Critical Competencies for Adult and Lifelong Learning


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Markku Markkula
EDEN Annual Conference, Helsinki, 2005

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  • National Strategy to Become a True Knowledge-Based Economy International competitiveness benchmarking shows that Finland is one of the leading knowledge-based economies. However, only three generations ago, Finland was a very poor country, with most of its population in agriculture, largely dependent on its forest resources, only loosely integrated into the main channels of capital, markets, and technology in the world, and with limited public coverage of people’s needs. Professor Manuel Castells has, through an extensive analytical study, concluded: “Finland stands in sharp contrast to the Silicon Valley model. … This means that the welfare state and cooperation between business and labour, mediated by the government, allow the development of work flexibility within a stable system of industrial relations. In the case Finland the state has played and continues to play a major role in guiding economic growth and building the information society in Finland.” Based on several evaluation studies of the Finnish knowledge society model, the following factors are fundamental for the knowledge-based economy: 1) Creativity and innovativeness are the driving forces, 2) Effective networking is a way of life in creating a shared knowledge reality among both individuals and organizations, 3) Increasing intellectual capital is the most important value base of work organizations, 4) Knowledge management and encouraging systematic lifelong learning are basis on building a concept of a learning organization, 5) The future of economic success is more and more built on national innovation system with special emphasis on well-targeted regional innovation policy, 6) Increasing the investments in research and development play a crucial role in governmental policy. These handouts will focus on the processes of the Finnish model highlighting national science, technology and innovation policy, as well as our national lifelong learning policy. These handouts are a result of my mental modeling process – actually a learning process of hundreds of my friends within the national and global network of mine. I have created these handouts keeping in mind different perspectives, i.e. the ones of individual, organization and society, in describing the methods and models which can be applied to other nations. This ”Virtual Book” is based on my handouts and notes which are on a constant change process in my knowledge management toolbox. By the help of this, I want to share part of my experience about ”Knowledge Society Development” with you. This “systems thinking” symbolizes my commitment to invent the desired future.
  • Technology Strategy Leads the Way to the Future Today Finland is associated with the ability to develop and apply new technologies, with welfare, sustainable development and continuous renewal. The main clusters in the Finnish industry are the information and communications, forest and metal clusters. The continuous renewal process of those clusters is very important for the future. The utilisation of biotechnology is becoming crucial in main clusters in the same way as information and communications technologies are. Knowledge-intensive service business offers remarkable, new business opportunities. All areas of industry are encouraged to utilise networks as a tool to find new high-level competence. The Tekes technology strategy opens the path of technology and competence for the future which starts from the needs and changes in the industry and society and leads to the implementation of the desired vision. Technology strategy provides a basis for the technology investments of coming years. It also provides a solid basis and starting point to companies, research institutes and decision- makers in the evaluation of future development. Tekes' vision and strategic objectives provide a starting point for formulating the technology strategy, while the technology strategy gives the technological tools for implementation. The building the technology strategy has been based on a three-dimensional approach: studying of industrial clusters, certain cross-technological technologies and important ways of working. Global trends and the needs in clusters have shown the way, and cross-technological effects and opportunities have also been taken into consideration. This work is based on interactive cooperation with companies, research institutes, universities and industrial organisations, as well as on internal cooperation within Tekes. This work has also benefited from foreign contacts and the contribution of other peer groups. Tekes' technology strategy process is continuous, and its results are published at intervals of a few years. Tekes continues to cooperate with its partners in order to develop the innovation environment further and to boost both the public and corporate investments in R&D. The main objective of Tekes is to increase the number of companies involved in R&D and to ensure that R&D projects become more challenging and produce better and better results. Tekes' role is to ensure the competitiveness of traditional industrial clusters, and at the same time to create and oversee the growth of new ones. Based on TEKES, Technology strategy – a review of choices
  • Page of 26
  • eLearning Target S tate - a V ision by the O ne- M an -C ommittee 1. Promoting learning at a new level Combining systematic exploitation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching will improve learning results, when compared to conventional teaching. This will also bring new dimensions to teaching situations and the entire learning environment. Learning will be based on learning by doing and discovery learning and supported by making the learning environments and learning situations increasingly interesting. 2. Providing extensive opportunities for learning and developing people’s personal competence, regardless of their residential location Information society development will provide people with new, realistic opportunities to learn and develop their competencies on a comprehensive basis, regardless of their place of residence. Various ICT solutions and applications will generate new opportunities for the practical implementation of regional equality, based on the provision of high-quality learning resources throughout the country. Innovative, practice-oriented local and regional projects will help consolidate the efforts in the users’ best interest. 3. Focusing on communal aspects in learning At its best, learning is a communal process that involves, in a school environment, for example, the learners, teachers, parents, and their immediate vicinity. New methods and possibilities for learning are increasingly emphasising the communal character of learning and learning by doing, with the ICT development contributing by creating new learning tools and associated technological solutions and applications. Over the past few years, the development of ICT tools has focused on the interaction and communication aspects. In terms of the learning process, it is not necessary that one’s fellow learners and the required learning resources are all present within a single physical environment. 4. Converting competence into products Currently, Finnish eLearning competence is of a good international standard, and can be promoted onto the highest global level through determined development efforts. In a number of restricted sectors, we have already reached the world’s highest level. Our objective is to make Finland into a pioneer country in eLearning methodology and content production in the global market, and a globally successful developer and producer of method and content products, systems, and services.
  • Page of 26 Features of the Learning Organization in the Knowledge Society In the knowledge society, the ability of organizations to change and adapt is a vital success factor, and efficient learning is the most important process to ensure it. The focus in business is clearly shifting from traditional production to a broader service approach. The government of Finland has in its report (White Paper on the Future of Finland) has defined the following features of the learning organization: 1. Common strategy and vision. The organization and its members have a common vision of where they want to go, enabling them to set goals for learning and to anticipate new developments. 2. Supportive management. The management is responsible for creating conditions conducive to worker satisfaction and high productivity: this involves mutual confidence, human dignity, the opportunity to develop and improve oneself, and any guidance and training needed. 3. An open and trusting atmosphere. People can talk about their ideas and express their opinions. There is no communications gap between management and employees. Everyone works towards the same goal. 4. The organization and work structure supports continuous learning by enabling flexible job descriptions that change with the demands of the environment and the needs of the organization: job rotation and the use of self-managed cross-function teams. 5. Transfer of information. Up-to-date communication systems, systematic management of expertise and information. 6. Individual working habits and teamwork. Development is everyone’s responsibility. People share their expertise. Mistakes can be admitted, and problems can be openly discussed. 7. Advanced working processes. Information sharing and its processes are vital: the importance of optimum information flow is understood at all levels. 8. Performance goals and feedback. Performance goals and a feedback and assessment system apply to all employees. A bonus and recognition system supports and encourages learning by individuals and the organization. 9. Education and training. Systematic training for change management. Formal training supports the essential process of on-the-job training. 10. Individual and team development. Emphasize procedures that encourage the improvement of individuals and teams. Maximize the learning capacity of the entire organization. This often requires a fundamental change in attitudes. Based on Government of Finland, Report to the Parliament, 1997
  • Promoting I n n ovative Regional Policy Committee for the Future at the Parliament of Finland adopted among others the following conclusions based on the results of a technology assessment study ”Regional innovation activities in Finland – current status, significance and developmental challenges”. Regional management practices need to be developed in order to achieve the desired goals. The following management challenges will rise to the fore : Strategic and visionary management : The ability to determine strategies and visions together with other players; the ability to advance developmental measures persistently, consistently and thoroughly; the ability to create the future; the ability to present different visions of the future and the ability to convert them into strategies and actions; the ability to turn around a crisis situation; the ability to initiate processes and manage them differently at the various process stages; the ability to find the right timing for developmental work and to discover competitive advantage in innovations by pioneering them; the ability to present concepts in a manner that makes them seem credible and attractive to other players. Management of networks : The ability to influence people and to make them operate within a network; the ability to generate and utilise creative tension in developmental work and to create a sense of “drama” (to present matters in a manner that makes people enthusiastic and fascinated); the ability to achieve short-term success in order to sustain motivation; the ability to network and effectively utilise informal connections . Resource management : The ability to utilise existing resources and to locate new ones to foster the development of regions; the ability to allocate resources according to regional strategies and to influence the strategies of various organisations; the ability skilfully to influence external financiers and decision-makers and the ability creatively to employ external financing; the ability to view matters as resources for the development of regions and the ability to utilise the same . K nowledge management : The ability to create an environment supportive of knowledge generation, sharing, enrichment and transformation into added value, the ability to stimulate developmental work and innovativeness, to recognise and support the right players and new challenges, the ability to follow through on initiatives in formal and informal decision-making processes. Institutional management : The ability to create and uphold a flexible yet enduring institutional structure that enhances networking and the fluidity of developmental processes, i.e. the ability to create institutions that enable a maximally encouraging and innovative environment in the development of regions.
  • The R ole of P ublic A dministration in Education Over the past few years, the role of public administration in national education policy in Finland – when determinedly striving to develop into a knowledge society – has changed as follows: 1. Public administration sustains the basic structures of our competence policy, and continues to produce and finance a variety of cultural services. At the same time, it ensures a steady level of activities where all citizens invariably receive good basic education. It also creates and maintains the basic preparedness for acting in the information society, with continuous provision of encouraging services for continued vocational development. 2. Public administration continually develops our national competence policy using the possibilities provided by ICT, maintaining such a level of action that can keep Finland among the world’s leading edge countries, when measured by the positive results and effects of its educational policy. 3. Public administration finances research and development activities, determines related key areas, and develops operation models that serve all citizens, maintains the basic infrastructure and other structures, maintaining such level of action that ensures a good national return from the investments made in the long term, ensuring that Finland rates among the world’s leading countries when measured by the results and effectiveness of its scientific and technology policies. 4. Public administration anticipates the progress of information society development, adhering to a level of action where the preconditions of a networking economy and eCommerce are improved, for example, through decreasing regulation, and by providing businesses and other operators with equal preconditions for competition. 5. Public administration leads the way through its own example and creates functional markets through its own action, adhering to a level of action that promotes, for example, the implementation of high-quality eBusiness, while investing in employees’ vocational development exploiting the opportunities provided by eLearning. 6. Public administration is the central operator in the creation of eLearning standards, adhering to a level of action that generates a favourable development environment and any other preconditions for both techno-structural and socio-cultural collaboration. 7. Public administration is partly responsible for financing and, at least partly, for co-ordinating a number of key development projects, adhering to a level of action that accelerates the implementation of societal objectives through innovative, open, dynamic collaboration between the various operators, developing and strengthening a national culture of working together.
  • Critical Competencies for Adult and Lifelong Learning

    1. 1. Critical Competences for Adult and Lifelong Learning Markku Markkula <ul><li>Director of Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli, Helsinki University of Technology TKK </li></ul><ul><li>Member of Finnish Parliament 1995-2003 </li></ul><ul><li>- Committee for the Future </li></ul><ul><li>- Committee for Science, Education and Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Secretary General of IACEE, International Association for Continuing Engineering Education 1989-2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman of the Board of TIEKE, the Finnish Information Society Development Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman of the Board of TEK, the Finnish Association of Graduate Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman of the Board of SoL-Finland, Society for Organizational Learning </li></ul>© Markku Markkula Focus of this presentation – Critical competences in developing innovative learning and teaching solutions – the triangle model Individual Work Organization University Professional Development
    2. 2. Competence Development – Examples by EDEN 2005 So Far ??CREATING CONCEPTS AND LEARNING PROCESSES FOR COMPETENCE DEVELOPMENT AT ALL NECESSARY LEVELS?? Umberto Paolucci: Personal productivity & Business intelligence & Software development Competences for Knowledge Creation Maruja Gutierrez Diaz: Learning and Employability Competence development & Access as a personal issue Walter Kugeman et al: Pedagogical psychology computer-assisted assessment system Reflecting and evaluating own performance
    3. 3. Digital Workstyle Improving personal productivity Unified & integrated communication Software will learn how we work, understand our needs, help to set priorities Optimizing supply chains Team collaboration & more effective meetings Pattern recognition & adaptive filtering Spotting trends for business intelligence Insights & structured workflow Umberto Paolucci
    4. 4. <ul><li>ICT helps us to go deeper, but so far not to go wider </li></ul><ul><li>Still need to increase number of learners and range of content </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on jobs; little focus on personal growth, self-esteem and society </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes are important: ‘the joy of learning’ </li></ul><ul><li>Need to support individualised learning, in a learning society </li></ul>Policy Observatory for Lifelong Learning and Employability: Access as a personal issue European Commission DG Education and Culture Maruja Gutierrez Diaz:
    5. 5. Walter Kugeman et al:
    6. 6. Starting Point = Cornerstones of Competitiveness: Case Finland – Lessons Learned <ul><li>Why networking? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It combines the best possible knowledge and competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-technological cooperation and internationalization require networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why cross-technological cooperation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It helps to find new competitive advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It makes industrial structure more versatile </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why long-term commitment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It creates the basis for research and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It brings forth competence and experts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why innovativeness? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It speeds up the commercialization of technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It renews the industrial structure and competence base </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why productivity? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is the precondition for competitiveness and welfare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The sound application of technologies increases productivity </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Digitalization: ”e” Is Not Just Technology is the drivi n g force Digitalization It is people who make the change. Conclusion: We Need to Focus on Collaboration ” e” = ? emotional and empowerment with interoperability Focus on Knowledge Creation Processes: Development of new ”real eLearning” and ”blended learning” models… with a strong focus on collaboration! Look at this from different perspectives:
    8. 8. Change in Work Culture – Focusing on the Future © Markku Markkula Collaboration between several actors Networking Interaction Focusing on communities Financial support for development projects from the government CURRENT STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT Innovation Multidisciplinary processes Value chains and value networks An open culture of working together Simultaneous presence of learning communities and the individuals’ passion for learning The role of public administration in generating eLearning markets FUTURE = NEW WORK CULTURE Innovative social networking solutions
    9. 9. Organizational Level: Process to Support Competence Development <ul><li>Organizations that are successful share the following features of a learning organization: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Common strategy and vision. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Supportive management. </li></ul><ul><li>3. An open and trusting atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The organization and work structure supports continuous learning. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Transfer of information. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Individual working habits and teamwork. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Advanced working processes. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Performance goals and feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Education and training. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Individual and team development. </li></ul>Competence Development through Cooperation Individual Employer Education Provider Government of Finland, Report to the Parliament, 1997 © Markku Markkula
    10. 10. TKK Dipoli capital types (metaphore frame) The growth of these types of ’capital’ is an objective having a decisive impact on organisational structure. Its materialization is followed up by means of measurements. Task descriptions and the definition of the level of requirements is linked to the objectives set by means of the capital frame. © Markku Markkula Individual competences Renewal capital Process capital Organizational competences Types of human and structural capital Customer capital Developer networks Subcontractor networks Types of relations capital Financial capital
    11. 11. © Markku Markkula Learning Organization and Systems Intelligence Management of Processes, Competencies and Quality Innovation Management and Foresight Management of Innovative Working and Learning Environments Effective CEE Management and Leadership TKK Dipoli: Four core competencies needed for managing change TKK Dipoli Organizational Core Competences
    12. 12. The Concept for Creating Renewal Capital <ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Policy goal </li></ul><ul><li>Core concept </li></ul><ul><li>Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Central players </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation of developmental work </li></ul><ul><li>Normative foundation of actions </li></ul><ul><li>National development approach </li></ul><ul><li>Central means </li></ul><ul><li>Planning parameters </li></ul><ul><li>Role of regions </li></ul><ul><li>Global </li></ul><ul><li>An internationally competitive society of expertise and wellbeing </li></ul><ul><li>A combination of quality of life and experiences that accepts competitiveness, innovativeness, diversity and differences </li></ul><ul><li>Programmes specific to a network and/or problem - an issue being the common denominator </li></ul><ul><li>Groups organising themselves around issues - negotiating practice </li></ul><ul><li>Learning networks of developers </li></ul><ul><li>Competitiveness, learning and renewal, genuine interests, values, ethics and morale </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative environments, diversification and differentiation </li></ul><ul><li>Management of processes and networks - the management of networks originating in issues </li></ul><ul><li>Programmes as the strategic for a for cooperation processes and processing different approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Nodes or hubs in national/global networks </li></ul>
    13. 13. Management Challenges for Self-Renewing Development ICT as an Enabler Knowledge Creation Processes © Markku Markkula Leadership Mental Modelling Team Learning Personal Mastery Systems Thinking Shared Vision Strategic and Visionary Management Management of Networks Knowledge Management Resource Management Management of Work Organization Players Networks Timing Collaboration Knowledge Management
    14. 14. Focus Areas of S elf- R enewing D evelopment <ul><li>The f ive basic requirements for an innovative environment, ( i.e. self-renewing development of an organization) are : </li></ul><ul><li>Players: identity, sense of belonging and charisma </li></ul><ul><li>2. Networks: links, trust and mutual dependencies </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge management: information flows and communication </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration: new culture of working and learning together </li></ul><ul><li>5. Mastering timing: situation awareness and the courage to act </li></ul>© Markku Markkula
    15. 15. Learning Needs of Finnish Engineers Source: TEK 2004
    16. 16. New Competence Areas in the Systems of Production Domain This is adapted from Dr. Ilkka Tuomi: Emerging Research Topics on Knowledge Society, TEKES 116/2001 Systems & Production The new organization: Knowledge management The new economy: Environment, ethics, and social sustainability Entrepreneurial ecologies: Networks of innovative production Work in knowledge society: work as home, quality and nature of knowledge work The new design: Human-centric, emotional, and resilient technology
    17. 17. Concept for Continuing Professional Development & Organizational Development TYÖYHTEISÖN ERILAISET IHMISET EMPLOYEES WITH DIFFERENT INTERESTS Work Processes Leadership of Innovative Environments and Or ga nizations Motivating and Incentives for Organizational Development Knowledge Management Developer Networks Creative Tension Innovative Milieu Systematic Professional Development VALUES VALUES © Markku Markkula
    18. 18. Creative Tension as a Critical Competence <ul><li>The ability of self-renewal cannot be generated or maintained by external control but rather born spontaneously of the creative tension generated by interaction and leadership: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tension refers to … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a state that is characterised by excitement and fascination along with anticipation of the future bringing along something new and different, and/or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a state of anticipation characterised by insecurity as to the consequences of future events and action. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tension is born … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>of opposite or sufficiently diverse forces existing simultaneously and calling into question the prevalent modes of thinking and/or operation and the status quo </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>between two or more phenomena. In the development of regions, the said phenomena may include, for example, relations between organizations or the difference between present and future development with regard to a tangible matter. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativeness entails … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>producing unprecedented and original products, processes, ideas and modes of operation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>utilising information in a manner that creates new and diverse ways of observing and interpreting familiar issues and phenomena. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Development of European University Adult Education Answering the Lisbon Strategy: Bologna & e-Bologna The role of the universities ’ adult education must be enhanced in view of performing the following basic tasks : 1. To develop and maintain mechanisms for the dissemination , transfer and internalisation of university-generated knowledge, and to develop and maintain knowledge management methods so as to enable the generation and use of new knowledge in all working life sectors. 2. To develop and maintain professional development systematics based on collaboration between various education and training providers, so as to enable the provision of high-quality modular training for the various occupational groups in all sectors. 3. To process the knowledge people produce in their own universities and knowledge generating institutions into a form suitable for practical professional use as teaching material , in a way that enables the various instructors and teaching support personnel to use it economically in their own work. © Markku Markkula
    20. 20. Conclutions: The Role of Public Sector in Education <ul><li>Ensures that all citizens receive good basic education, </li></ul><ul><li>Develops national competence policy using the possibilities provided by ICT, </li></ul><ul><li>Finances research and development activities, </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipates the progress of Knowledge Society development, </li></ul><ul><li>Leads the way through its own example, </li></ul><ul><li>Generates favourable development environment for techno-structural and socio-cultural collaboration and through that for innovations, </li></ul><ul><li>Is partly responsible for financing of key development projects. </li></ul>© Markku Markkula
    21. 21. My Message Enormous human potential exists. Networking and knowledge management are the cornerstones for competence development. Besides technological innovations, we need social innovations. This can be achieved only by creating new combinations. Computers and multimedia are changing the whole educational system from teaching to active learning. SHARED NATIONAL VISION