[Assessment 1543] Re: Getting staff to use data

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Brian, Dr Donna J G djgbrian at utk.edu
Wed Dec 17 14:56:52 EST 2008


Hi all,

The online link to Jackie Taylor's article that George mentions,
"Tapping Online Professional Development Through Communities of
Practice: Examples from the NIFL Discussion Lists", is at
http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications/pdf/ABELJournal08PD.pdf



Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workplace Literacy Discussion List

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________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of George Demetrion
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:01 AM
To: assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1541] Re: Getting staff to use data



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.com
To: cjones at theliteracycenter-lv.org; assessment at nifl.gov
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 10:20:23 -0500
CC: bergroger at mac.com
Subject: [Assessment 1540] Re: Getting staff to use data

As 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 Berg
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:08 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Cc: Roger Berg
Subject: [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

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