Flex-ing our pedagogical muscles:
locating change in the ‘matrix of complexity’
Penny Sweasey
Head of CELT,
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Flex-ing our pedagogical muscles > poster presentation by Penny Sweasey and Chrissi Nerantzi (Spring SEDA Conference)


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Flex-ing our pedagogical muscles > poster presentation by Penny Sweasey and Chrissi Nerantzi (Spring SEDA Conference)

  1. 1. Flex-ing our pedagogical muscles: locating change in the ‘matrix of complexity’ Penny Sweasey Head of CELT, MMU @PSweasey Chrissi Nerantzi Academic Developer, CELT, MMU @chrissinerantzi Source: Stacey RD (2000) Strategic management and organisational dynamics: the challenge of complexity. 3rd ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall. Stacey’s Matrix of Complexity (2007) Browne Report (2010) Securing a sustainable fu- ture for higher education, Department for Employ- ment and Learning, available at http://www.delni. gov.uk/index/publications/pubs-higher-education/ browne-report-student-fees.htm [accessed 1 No- vember 2013] Gibbs, G. (2013) Reflections on the changing nature of educational development. International Journal for Academic Development, V. 18, Number 1, March 2013, pp. 4-14. Gibbs, G. (2012) Implications of ‘Dimensions of quality’ in a market environment, York: The Higher Education Academy, available at http://www. heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/evidence_in- formed_practice/HEA_Dimensions_of_Quality_2. pdf Gibbs, G. (2010) Dimensions of quality, York: The Higher Education Academy, available at http:// www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/evi- dence_informed_practice/Dimensions_of_Quality. pdf [accessed 8 November 2013] Debowski, S. (2014) From agents of change to partners in arms: the emerging academic developer role, in: International Journal for Academic Devel- opment, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 50-56. European Commission (2013) High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education. Report to the European Commission on Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions, European Union, available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/higher-education/ doc/modernisation_en.pdf [accessed 20 February 2014] HEA (2013) Remaining in Good Standing and Code of Practice, York: HEA, available at http:// www.heacademy.ac.uk/remaining-in-good-stand- ing-and-code-of-practice [accessed 1 November 2013] Neame, C. (2011) Exploring Models of Develop- ment of Professional Practice in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: What Can We Learn from Biology and Marketing? Educate~ Vol. 11, No. 1, 2011, pp. 9-19. Parsons, D., Hill, I., Holland J. & Willis, D. (2012) Impact of teaching development programmes in higher education, York: The Higher Education Academy, available at http://www.heacademy. ac.uk/assets/documents/research/HEA_Im- pact_Teaching_Development_Prog.pdf [accessed 1 November 2013]   Roche, V. (2003) Being an agent of change, in: Kahn, P. and Baume, D. (eds.) A guide to Staff & Educational Development, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 171-191. Ryan, A. & Tilbury, D. (2013) Flexible Pedago- gies, new pedagogical ideas, York: HEA, available at ttp://www.heacademy.ac.uk/news/detail/2013/ new_pedagogical_ideas [accessed 21 November 2013] Stacey RD. (2007) Strategic management and or- ganisational dynamics: the challenge of complexity. 3rd ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.   The UK Quality Code for Higher Education (2012) Glouchester: Quality Assurance Agency, available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/Information- AndGuidance/Pages/quality-code-brief-guide.aspx [accessed 5 December 2013] Tosey P (2002) Teaching on the edge of chaos: Complexity theory, learning systems and Enhance- ment, available at http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/1195/1/ fulltext.pdf [accessed 1 November 2013] FLEX Development CPD RequirementsPromotion Qualifications Professional Recognition Academic Portfolio (Teaching & Research) The Greenhouse monthly gatherings around the university to share creative and innovative practice, experiment with learning & teaching ideas cross-disciplinary fertilisation explore opportunities for wider engagement and dissemination infect others openpoolofCPDopportunities FLEXunit(15/30crdeitatlevel7) unitassessment(UKPSF,SLTA,RKE) academicportfolio FLEXactivities FLEX Example route 1 openpoolofCPDopportunities FLEXunit(15/30crdeitatlevel7) unitassessment(UKPSF,SLTA,RKE) FLEXactivities FLEX Example route 2a CPDrequirements (UKPSF,SLTA, RKE) FLEXlight academicportfolio open pool of CPD opportunities academic portfolio FLEX activities FLEX unit (15/30 crdeit at level 7)unit assessment (UK PSF, SLTA, RKE) CPD requirements (UK PSF, SLTA, RKE) FLEX light brief description of FLEX activity critical reflection and development points impact on practice and evidence What is FLEX? practice-based CPD for teaching and research tailored to priorities and aspirations pick ‘n’ mix CPD activities per academic year capture development in an academic portfolio (teaching and research) opportunity to gain academic credits for CPD meet Faculty CPD requirement/ evidence engagement and value of CPD aspirational engagement in CPD References open pool of CPD opportunities academic portfolio FLEX activities FLEX unit (15/30 crdeit at level 7)unit assessment (UK PSF, SLTA, RKE) CPD requirements (UK PSF, SLTA, RKE) FLEX light (AL), FLEX bronze (FT) - Apparel brief description of FLEX activity critical reflection and development points value/impact on practice and evidence aspirational engagement (UK PSF, SLTA, RKE) FLEX silver, FLEX gold, FLEX diamond - Apparel MMU Hollings Faculty Pilot 2014/15 Large scale institutional change can be a challenge for educational developers, requiring those leading projects to tread along what Tosey (2002) describes as the ‘edge of chaos’ – balancing requirements of University governance with instinctive problematisation of pedagogic shift.   At MMU, CELT has a remit to develop the culture of learning and teaching towards an institutional goal of excellence. This poster explores the ways in which complementary and contradictory objectives can be charted on a pedagogical roadmap.   Taking two perspectives (large scale institutional, and organisation of CELT itself) the complex relationships between strategy, leadership and collective engagement are analysed and placed within Stacey’s Matrix of Complexity (2007). Drivers behind the change agenda in MMU, together with reflections on how CELT has responded, illustrated using the   The positive and lasting impact of PgCerts on teachers’ practice and the student experience is widely recognised (Parsons et al. 2012). However, they attract mainly new teachers and the question is how can we keep our teaching practices fresh beyond initial teacher education and engage all teacher in CPD?   FLEX CPD is a pick ‘n’ mix offer for professionals who teach or support learning, experienced and new alike, across the institution, enabling development of reflective habits and engagement in versatile CPD activities to ‘Remain in Good Standing’ (HEA, 2013). A plethora of formal and informal CPD activities, generic and discipline specific, face-to-face, blended & online, organised & self-directed are part of FLEX CPD. FLEX in Practice Context How does it fit into CELT MMU? www.celt.mmu.ac.uk MMU’s Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment We will provide an excellent learning environment and outstanding student experience MMU provides an innovative, flexible, enterprising and internationalised curriculum Assessment at MMU is an integrated and integral part of learning and teaching Student progression, confidence and success will be achieved through outstanding personalised and individual support Programmes are responsive to quality enhancement procedures throughout the student lifecycle Staff are lifelong learners, fully engaged with their own professional development Principle 1: Principle 2: Principle 3: Principle 4: Principle 5: Principle 6: www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/ 2. ZONE OF CHAOS & ANARCHY Close to certainty Far from certainty Close to agree ment Far from agree ment 1ZONE OF TECHNICAL RATIONAL, POLITICAL AND JUDGEMENTAL DECISION MAKING 3. ZONE OF COMPLEXITYOR THE EDGE OF CHAOS. Conceptual framework (Stacey et al, 2000) Roche (2010) Academic Developers are change agents Debowski (2014) academic developers as co-learners Neame (2011) Academic Developers work with people, communities, networks Gibbs (2013) Academic Development to lead innovation and influence change Browne Report (2010) Teaching qualification for all staff teaching in HE UK Quality Code (2012) and European Commission (2013) Initial and ongoing Development of Teachers essential Gibbs (2010, 2012); Parsons et al. (2012) Impact of teaching qualifications on practice European Commission (2013) Teacher Development programmes to use open and joined up approaches that foster collaborative learning Ryan & Tilbury (2013) Flexible pedagogies to be modelled in Academic Development provision FLEX seeks to accommodate this scenario and provide Academic CPD for a complex university staffing base. It might challenge us, as educational developers, in that: we can influence but not control; we will need to be mature about our decisions to provide what staff demands vs. what we think they need; we have to be prepared for unexpected outcomes to emerge, particularly through the benefits of connectivity between participants. FLEX Complexity Theory applies to many aspects of the HE context, from the `micro’ behavioural level of teacher-learner interactions to the `macro’ level of national policy and system change. It contests management theory which assumes it is possible to control or predict the destiny of an organisation through strategic planning, e.g. ‘no individual or group can be in control of the whole system’ Stacey et al (2000). He goes on to describe a ‘complex adaptive system’ as one where ‘a large number of agents, each of whom behaves according to its own principles of local interaction . . . determines the behaviour of the system as a whole’. Stacey, R. D., Griffin, D. & Shaw, P. (2000) Complexity and Management: fad or radical challenge to systems thinking? London: Routledge “ “ Jackson (2002) draws on Stacey’s (2000) concept map (Figure 1) which identifies three ‘domains’ in which learning, teaching and curriculum in HE might be situated. : 1) a zone in which behaviours and thinking are dominated by rational thinking and traditional management practices 2) a chaotic zone in which practice disintegrates into anarchy and 3) a zone of complexity on the edge of chaos. . . . a zone of high creativity, innovation and transformative learning as people and communities continually adapt and evolve (see Tosey 2002 for a concise explanation). Jackson (2002) charts the shift from zone 1 to zone 3 as a progression from content to process and outcomes, ‘. . . in the zone of complexity. . . . innovation, experimentation and creativity in curriculum design are most likely to occur. Curricula . . . designed to promote behaviours consistent with this world pay particular attention to the processes of learning. Curricula and learning outcomes are not fixed in advance of learning. They emerge through processes that are partly planned and partly unplanned in a way that expects to exploit opportunities as they emerge. Negotiation about the focus for learning and what is valued in its assessment involves the whole learning community ie teachers/ facilitators and learners. Learning strategies emphasize both independent and collaborative learning. Learners define the problems and work themes and create the processes to address them. Learning is concerned with creating good processes to achieve good outcomes. There is strong emphasis on knowledge development by individuals and governance is primarily through contracts agreements and action plans. . . . an individual effectively creates their own curriculum and assessment process to suit their unique learning circumstances.’ Jackson N (2002) Using Complexity Theory to Make Sense of the Curriculum LTSN Generic Centre “ “ Poster designed by Ellie Livermore ellie_livermore@hotmail.co.uk cargocollective.com/ellielivermore Abstract recently implemented FLEX CPD project are presented. Teaching and Learning Conversations webinar series to share innovative practices