Monday, August 04, 2008

Policy and Strategic Planning

Its a wild one when the subject of your study suddenly comes to life and in a very public way.

I volunteered, some time ago, to lead a workshop at a meeting of our Regional HE Forum; today I received an e-mail refining the activity .. and 'tis to be an interactive workshop on strategic development. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is the nature of the drivers for such development in the current socio-economic climate ... and hey presto we are smack bang back to my research activity. That's exciting - for me anyway. The interesting thing will be the reaction of the attendees to my use of policy to drive strategic direction as it would appear that there is generally a more learner-centred-and-incidentally-addressing-some-areas-of-policy type approach. This does not mean that I do not regard learner-centredness as being key; as a teacher from the heart, this is fundamental but I do not believe that learners always know the opportunities that exist and sometimes policy documents widen the brief. Note the 'sometimes'!!

The research activity in which I am involved is so important to my professional practice. I am finding it hard to believe that I have come this far without engaging in this type of activity. Maybe I wasn't ready? Maybe I had to learn the legs of the role before expanding the boundaries ... 'cos that's just what I feel is starting to happen; its like role enhancement that will in turn enrich what we do at the College, contribute to our organisational learning and give me more job satisfaction.

Organisation learning has been the topic of much discussion, particularly the cognitive vs cultural learning debate ... and/or their need for coexistence. This reflection I feel underlines the need for coexistence and the acknowledgement that the learning activity of an individual can affect climate which in turn will impact on culture. I'm feeling very excitable this morning as you may be able to tell from this post - and that just has to be a good thing ... doesn't it!


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