Reflecting On Critical Incidents And Identifying Governing Variables In Double Loop Learning

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Reflecting On Critical Incidents And Identifying Governing Variables In Double Loop Learning

  1. 1. REFLECTING ON CRITICAL INCIDENTS AND IDENTIFYING GOVERNING VARIABLES IN DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING SID: 0816909
  2. 2. Having gone through my first full year of teaching within secondary education last year, I have chosen to identify some critical incidents (CI’s) from this time so that I can reflect and make sense of it all. CI’s that, upon reflection, have been the major events. First Incident: First foreign visit with students to Beijing, China. Second Incident: First involvement in a Section 5 Ofsted inspection.
  3. 3. First Incident: First foreign visit with students to Beijing, China.
  4. 4. My first CI was when I went to Beijing, China with five Year 12 students. To reflect on this incident, I have chosen the genre of poetry...
  5. 5. Opposed to an Easter at home to feast Away I went, away to the east China in fact, with students in tow Far from my usual status quo INSET I had to prepare for the trip Even so, I was apprehensive a bit In loco parentis was the name of the game No chance afoot for shaking the blame Great wall, Tiananmen Square and even the Olympic Site The amount we got done was quite a fright After teaching the Chinese about Western Culture Being stared at by the large class like a vulture
  6. 6. Sick I felt, before I went Apprehensive to undertake such an event Responsibility was rife with lives in my hands When miles away in far away lands A lot was learnt from the trip Epic in value and gave me a grip A grip I gained in the welfare of kids Something I cherish, cherish to bits Confidence I got in the protection of students Something now I have retained in my prudence An experience I would repeat again Knowing now I could refrain from going Insane!
  7. 7. This CI is based on the reflective model of Gibbs’ (1998) that guided me to set the context, describe feelings, evaluate, analyse and conclude based on the experience. The one thing that is omitted from the text is an Action Plan (AP). Based on this, and a co-incidental separate incident this morning (04/11/09) It is now likely I will be returning to China next year (2010). The AP is as simple as that it will be a duplicate experience, but this time with a greater sense of confidence and a heightened awareness of the concept of the protection and safeguarding of young people, something I learnt the first time around.
  8. 8. Second Incident: First involvement in a Section 5 Ofsted inspection.
  9. 9. My second CI was something that impacted heavily on my practice and gave me a large amount of experience to reflect on, a Section 5 inspection of my Academy. To reflect on this I have prepared a podcast...
  10. 10. Please see the Podcast file (Ofsted S5 Inspection Podcast.m4a) in the submission file. This gives the reader greater control over the file and gives full benefit of the podcast format.
  11. 11. This CI is based on the reflective model of Johns’ (1994) that guided me to Describe, Reflect, Identify Alternative Strategies and Learn from my CI.
  12. 12. COMPARISONS OF THE TWO MODELS IN RELATION TO MY CI’S...
  13. 13. Johns’ Model Gibb’s Model Strength Weakness Strength Weakness •Use of ‘Cues’ in •Not cyclical •Cyclical model of •Perhaps too fluid reflection •Fairly rigid reflection •Provides little cues •Guides reflection in •Better suited to •Widely applicable for professional a ‘stream of workplace incidents •Simplistic reflection consciousness’ •May be of little use •Not built with •Strong structure to out of the practitioner guide reflection professional reflection in mind •Looks at situation context and approaches alternative strategies
  14. 14. Both of these CI’s provide opportunities for learning in my professional context as they were both first times for me, two activities that are essential components to my job role and will undoubtably re-occur. The main thing gained upon reflection of both incidents was that I could achieve them. Both experiences from which the CI are drawn were taken up with apprehension, but were not as traumatic as I had envisaged and therefor built confidence. They are defined as CI’s because a definitive action or moment occurred that then changed the course of things that followed as defined by myself with the result of learning (Tripp, 1993.)
  15. 15. ?? ? ? ???? ? ? WHAT ARE THE GOVERNING VARIABLES IN DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING?
  16. 16. From the offset, I want to look at the definition of the term: Governing Variables and how it then fits in with the concept of double loop learning. I have broken the phrase ‘Governing Variables’ down to its core meaning by looking for synonyms for each word to expand the scope of meaning of the phrase: Governing Variables rule changing preside varying reign shifting command fluctuating lead irregular dominate fluid
  17. 17. Argyris and Schön (1987) first theorise the concept of governing variables in the following model: Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy Anderson (1994) then goes onto extract and then interpret this data by defining Governing variables as values which the person (practitioner) is trying to keep within some acceptable range. The practitioner may have many variables and any action will likely affect upon a number of these. Consequently, any situation may trigger a trade-off amongst the governing variables.
  18. 18. Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy The action strategy in the example above is a strategy used by the practitioner to keep their governing values within the acceptable range. These strategies will have outcomes that are intended, outcomes the practitioner believes will result and outcomes that are unintended.
  19. 19. EXAMPLE...
  20. 20. A practitioner may have the governing variables of maintaining the mutual respect of students as well as being responsible for discipline and classroom management. In any given situation the practitioner will design action strategies to keep both these governing variables within acceptable limits. For instance, if a confrontational instance were to arise, the practitioner may choose to overlook a minor instance to gain trust from a student to get to the crux of the issue. Avoiding the minor issue (the practitioner hopes) will resolve the main issue and maintain respect between the two parties.
  21. 21. This strategy will have various consequences for both the practitioner and the other involved. An intended consequence might be that the other party will look to see that the minor issue had been overlooked (giving something to the student) and respond to the crucial issue in hand (passing something back to the practitioner) successfully resolving the issue. By being selective with confrontation to reach the core issue, the practitioner may feel that they have maintained mutual respect. An unintended consequence might be that the practitioner thinks the situation has allowed the student to get away with perhaps too much and may be likely to recur, and feels that perhaps discipline has been lost.
  22. 22. So how does this then feed into the concept of double loop learning? Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy Single Loop Double Loop
  23. 23. Both single and double-loop learning have a close resemblance to what Watzlawick, Weakland and Fisch (1974) call First and Second Order Change. They state that First Order Change exists when the norms of the system remain the same and changes are made within the existing norms.  Second Order Change describes a situation where the norms of the system themselves are challenged and changed. Double-loop learning is seen as the more effective way of making informed decisions about the way we design and implement action (Argyris, 1974).
  24. 24. Argyris and Schön's approach was to then focus on double-loop learning.  To this end, they developed a model that describes features of theories-in-use which either inhibit or enhance double-loop learning.  Argyris suggests that there is a large variability in adopted theories and Action strategies, but almost no variability in Theories-in-use.  He suggests people may adopt a large number and variety of theories or values which they suggest guide their action.  However Argyris believes that the theories which can be deduced from peoples' action (theories-in-use) seem to fall into two categories which he labels Model I and Model II:
  25. 25. The governing Values of Model I are: The governing values of Model II include: • Achieve the purpose as the actor defines it • Valid information • Win, do not lose • Free and informed choice • Suppress negative feelings • Internal commitment • Emphasise rationality Primary Strategies are: Strategies include: • Control environment and task unilaterally • Sharing control • Protect self and others unilaterally • Participation in design and implementation of action Usually operationalised by: Operationalised by: • Unillustrated attributions and evaluations eg.  "You seem unmotivated" • Advocating courses of action which discourage inquiry • Attribution and evaluation illustrated with relatively eg.  "Lets not talk about the past, that's over." directly observable data • Treating ones' own views as obviously correct • Surfacing conflicting views • Making covert attributions and evaluations • encouraging public testing of evaluations • Face-saving moves such as leaving potentially embarrassing facts unstated Consequences include: Consequences should include: • Defensive relationships • Minimally defensive relationships • Low freedom of choice • high freedom of choice • Reduced production of valid information • increased likelihood of double-loop learning • Little public testing of ideas
  26. 26. To conclude on both Double Loop Learning and Governing Variables, I have thought to synthesise both of these concepts and draw the information from my two Critical Incidents.
  27. 27. First Incident: First foreign visit with students to Beijing, China. Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy Single Loop Double Loop Welfare of INSET on Student students Student Welfare Welfare? Single Loop Double Loop
  28. 28. Second Incident: First involvement in a Section 5 Ofsted inspection. Governing Action Consequences Variable Strategy Single Loop Double Loop Demonstration Good concise planning evidence and teaching to Good of best practice the evaluation schedule teaching? Single Loop Double Loop
  29. 29. Demonstration Good concise planning evidence and teaching to Good of best practice the evaluation schedule teaching? Single Loop Double Loop Looking at my synthesised example above, you will see that the GV that must be kept up (within an acceptable range) is what I was being judged on. My AP was to demonstrate my best practice in relation to the evaluation schedule, a document outlining the criteria I was to be working to. Good teaching was the desired outcome.
  30. 30. Demonstration Good concise planning evidence and teaching to Good of best practice the evaluation schedule teaching? Single Loop Double Loop Single loop learning would say that if the outcome was deemed as not good teaching, then I may have to adjust my interpretation of good concise planning evidence and teaching and also my interpretation of the evaluation schedule. Double loop learning would mean redefining what was meant by ‘best practice’ itself.
  31. 31. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING

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