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Reflections from the Non-Traditional Road to a Doctorate: Adult Learner Practitioners as Adult Learners in Doctoral Programs
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Reflections from the Non-Traditional Road to a Doctorate: Adult Learner Practitioners as Adult Learners in Doctoral Programs

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This interactive workshop explored ways in which two practitioners who work in the world of serving and educating adult learners experienced their own learning and development in non-traditional ...

This interactive workshop explored ways in which two practitioners who work in the world of serving and educating adult learners experienced their own learning and development in non-traditional (distributed) adult learning / higher education doctoral programs. In comparing and contrasting their experiences as students, the presenters shared their reflections about learning, administration, and doctoral program practices, many of which have subsequently informed the work they do with their own adult undergraduate learners. Workshop participants had the opportunity to consider how the presenters’ experiences inform learning theory and administrative practice in regard to adult learners. Presented by Melanie Booth and Annalee Lamoreaux at the 2006 AHEA Conference.

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Reflections from the Non-Traditional Road to a Doctorate: Adult Learner Practitioners as Adult Learners in Doctoral Programs Reflections from the Non-Traditional Road to a Doctorate: Adult Learner Practitioners as Adult Learners in Doctoral Programs Presentation Transcript

  • Reflections from the Non-Traditional Road to a Doctorate: Adult Learner Practitioners as Adult Learners in Doctoral Programs Your Guides on this Journey: Melanie Booth ( almost Ed.D.) Annalee Lamoreaux, Ph.D.
  • Better to stay home?
    • If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
    • ~Anonymous
  • New Perspectives
    • Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be . . .
    • Close your eyes. Let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.
    • ~Erich Fromm
  • Someday: Sleep
    • Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
    • Breath's a ware that will not keep.
    • Up, lad: when the journey's over
    • There'll be time enough to sleep.
    • ~A.E. Housman, “Reveille”
  • About Us
    • Dr. Annalee Lamoreaux
      • Chair, Prior Learning Assessment & Adult Development - St. Mary’s College of California
      • Ph.D. in Education, specialization in Higher Education – Walden University (August 2005)
  • About Us (cont.)
    • Melanie Booth
      • Director, Learning Assessment Center / Prior Learning Assessment Program Chair – Marylhurst University
      • Candidate for Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Change, concentration in Higher Education Systems – Fielding Graduate University
  • About You
    • Who is an administrator or faculty member in a doctoral program?
    • Who is a doctoral student?
    • Who is considering becoming a doctoral student?
    • Other?
    • Why are you here?
    • What is it you want to know?
  • Exploring & Mapmaking
    • The Goal
      • To become explorers and mapmakers (i.e., to learn the skills and knowledge needed to explore and make maps on our own after training; to learn to think like explorers and mapmakers).
      • To earn a certification in exploration and mapmaking.
    • We went into the wilderness to learn to explore and map the wilderness.
    • We were given certain tools and some sketchy “bare bones” maps to get us started.
    • We had access to a travel agent, a master mapmaker, and local guides along the way.
  • Exploring & Mapmaking (cont.)
    • Guidelines
      • We could go alone or in small groups, but if in groups, each person had to create his/her own maps.
      • We could not copy anybody else’s map – our map was unique to our own work, though we needed to reference all previously created maps of that wilderness.
      • We needed to demonstrate that we could use and create maps from different perspectives.
    • Tuition
      • We paid a recurring substantial fee until we were able to produce a series of maps.
      • The length of time required to explore and map the wilderness varied from student to student.
  • Distributed Learning
    • An approach that does not require a specific, physical location in order to facilitate learning.
    • Some of the characteristics of a distributed environment include:
      • The incorporation of technology, in-person, distance-oriented and other interactive tools to support various learning styles.
      • An integration of day-to-day life (work and non-work related) into the learning activities.
      • An emphasis on collaborative learning by peer and community interaction.
    • ~From the Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning
  • Walden’s Program
    • Residency requirement: 20 days total
      • Two 4 day residencies, including Orientation
      • Two 6 day residencies, summer or winter sessions
      • Offered regionally
    • Support
      • Mentor (academic advisor and dissertation chair)
      • Faculty Assessors (one per “knowledge area”)
      • Academic Advisor (administrative advising)
    • Foundation Course
      • Professional Development Plan, Plan of Study
      • Learning Agreement for 1st “Knowledge Area Module”
  • Walden’s Program (cont.)
    • “ Knowledge Area Modules”
      • 3 Core KAMs, 2 Specialized KAMs
      • 3 Elements to each KAM: Breadth/theories, Depth/current research, Application
    • Core Research Sequence - online
      • Research design, quantitative, qualitative methods
    • Advanced Research Sequence
      • Pilot/field studies, communication in ed research
    • Dissertation
    • Final Oral Presentation
  • Fielding’s Program
    • Orientation & Planning Session (5 day intensive session; meets residency requirement)
    • Other face-to-face options:
      • Regional Research Intensives
      • National Sessions
      • Regional or Online Clusters
    • Support
      • Mentor (academic advisor and dissertation chair)
      • Faculty Assessors (one per course)
      • Graduate Program Advisor (administrative advising)
  • Fielding’s Program (cont.)
    • Personal Learning Plan
    • Knowledge Areas (8 “courses”) – 4 required; 4 electives
      • Content and skill outcomes to support development of programmatic doctoral-level competencies
      • 3 Elements to each KA: Overview, Depth, Applied
    • Comprehensive Assessments
    • Dissertation
    • Final Oral Review
  • Shared Themes: Learning
    • Muddiness Happens! (Learn to deal with it!)
    • Importance of high support + high challenge
    • Importance of feedback / dialogue with faculty
    • Role of community in learning
    • Development over time: critical academic voice, awareness of personal learning processes and strategies, flexibility in thinking, new ways of “seeing”
    • Need to be our own teachers
    • “ Impostorship” may be part of the process; “Roadrunning” is ok!
  • Impostership
    • The cultural roots framing impostership are hard to disentangle, but most who spoke about impostership viewed it as having been produced by their awareness of the distance between the idealized images of omniscient professionals they attached to anyone holding doctoral degrees in their professions, and their own daily sense of themselves as stumbling and struggling survivors . . . . they regard themselves primarily as practitioners rather than as theorists or academic thinkers . . . . they report that their own experience as educators does not grant them the credibility that would allow them to comment critically on the contributions of major figures in the field. (Brookfield, pp. 205 – 207)
  • Roadrunning
    • At this moment there is a feeling of being in limbo, of being suspended above the canyon floor with the solid ground of familiar assumptions left behind and nothing new congealed in their place. This is the time when educators crash to the floor of their emotional canyons, when they face the crises of confidence … However, as happens with the coyote, whatever prompted their quest … invariably comes back into play. Sooner or later, the journey for critical clarity begins again, but this time there is a greater preparedness for the moment of suspension, and an ability to stay dangling above the canyon floor for a few seconds longer than was formerly the case. (p. 212)
  • Shared Themes: Administration
    • Policies need to support learning
    • Structure matters (curriculum design to promote growth and push comfort zone)
    • Formative and summative assessment
    • Assistance with planning strategies
    • Access to resources
    • Attentiveness to student feedback – fed back into program
  • Discussion
    • How might our experiences as adult doctoral learners in distributed doctoral programs inform your practice with adult learners at all levels in your institutions?
  • How our experiences have informed our practices
    • We make no assumptions about “self-direction.”
    • We help learners wade through the muddy areas; help raise their awareness of and comfort with the mud: “LOVE THE MUD!”
    • We model effective learning strategies, i.e. asking questions, using writing-to-learn, metacognition, reflection, etc.
    • We strategically scaffold learning experiences to support development and growth.
    • We provide high support + high challenge.
  • Q & A & Invitation
    • Questions?
    • Invitation: We are interested in hearing others’ experiences around being adult education practitioners and adult students in doctoral programs. Please join us after this workshop for an informal continuation of our conversation.
    • THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THIS JOURNEY!
  • A Few References
    • Brookfield, S. D. (1994). Tales from the dark side: A phenomenography of adult critical reflection. International Journal of Lifelong Education , 13 (3), 203-216.
    • DiStefano, A., Rudestam, K.E., Silverman, R.J. (2003). Encyclopedia of distributed learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • Stevens-Long, J. & Barner, R. (2006). Advanced avenues in adult development and learning: The role of doctoral study. In C. Hoare (Ed.), Handbook of adult development and learning (pp.455-475) . New York: Oxford.