Leading into what we are discussing, and a brief summary of wht we discussed, followed
by perhaps an overview of analyses, etc
Questions to postulate:
Genereal summary of articles
(Smith, 2005)
Schon – reflective alrning, double loop,.
Displacement of Concepts – categorizing as “things” but ot as ways of thinking
Chris Agryis and Donald Schon – three books
“his exploration of the nature of learning systems and the significance of
learning in changing societies has helped to define debates around the so
called ‘learning society’”
“Institutions are
characterized by ‘dynamic conservatism’ – ‘a tendency to fight to remain
the same’ (ibid.: 30). However, with technical change continuing
exponentially its pervasiveness and frequency was ‘uniquely threatening to
the stable state’ (ibid.: 26). He then proceeds to build the case for a concern
with learning (see inset).”
“We must, in other words, become adept at learning. We must
become able not only to transform our institutions, in response to
changing situations and requirements; we must invent and
develop institutions which are ‘learning systems’, that is to say,
systems capable of bringing about their own continuing
Dynamic conservativism: “A learning system… must be one in which dynamic
conservatism operates at such a level and in such a way as to
permit change of state without intolerable threat to the essential
functions the system fulfils for the self. Our systems need to
maintain their identity, and their ability to support the selfidentity
of those who belong to them, but they must at the same
time be capable of transforming themselves.”
Two major changes from “learning systems” : “Two key themes arise out of Donald
Schon’s discussion of learning systems: the emergence of functional systems as the units
around which institutions define themselves; and the decline of centre-periphery models
of institutional activity (ibid.: 168).” Two key themes arise out of Donald Schon’s
discussion of learning”
---- “He argues for formulating projective models that can be carried forward into
further instances”
“The need for public learning carries with it the need for a second kind of
learning. If government is to learn to solve new public problems, it must
also learn to create the systems for doing so and discard the structure and
mechanisms grown up around old problems.”
-- if this is the case; why haven’t we seen this as a change? And why have when
individuals speak about changes necessary and that they ought to actually reflect the
attitude of the peop., that in those instances, they have not played out?
Turning point: “Yet for all his talk of networks and the significance of the ‘periphery,
Donald Schon’s analysis falters when it comes to the wider picture.”
“It was the
contribution of two of Schon’s contemporaries – Ivan Illich and Paulo
Freire – that takes us forward. The formers focus on learning webs, the
debilitating impact of professionalization, and the need for an ecological
appreciation; and the latter’s championship of dialogue and concern to
combat oppression allow for a more committed and informed engagement
with the ‘learning society’ and ‘learning organization’.”
Double loop learning – single loop : when changes are made to the actions in order to
evict a change ; double loop: when changes in governances are made that effect the
holistic understanding of all the problems, actions, and solutions
“people have mental maps with regard to how to act in situations. This involves the way
they plan, implement and review their actions. Furthermore, they asserted that it is these
maps that guide people’s actions rather than the theories
they explicitly espouse.” Literally taken? What does this look like in practice?
Theories that we make intrinsic that we expouse to the world and then there are
objectifiable theories that we attribute to orselves an toerhs, , the former is inhered and
the latter is knowingly applied
--- Governing variables: those dimensions that people are trying to
keep within acceptable limits. Any action is likely to impact
upon a number of such variables – thus any situation can trigger
a trade-off among governing variables.
Action strategies: the moves and plans used by people to keep
their governing values within the acceptable range.
Consequences: what happens as a result of an action. These can
be both intended - those actor believe will result - and
unintended. In addition those consequences can be for the self,
and/or for others. (Anderson 1997)
“For Argyris and Schön (1978: 2) learning involves the detection and
correction of error. Where something goes wrong, they suggested, a
starting point for many people is to look for another strategy that will
address and work within the governing variables.” -- Piagetian, need for dissonance,
if adhered to ,this type of response , with double loop learning, would lead to” a shift in
the way in which strategies and consequences are framed”
Something that we can work form? How might we be able to use the following assertion
as a model for understanding reflection in the second loop?
“‘theory in action’ gives greater coherence and structure to the function of
‘abstract conceptualization’ in Kolb’s very influential presentation of
experiential learning. ‘Abstract conceptualisation now becomes something
one can analyse and work from’”
“Technical-rationality is a positivist epistemology of practice. It is ‘the dominant
paradigm which has failed to resolve the dilemma of rigour versus relevance confronting
professionals’. Donald Schon, they claim, looks to an alternative epistemology of practice
‘in which the knowledge inherent in practice is be understood as artful doing’”
reflection-in-action, reflection-on-action:
“The notions of reflection-in-action, and reflection-on-action were central to
Donald Schon’s efforts in this area. The former is sometimes described as
‘thinking on our feet’. It involves looking to our experiences, connecting
with our feelings, and attending to our theories in use. It entails building
new understandings to inform our actions in the situation that is
____> “We have to think things through, for every case is unique.”
______> “ This is done later – after the encounter. Workers may write up recordings,
talk things through with a supervisor and so on. The act of reflecting-onaction
enables us to spend time exploring why we acted as we did, what
was happening in a group and so on. In so doing we develop sets of
questions and ideas about our activities and practice.
Even when we don’t have common precedents for a new situation, we use them as a
metaphor and they still have influence in what we do as we “Test the waters” there may
or may not be pitfalls but
Debates about Schon’s points:
“distinction between reflection in and on action”
“no psychological elaborations of the psychological realities of reflection in action”
“some question as to the extent to which his conceptualisation of reflective practice
entails praxis. While there is a clear emphasis on action being informed, there is less
focus on the commitments entailed. Donald Schon creates, arguably, 'a descriptive
concept, quite empty of content' (Richardson 1990: 14).”
“‘what we do not find in Schon is a reflection by him on his own textual practice in
giving some kind of account of that he does of reflection-in-action and the reflective
practicum… He does not interrogate his own method’” -- he does not “practice what he
preaches” through his own reflective actions as evident to the critics
how can we be accountable towards reflecting on reflecting? Is the question inhered in a
necessarily cyclictical one that cannot be addresses outside of its own intrinsic ideology?
Do both parties have to respond in the same manner of understanding in order for there to
be consensus and therefore fruitful adaptation of the theories to practice?
- can you apply and live in this theory at the same time, or would one have to change it
accordingly for it to apply in su8ch a manner?
(Schon, 1987)
school knowledge – reflection-in-action
higher up in abstractedness, the better off it is: theory is not as high off as it seems if it
can’t be backed up by a real example
also, “‘It is the business of kids to get it, and of the teachers to see that they get it.
And if the kids do not get it, then there’s a need to explain why they’re not getting it, and
categories like "slow learner," "poor motivation," "short attention span," are ways of
describing what Clifford Geertz has called "junk categories" to remove their not getting it
from the range of things with which the teacher would have to deal.”
“capacity to do the right thing” – knowing – in – action
“And this capacity to respond to surprise through improvisation on the spot is what I
mean by reflection-in-action.”
“Permit yourself to be surprised”
“And this is teaching in the form of reflection-in-action. It involves a surprise, a
response to surprise by thought turning back on itself, thinking what we’re doing as
we do it, setting the problem of the situation anew, conducting an action experiment
on the spot by which we seek to solve the new problems we’ve set, an experiment in
which we test both our new way of seeing the situation, and also try to change that
situation for the better.” -- on the spot teaching realization
(Ferraro, 2000)
“Rearick (1997) describes the benefits of this activity for both groups, as well as for the
teacher educator, as used in a professional development project at the University of
Hartford. In this project, experienced teachers identified knowledge, thinking, and
problem-solving techniques and decision-making processes they used in
designing instruction for language arts curricula. Based on these
discussions, a pre-service course agenda for teaching reading and writing
was developed.”
“They analyzed the students' reflective writings and interviewed
them extensively about their reflective practices. They found that the use
of peer reflective groups encouraged student teachers to challenge
existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching while
modeling for them a collaborative style of professional development that
would be useful throughout their teaching careers.” -- forming peer reflective groups
can elad to a teach reevaluating teaching on the spot
“A review of current research indicates that portfolio development has
become a favorite tool used in pre-service teacher education (Antonek, et
al, 1997; Hurst et al, 1998). Portfolios encourage beginning teachers to
gather in one place significant artifacts representing their professional
development. They assemble materials that document their
competencies. Portfolios include a reflective component, for when the
teacher decides which materials to include, he or she must reflect on
which teaching practices worked well and why (Hurst et al, 1998). The
portfolios are modified at points throughout a teacher's career, as the
teacher continues to apply learning to practice.” ____> making headway in use and
allow the tyeacher to reflect as part of the assignment on the spot
--> INTASC supports poprtfolios
“effective practice is linked to inquiry, reflection, and continuous
professional growth (Harris 1998). Reflective practice can be a beneficial
form of professional development at both the pre-service and in-service
levels of teaching. By gaining a better understanding of their own
individual teaching styles through reflective practice, teachers can
improve their effectiveness in the classroom.”