Browsing Centre for Work Related Studies by Subjects
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Business schools as educational provocateurs of productivity via interrelated landscapes of practiceIn an ever-changing and global marketplace, it could be argued that the role of business schools is no longer to train graduates for specific roles. Whilst this concept that we are educating ‘for jobs that don’t yet exist’ has become more widely accepted, educational practices in business schools are arguably still contained by traditional Western practices of individualistic student instruction. Indeed, even the relevance of academic theory to practice has sparked heated debate in business schools for some time and has led to calls for a different attitude of engagement with theory (Ramsey, 2011, 2014). Some have pushed the debate from relevance to relevating as a process of challenge, change and impact (Paton, Chia and Burt, 2014). But even this is insufficient to spark forms of business and management education which provoke new ways of thinking and acting in practice which are infused with social connectedness and are beyond single discipline thinking. Notions of ‘autonomous learning’ and working ‘critically’ may be viewed as a positive development from pedagogy to andragogy in UK tertiary education. However, these can still be interpreted in deeply individualistic ways which are oppositional to notions of learning rooted in and oriented towards larger social groupings (Goodall, 2014, Yunkaporta and Kirby, 2011). Simply ‘training’ individuals in specific management activities is likely to be insufficient in unlocking transformative (and productive) community action. A new educational ontology of being is needed.
Transforming research-learning performance with professional lifelong learnersIn Europe, universities promote accredited professional development opportunities as a key strand of their lifelong learning commitment. Within this context, learning about research methods can be problematic to busy professionals, as it can appear dislocated from practice and unworthy of the energy and effort it takes to understand what might be perceved as a purely academic pursuit. The purpose of the study was to tackle this situation: to enhance the professional's experience and learning performance in research methods, in the context of work based learning Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Action research was used to develop a pedagogic approach to faciliate learning with busy professionals. The results suggest a significantly more positive experience for the learners, and a verified increase in performance (% grades) in assessed work. This paper gives an overview of the pedagogic approach and tools developed.