bergroger at mac.comSubject: [Assessment 1540] Re: Getting staff to use dataAs a former training manager I know that some companies would insist on an exit test for employees. Lucent had exit tests. Employees had to demonstrate that they had "passed" the course. These examinations were not perfunctory. There is a body research that indicates that managers who monitor the specifics of the knowledge and skills that were trained get a bigger bang for their training buck. Both of these outcome measures are not the norm but they do occur. In the ed biz and adult ed biz we usually do neither. As a tenured full professor at the University of Nebrasksa , I have taught ed grad courses. Most ed grad degrees are long on theory and woefully short on practice. Biz training is short of theory and longer on practice. And Adult Ed professional development is...





Roger Berg
Strategic/Community Planner
Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth at the Plymouth Public Library
11 Hall Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508 746 6345
roger_berg at mac.com


On Dec 17, 2008, at 9:07 AM, Carol Jones wrote:



Interesting discussion. In my experience, those instructors who seek to participate in professional development opportunities are those who are open to trying new teaching strategies and personal improvement. They are not frightened of admitting that there is always more to learn…which seems to be what we hope for in students too. Resistance to participation in training, on the other hand, is not often a sign of a strong instructor. Of course, just attending is not the important thing, but actually trying to find at least one thing to add to the bag of tricks is the key. I’m not sure that you can measure this formally, but I suspect that if you could review performance reviews of both groups, you’d find that those who openly participate in professional development are identified as better instructors across the board.





From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Roger BergSent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:08 PMTo: The Assessment Discussion ListCc: Roger BergSubject: [Assessment 1535] Re: Getting staff to use data

There appears to be the assumption that participating in professional development improves instruction. I would not be surprised to find an small positive effect but could it be that the 'better" instructors attend PD while the others.....









Roger Berg

Strategic/Community Planner

Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth at the Plymouth Public Library

11 Hall Street

Plymouth, MA 02360

508 746 6345

roger_berg at mac.com-------------------------------National Institute for LiteracyAssessment mailing listAssessment at nifl.govTo unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessmentEmail delivered to nqr at mac.com
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