Presentation on theme: "The view from here: F The view from here: Forward through the rear-view mirror… A presentation to the Gateway Advisory Meeting September 22, 2005 Dianne."— Presentation transcript:
The view from here: F The view from here: Forward through the rear-view mirror… A presentation to the Gateway Advisory Meeting September 22, 2005 Dianne Conrad, PhD Director, Centre for Learning Accreditation
E is for Excitement PLAR is by nature innovative and exciting. PLAR honours maturity, experience, tenacity, and industry. PLAR furthers the thinking of John Dewey… “the beginning of instruction shall be made with the experience learners already have…this experience and the capacities that have been developed during its course provide the starting point for all further learning” (Experience and Education, 1938, p. 74) PLAR tangibly recognizes the fact that all expertise does not reside in the heads of teaching faculty.
PLAR: An issue of history and philosophy Liberal philosophy relies on “sage on the stage” theories that promote didacticism. Dewey, Lindeman, Moses Coady, Jimmy Tompkins, and Alfred FitzPatrick advocated for progressive education. Progressivism understands learning as a part of experience.
At Athabasca University… Who has the knowledge? How is it spread around? Who is responsible for it? The integrity of AU’s PLAR system is dependent on sound academic vision and process.
Centre for Learning Accreditation Key goals: to proselytize and train to mentor and coach to attract new academic expertise to the process to solidify approaches to and find consistency among believers
E is for Enterprise Enterprise: “initiative” or just plain hard work. PLAR involves a lot of work. For learners For assessors For administrators
Innovative AU And innovation is a lot of work too – in its conception, in its implementation and direction. Especially in large institutions…
Athabasca University has been innovative in its use of PLAR: Various models Centrally supported Generous recognition of learning Gateways has been innovative in its adoption of PLAR policies and procedures: Partnerships Mentoring Holistic learning Distributed responsibility
Future Enterprise The Centre for Learning Accreditation will be a hive of enterprise in: reviewing AU’s PLAR processes policies and procedures with an eye to identifying barriers to learners. identifying barriers to faculty participation. celebrating the energy of success stories from the relative isolation of their programs into a larger forum.
E is for Engagement Engagement = participation = acceptance, understanding, promotion What contributes to non-engagement?
An Amazing Fact! PLAR’s philosophy is not shared universally by all who toil in academe. Some of their concerns: rigor institutional integrity credibility the “educational experience” “double-dipping”
Engaging the Non-engaged 1.A clear mandate strengthened by central support. 2.An efficient structure/a hub of administrative responsibility that itself contains expertise. 3.A strong product (PLAR process): respect for the learner rigor routine and consistency 4.An effective, multilateral communications flow that facilitates information exchange and informed decision-making. 5.A program of education, training, and mentoring that clarifies philosophy, concepts, and process. 6.Internal promotion, profile (committees), and marketing (website, materials). 7.Generation of research and academic presence. 8.Valuing and recognition of PLAR participation.
Another Type of Engagement PLAR is a learning experience. The best PLAR successes arise from learners’ realization of valuable learning experiences through the PLAR process. This occurs ( in spite of them or to their great surprise) when they enter into a well-managed, well-documented, and well mentored process.
A Final Word…... on portfolios. The portfolio is both product and process: “… as a well-organized product, the portfolio enables an individual to ‘showcase’ relevant achievements in a discourse style that is familiar to the academic assessor(s).” (Wong, 2001, p. 166)
But the heart of learning, of engagement, is in the process of making the portfolio. Quoting Jerald Apps, in Teaching from the Heart (Krieger, 1996, p. 30): Learning at a deeper level requires some distancing and some work. Learning from the heart takes time and often requires solitude. Learning more deeply takes practice and discipline. Such learning can evoke fright as well as elation.
“Learning from the heart combines the physical, the intellectual, the emotional, and the spiritual dimensions of our being in such a way that we begin to touch the essence of our humanity. We begin to touch our souls.”
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