'Associated life': social software, professional relationships and democratic professionalism
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'Associated life': social software, professional relationships and democratic professionalism



Presentation given to the Onati Workshop on 'One World, Different Cultures, Clashing Values: Legal Education in a Global Context', Onati, Spain. Hosted by the International Institute for the ...

Presentation given to the Onati Workshop on 'One World, Different Cultures, Clashing Values: Legal Education in a Global Context', Onati, Spain. Hosted by the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, April 2009. Paper available.



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'Associated life': social software, professional relationships and democratic professionalism 'Associated life': social software, professional relationships and democratic professionalism Presentation Transcript

  • ‘ Associated life’: social software, professional relationships and democratic professionalism Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law
  • a rgument in summary …
    • The links between democratic values and professionalism are values that should central in our professional and our educational practices
    • Dewey’s form of educational praxis is one method by which we can encourage democratic professionalism
    • Critical to implementations are the concepts of ‘associated life’ and ‘associated thought’
    • This is central to both undergraduate and postgraduate/vocational curricula
    • Two case studies:
      • Law Society of Scotland: Consultation on professional legal education, and development of outcomes and new approaches to learning professionalism
      • Social software, t ransactional learning and SIMPLE (SIMulated Professional Learning Environment)
  • a rgument in summary …
    • ‘ Individuals will always be the centre and consummation of experience, but what the individual actually is in his life experience depends upon the nature and movement of associated life ’.
    • John Dewey, LW 14, 91.
    Dewey & collaboration >>
    • William Sullivan contrasts technocratic professionalism (concerned with technical self-interested practices and motivations driven by profit only) with civic professionalism, that invests professional practice with moral meaning and with democratic value.
    • Sullivan, W. (1995) Work and Integrity. The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America , second edition, New York, John Wiley & Sons
    >> c ivic professionalism
    • ‘ If the ideal of democratic professionalism is so beneficial, then why is it losing to the technocratic model? An obvious reply is that the latter fits neatly into the rationalized procedures and needs for predictability and control found in modern economic and political organization. Further, those trained for professions currently have minimal instruction in the democratic consequences of their professional domains.’
    • Dzur, A.W. (2002) Civic Participation in Professional Domains, Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Amercian Political Science Association, Boston, August-Sept 2002, http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/good_society/v013/13.1dzur01.html
    t echnocratic professionalism vs democratic professionalism
    • Q: How can we transform professionalism into democratic professionalism?
    • ‘ Experience is the result, the sign, and the reward of that interaction of organism and environment which, when it is carried to the full, is a transformation of interaction into participation and communication.’
    • Dewey, LW, 10, 28.
    a rgument in summary … t echnocratic professionalism vs democratic professionalism
    • A: associated life and associated thought
    • ‘ Experience is the result, the sign, and the reward of that interaction of organism and environment which, when it is carried to the full, is a transformation of interaction into participation and communication.’
    • Dewey, LW, 10, 28.
    a rgument in summary … t echnocratic professionalism vs democratic professionalism
    • ‘ All those who are affected by social institutions must have a share in producing and managing them. The two facts that each one is influenced in what he does and enjoys and in what he becomes by the institutions under which he lives, and that therefore he shall have, in a democracy, a voice in shaping them, are the passive and active sides of the same fact.’
    • Dewey, LW, 11, 217-8
    w hy ‘associated life’ …?
    • ‘ the teachers’ reports [in the Laboratory School] show how the inquiry approach can work in all curriculum areas. [ … ] Dewey built [this] into a revolutionary approach for education: the idea of thinking as problem solving.’
    • Tanner, Dewey’s Laboratory School , 83
    • But what about professional thinking as problem-solving? What do we need to enable that?
    w hy ‘associated thought’ …?
    • In professional legal education in Scotland, there are no learning outcomes at present
    • Law Society of Scotland is currently consulting on new outcomes for
      • a primary educational programme: PEAT 1 (old Diploma in Legal Practice)
      • a flexible work-based elective programme: two-year traineeship + PEAT 2 (old Professional Competence Course)
      • new CPD requirements
    CASE STUDY ONE: regulatory initiative
    • New curriculum structure
      • based around transactional learning
      • with the concept of professionalism at the core
      • b ased on the values of ethical practice as:
        • defined by the profession
        • a nalysed by profession and schools
    CASE STUDY ONE: regulatory initiative
  • authenticity as transactional learning…
    • Transactional learning:
    • active learning
    • through performance in authentic transactions
    • involving reflection in & on learning,
    • deep collaborative learning , and
    • holistic or process learning,
    • with relevant professional assessment
    • that includes ethical standards
    • Professionalism
    • Professional relationships
    • Professional communications
    professionalism values as outcomes
    • ‘ We found that UCSF, School of Medicine students who received comments regarding unprofessional behaviour were more than twice as likely to be disciplined by the Medical Board of California when they become practicing physicians than were students without such comments. The more traditional measures of medical school performance, such as grades and passing scores on national standardized tests, did not identify students who later had disciplinary problems as practicing physicians’.
    • Papadakis, M. et al (2004) Unprofessional behaviour in medical school is associated with subsequent disciplinary action by a state medical board, Academic Medicine , 79, 244-79
    e vidence from medical education
    • Throughout the programme a student should demonstrate a commitment to:
      • The interests of justice and democracy in society
      • Effective and competent legal services on behalf of a client
      • Continuing professional education and personal development
      • Diversity and public service
      • Personal integrity and civility towards colleagues, clients and the courts
  • professionalism Outcome Positive indicator Negative indicator 5. Personal integrity and civility towards colleagues, clients and the courts Is honest with all others on the course; relates to colleagues on the programme with civility; treats tutors, administrative staff and others with respect. Exhibits traits of arrogance, intemperate behaviour, mismanagement of own affairs; lies to colleagues or programme personnel; plagiarises work; adopts the work of others as own work; is abusive or contemptuous towards colleagues or programme personnel.
    • By the end of the programme students should be able to:
      • Adapt personal style to develop professional relationships
      • Listen, give and receive feedback and respond perceptively to others
      • Understand the basic dynamics of groupwork
      • Act as a group member
      • Lead a group effectively
      • Develop techniques for appraising and developing their skill at forming and maintaining professional relationships
    p rofessional relationships
  • p rofessional relationships Outcome Positive indicator Negative indicator Listen, give and receive feedback and respond perceptively to others Looks at speaker; neither asks questions nor makes comments until speaker has finished; can summarise accurately what the speaker has said without embellishment or omission. Can comment positively and with perception on the performance of others in the group; can accept and act upon feedback from others to improve professional practice Interrupts other speaker; talks over speaker; easily distracted by own thoughts while other is speaking; cannot summarise well what another speaker has said; gives poor or disparaging feedback to peers; comments on person, not task; does not accept feedback from others, or resents being the focus of feedback; sees no relation between feedback and improvement of professional practice
    • Law Society is now:
      • Working with institutions, students, staff to bring about collaborative change
      • C reating a space where Creative Commons resources and Open Educational Resources (OER) can be created, shared & maintained.
      • D eveloping with institutions key initiatives such as Standardized Clients, interactive multimedia, simulation.
    • Society is matching curriculum-building process to the aims of the programme itself …
    process of change…?
  • CASE STUDY 2: simulated transactions in SIMPLE
      • personalized learning in a professional environment
      • collaborative learning
      • use of simulation spaces in programmes of study, and the relation between simulation spaces and other learning spaces on a programme, including paper-based and online resources, face-to-face classes, and administration
      • use of rich media in online simulations – video, graphics, text, comms., etc.
      • authenticity in the design of simulation tasks, and effective assessment of professional learning
  • what has the SIMPLE project done?
    • Provided academic staff in UK universities with software tools to design and build simulations and collate all of the resources required
    • Developed teaching, learning and assessment templates, including curriculum guidelines
    • Provided tools to create a map and directory for a virtual town
    • Enabled communication between students and simulated characters/staff
    • Monitoring and mentoring functions
    • Evaluated student and staff experiences in using the simulation environment
  • large-scale implementation in disciplines Discipline Degree programme Institution Architecture BSc (Hons) / March, year 3 Strathclyde U. (1) Management Science BA (Hons), year 1 Strathclyde U. (1) Social Work MA (Hons), year 2/3 Strathclyde U. (1) Law LLB, year 1 Glamorgan U. (1) Law LLB, year 2/3 Stirling U. (2) Law LLB, year 3 Warwick U. (1) Law LLB, year 3 West of England U. (1) Law Diploma in Legal Practice, p/g Strathclyde U. (6)
  • correspondence file
  • Ardcalloch directory
  • map of Ardcalloch
  • personal injury negotiation project
    • Administration:
    • 272 students, 68 firms, 8 anonymous information sources – PI mentors
    • 68 document sets, 34 transactions
    • Each scenario has embedded variables, called from a document server, making it similar, but also unique in critical ways
    • students have 12 weeks to achieve settlement
    • introductory & feedback lectures
    • discussion forums
    • FAQs & transaction guideline flowcharts
    • voluntary face-to-face surgeries with a PI solicitor
  • PI project: assessment criteria
    • We require from each student firm a body of evidence consisting of:
    • fact-finding – from information sources in the virtual community)
    • professional legal research – using WestLaw + paperworld sources
    • formation of negotiation strategy – extending range of Foundation Course learning
    • performance of strategy – correspondence + optional f2f meeting, recorded
  • PI project: (some of) what students learned
    • extended team working
    • real legal fact-finding
    • real legal research
    • process thinking in the project
    • setting out negotiation strategies in the context of (un)known information
    • writing to specific audiences
    • handling project alongside other work commitments
    • structuring the argument of a case from start to finish
    • keeping cool in face-to-face negotiations
    • more effective delegation
    • keeping files
    • taking notes on the process...
  • PI project: what students would have done differently…
    • ‘ In tackling this project I think that our group made two main mistakes. The first mistake we made was in approaching the task as law students as opposed to Lawyers. By this I mean we tried to find the answer and work our way back. Immediately we were thinking about claims and quantum and blame. I don't think we actually initiated a claim until a week before the final settlement. I think the phrase "like a bull in a china shop" would aptly describe the way we approached the problem. […] Our group knew what area of law and tests to apply yet we ended up often being ahead of ourselves and having to back-pedal
    • The second mistake we made was estimating how long it would take to gather information. We started our project quite late on and began to run out of time towards the end. None of us appreciated the length of time it would take to gather information and on top of this we would often have to write two or three letters to the same person as the initial letter would not ask the right question.’
  • PI project: what students would have done differently…
    • ‘ At the beginning we thought we perhaps lost sight of the fact that we had a client whom we had a duty to advise and inform. On reflection we should have issued terms of engagement and advised the client better in monetary terms what the likely outcome was going to be.’
    • ‘ […] unlike other group projects I was involved in at undergraduate level I feel that I derived genuine benefit from this exercise in several ways:
      • 1. reinforcing letter-writing, negotiation, time-management and IT skills
      • 2. conducting legal research into issues of quantum
      • working effectively in a group as a group - not delegating tasks at the first meeting and then putting together pieces of work at the second meeting.’
  • PI project: tempo & complexity
  • PI project: tempo & complexity
    • Three evaluative levels:
    • What role does professional learning play within the partner institutions and how can and does SIMPLE contribute?
    • How do we address curricular issues in the design and development of innovative practices and the implementation of SIMPLE in particular?
    • What are the wider systemic and institutional factors that affect this form of learning?
    e valuation of SIMPLE as a transformative practice
  • level 2: curricular themes
    • Open sims vs bounded sims
    • Staff c ontrol: disruptive sims vs convergent sims
    • Identity exploration (personal + profession) vs conventional learning (personal + profession)
    • Knowledge object-forming via play vs knowledge resumption by traditional means
    • Transactional learning vs conventional teaching
    • Front-loading timetable vs conventional timetabling
    • Interactive mentor roles vs conventional lecturer/tutor roles
    • Curriculum organised around spaces & resources vs curriculum organised around teaching interventions & resources
    • Replay/remix/feedforward assessment culture vs snapshot assessment culture
  • level 3: learning, institutions, practices
    • T here is no such thing as experiential learning.
    • Learning is distributed among expanded environments, tools, roles, tasks, social relations.
    • T here is no spoon: curriculum is technology.
    • Staff role-change vs conventional teaching/admin roles.
    • The role of the institution changes.
    • The question is no longer why conventional learning vs sim, clinic, PBL, etc; but in an era where Wikipedia & SourceForge flourish against all odds, why are we not collaborating at all levels in teaching & learning?
  • 1. there’s no such thing as experiential learning
    • W e don’t learn from experience
    • We learn by working to interpret experience, given that, when learning:
      • we have different prior knowledge
      • our aims are always different in subtle ways
      • we learn different things from the same resources
      • ‘ resources’ means symbolic objects like books & web pages, but also people, including ourselves
      • we can learn intimately and deeply from any resource, given a suitable context
    • Teachers and students need to encode those interpretations as complex memories, habits, skills, attitudes or knowledge objects if they are to re-use them
        • Schratz, M. and Walker, R.(1995) Research as Social Change: New Opportunities for Qualitative Research. London: Routledge.
    • Curriculum is multiple distributed technologies and practices. Eg timetables, course teams, notepads, learning spaces, forms of knowledge transmission, discussion, computers, forms of speech, writing – all existing in time spans.
    • Some technologies are ancient ( lectura, glossa) , some new (SIMPLE, standardised clients, mobile phones)
    • Success in learning means:
      • f or staff, the need to compose and orchestrate the curriculum .
      • f or students, the tools, support & spaces to manage their own curriculum
    3. curriculum is technology
  • 5. the institution will change …
    • Still focused on:
    • Organisations , ie LMSs, silos of knowledge
    • Products , ie handbooks, CDs, closely-guarded downloads
    • Content , ie modules, instruction, transmissive content
    • Snapshot assessment of taught substantive content
  • … to accommodate social, collaborative learning
    • Focus shifts to:
    • Organisation has weak boundaries, strong presence through resource-based, integrated learning networks, with open access (open courseware initiatives, etc)
    • Focus not on static content but on web-based, aggregated content
    • E-learning as integrated understanding & conversation, just-in-time learning
    • Assessment of situated learning
  • Standard classroom c.1908. Would you like to learn about measurement and volume this way? Thanks to Mike Sharples, http://tinyurl.com/6bzdgx
  • … o r this way? (Dewey’s Laboratory School, U. of Chicago, 1901), http://tinyurl.com/6onvjp
  • Would you like to learn about history and town planning this way?
  • … o r by building a table-top town for a social life history project? (Dewey’s Lab School, http://tinyurl.com/59c93q )
  • Dewey & Thorndike: where extremes meet
    • ‘ One cannot understand the history of education in the United States in the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.’
        • Lageman, E. (1989) The plural worlds of educational research, History of Education Quarterly , 29(2), pp. 185–214
  • John Dewey E.L. Thorndike 1. Philosopher & educationalist Educational psychologist 2. Theoretician and practical implementer Theoretician & experimentalist 3. Interested in the arc between experience & the world Explored the dyadic relationship between mind & the world 4. Pragmatist approach to learning: prior experience, ways of contextual knowing Adopted as precursor of a behaviourist approach to learning: assessment-led; laws of effect, recency, repetition 5. Emphasised learning ecologies Emphasised teaching strategies 6. Followed by: Bruner, Kilpatrick, standards movement, Constructivist tradition Followed by: Watson, Skinner, Gagné, outcomes movement,
    • ‘ Judgment may be identified as the settled outcome of inquiry. It is concerned with the concluding objects that emerge from inquiry in their status of being conclusive . Judgment in this sense is distinguished from propositions . The content of the latter is intermediate and representative and is carried by symbols; while judgment, as finally made, has direct existential import.’
        • Dewey, Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1938) , 120
    • [a]n experience is a product, one might almost say a by-product, of continuous and cumulative interaction of an organic self with world’
        • Dewey, Later Works, vol 10, p. 224
    t ransactions in the world …
    • [T]he old notions of natural Affections , and kind Instincts ; the Sensus communis , the Decorum , and Honestum , are almost banished out of our Books of Morals; we must never hear of them in any of our Lectures for fear of Innate Ideas ; all must be interest and some selfish View.
        • Hutcheson, F. (1969–90) Collected Works of Francis Hutcheson , 7 vols (Hildesheim, Olms), VII, 475 [1725]
    • ‘ Dewey’s analyses of the transaction of organism and environment can be read as an account of the construction processes that lie beneath all human activity. Dewey’s work anticipates, if it does not explicitly articulate, much of what is important and interesting about constructivist epistemology and constructivist pedagogy.’
        • Vanderstraeten, R. (2002) Dewey’s transactional constructivism, Journal of Philosophy of Education , 36(2), pp. 233–46, 234.
  • authenticity as transactional learning…
    • Transactional learning:
    • active learning
    • through performance in authentic transactions
    • involving reflection in & on learning,
    • deep collaborative learning , and
    • holistic or process learning,
    • with relevant professional assessment
    • that includes ethical standards
  • Transforming Legal Education: four key themes
  • contact details
    • Email: [email_address]
    • Blog: http://zeugma.typepad.com
    • Book: www.transforming.org.uk
    • These slides at: www.slideshare.net/paulmaharg
    • SIMPLE: http://simplecommunity.org