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Responsive education for sustainable development: LIFE course case

Should capacity and capabilities be learning outcomes? How we managed at interdisciplinary LIFE course implementation in Tallinn University.

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Responsive education for sustainable development: LIFE course case

  1. 1. Responsive education for sustainable development: the LIFE course case Venia legendi: Kai Pata April, 23rd, 2021, Tallinn
  2. 2. I aim to promote the eco-sustainable, inclusive values for the learning communities. Technology is only one transforming agent that mediates the capacity formation for sustainable development.
  3. 3. Selected research papers as stepping stones Workplace learning Ley, T., Maier, R., Thalmann, S., Waizenegger, L., Pata, K. , & Ruiz-Calleja, A. (2019). A knowledge appropriation model to connect scaffolded learning and knowledge maturation in workplace learning settings. Vocations and Learning , 1-22. Pata, K., Santos, P., Burchert, J. (2016). Social recognition provision patterns in professional Q&A forums in Healthcare and Construction. Computers in Human Behavior , 55, 571−583. Fessi, A., Pammer-Schindler, V., Pata, K ., Feyertag, S., Mõttus, M., Janus, J., & Ley, T. (2020). A Cooperative Design Method for SMEs to Adopt New Technologies for Knowledge Management: A Multiple Case Study. Journal of Universal Computer Science , 26 (9), 1189-1212.
  4. 4. Distributed cognition and ecological learning Pata & Bardone, 2014; Ley et al., 2014, Ley et al., 2019
  5. 5. Social validation in work communities Pata et al., 2016
  6. 6. Selected research papers as stepping stones Transforming practices Pata, K., Maslo, I. Jõgi, L. (2021). Transforming adult education from neo-liberal to holistically inclusive adult education in Baltic states. In Kersch et al. (Eds.) Young Adults and Active Citizenship. Springer Lifelong Learning Book Series. Pata, K., Ümarik, M., Jõgi, L. (2020). Paths of professonal transformation in the context of a changing teaching culture at university. In Jõgi et al. (Eds.) Teaching and Learning at the University: Practices and Transformations, 151. Citizen science, open science Roche, J. , Bell, L., Galvao, C, Golombic Y.N., Kloetzer, L., Knoben, N., Laakso, M., Lorke, J., Mannion, G., Massetti, L., Mauchline, A., Pata, K., Ruck, A., Taraba, P., Winter, S. (2020) Citizen Science, Education, and Learning: Challenges and Opportunities. Frontiers in Sociology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2020.613814
  7. 7. Capacity building goal of adult and nonformal education The main task in front of adult and nonformal education is to become the key driver of broadscale human resource development that confronts the ecological crisis. Transforming education for sustainable futures (2020) stated that we need to consider a relational approach to capacity and competence (Faulkner et al., 2018) that implies that a capacity is an outcome of a relationship-in-action. Opportunity: Developing sustainability goals as part of educational institutions, communities and ecosystems and workplaces with the capacity building approach.
  8. 8. How should learning outcomes at higher education and informal education aim capacity development? Problems: Learning outcomes in educational practices are largely individual learner’s competencies centred. Outcomes of educational practices need to address beyond individual knowledge: implementing practical applications, developing capacities and capabilities, and actionable knowledge How to develop and assess learning outcomes that reach beyond individuals?
  9. 9. The big goals: Resilience, responsiveness, sustainability Resilience is the collective responsive capability of systems/agents to respond: prepare for threats and disruptive events, absorb impacts, recover and adapt to persistent stress Sustainability is the balance state in the capacity of the system in: - Preserving the current system - Anticipating and actuating for the future states of the system
  10. 10. LIFE interdisciplinary course at the university https://www.tlu.ee/en/life LIFE vision in Board Openness Agency, self-direction Collaboration Teamwork Scientificity Interdisciplinarity Vision at LIFE website highlights rather lecturer’s agency and responsibility
  11. 11. LIFE course card: learning outcomes interdisciplinarity teamwork, agency self-direction agency, teamwork communication Argumentative discourse and collaboration to create common ground on using disciplinary knowledge and tools scientifically in interdisciplinary problem context was “lost”.
  12. 12. Capacity concept in the ecosystem management The carrying capacity is a concept for measuring the relationship between human socio-economic activities and the natural environment, and an important tool for measuring and managing human sustainable development. Pressure resulting from human activities Support and governance resulting from human activities Carrying capacity Figure: Carrying capacity state model (Wang & Liu, 2019) Current carrying capacity Potential carrying capacity We may calculate carrying capacity for innovation systems
  13. 13. Innovation carrying capacity: LIFE course implementation Tensions created with LIFE vision implementation: ● New LIFE ‘tribal’ practices / practices disregarded by colleagues who are out of ‘tribe’ ● ‘Self-directed, proactive agency’ /’guided, being led’ expectations ● ‘Openness’ in problems and solutions / ‘well-structured, clear’ expectations ● ‘Scientificity’, ‘Interdisciplinarity’ / lack of shared ’conceptual tools’ across disciplines and timespace to develop discussions within and beyond LIFE ● ‘Sustainability’ for society / big goals unclear in LIFE projects ● Cross-schools financial maintenance and monitoring the learning and teaching/Traditional maintenance of credits’ and teaching loads ● Groupwork spaces/ traditional classrooms ● Need for cross-curricula timeslots for LIFE/cycle-based mode ● Lack of research evidences about LIFE impacts/Feedback survey Support mechanisms created in response to tensions: ● LIFE livingrooms, trainings, motivation awards for newcomers ● LIFE guidance resources, trainings for students ● LIFE website as an interdisciplinary idea and team-formation market ● LIFE space at the Astra building ● Commonly fixed timeslots for LIFE ● Monitoring instruments: mid reports with evaluations, feedback surveys, self-evaluation reports ● Case studies and action learning to monitor LIFE impact at the university Teamwork managment is not equal to argumentative discourse. We did not invest on how to collaborate for interdisciplinary common grounds.
  14. 14. Definition of the ‘capacity’ in social systems (Morgan, 2006) Capacity is that emergent combination of attributes that enables a human system to create developmental value. Capacity is about the creation of public value. Capacity is a collective ability to perform, deliver value, establish relationships and systems to renew themselves. Capacity is an emergent property in systems, an interaction effect that comes out of the dynamics involving a complex combination of attitudes, resources, strategies and skills, both tangible and intangible. Capacity represents some sort of identifiable potential state or condition. Capacity is about empowerment and identity of people: who act together to take control over the system to survive, to grow, diversify and become more complex. Capacity is the capabilities of individuals, groups, organizations, groups of organizations to deliver or implement some sort of intention and with some sort of effectiveness and at some sort of scale over time. *‘capabilities’ refer a broad range of collective skills
  15. 15. Capabilities are enacted as collective skills (Morgan, 2006) Capability to act deliberately and to self-organize, be conscious and aware of its place in the world, to configure itself, develop its own identity, develop with some sort of strategic intent and then to act and move. The capability to generate development results including improved capacity itself, executing or implementing to a certain standard, to achieve higher-order program development results (capacity for what?) The capability to relate to other actors within the context of system functions, to leverage their resources by entering into informal alliances or formal partnerships and gaining legitimacy and securing the systems’ operating space. The capability to adapt and self-renew is about the ability of an organization or system to master change and the adoption of new ideas, as well as confronting dramatic shocks, going through collective and personal discovery. The capability to achieve coherence without centralization and control to deal in the system with the tension between the need to specialize and differentiate versus the need to bring things together and achieve greater coherence.
  16. 16. What capabilities did lecturers intend to develop at LIFE? Lecturers’ view of students LIFE outcomes: (green = not clearly addressed) ● the personal characteristics such as agency, self-direction, responsibility, initiative, motivation, the awakened state, empowerment, feeling safe (To act); ● the project products and how they are communicated (Development results); ….team capacity to act ● interrelations such as partnership, peer learning, process narratives (To relate); ...leveraging resources, gain legitimacy ● the interpersonal phenomena such as trust, dialogue, common ground, meanings, academic working culture, connection with practice world, wider context understanding beyond the courses, and ability to find challenges, collective discovery (To adapt and self-renew); confronting shocks … personal discovery ● shifting leadership models, deep knowledge, conceptual connections (Achieve coherence) ….interdisciplinarity, scientificity
  17. 17. ● Temporally enacted in ill-structured actual problem situations ● Establish shared interpersonal “tools” - teams with regulations and roles; communities with shared visions, mediating spaces (real and digital), mediating artifacts or data (conceptual, visual, modelled) - to solve the problems ● Rely on what is afforded and what is constrained. May reuse the resources, traces or activity patterns accumulated to the environment by previous activations ● Create communicative loops between different, interdisciplinary, potentially confronting agents that requires translation, grounding the meanings, creativity ● Must be constantly re-activated in different configurations to be durable and flexible ● Actuating to the future states to change the external Ecological principles for capacity development Spatial reconfigurations New grounding and validation interactions Open, undefined, dynamic, stressed Management tools Examples, patterns, narrations *Tools used by LIFE supervisors
  18. 18. Meta-design elements for LIFE vision sustainability Instructional and normative elements: ● Interdisciplinarity requirements in team, supervision, problems and methods ● Learning contract in ‘what we do’ - the course programme for each LIFE is jointly developed, LIFE vision may be molded with participants’ expectations, competences and opportunities ● Self-evaluation guidelines - > should address actionable knowledge (‘know-why’, ‘know-how’, ‘know-what’ ‘know-who’) development from LIFE’s vision aspects ‘throughout the project, not only in the end ● Mid-project expert evaluations: scientificity, interdisciplinarity - feedback loop for teams Digital and physical elements: ● LIFE website markets the problems and needs of students and staff and externals as LIFE topics ● Digital resources for capacity development in LIFE: ‘show-why’, ‘show-how’, ‘show-what’ ‘show-who’ ● Students upload the results that may be used for marketing the impacts for the society ● Free ‘Big visions’ discussion culture, forms and time across university schools, academic and research tracks - > shared visions, inter-disciplinary actionable knowledge, capabilities, capacity Strategic instruments from university collaboration fund: ● ‘Big LIFE’ modules, ‘Research LIFE’ Meta-design elements for cultures of participation (Fisher et al., 2004) are shared interpersonal tools that regulate enable co-control between the self-organised actors in capacity development
  19. 19. Actionable knowledge Actionable knowledge is knowledge which is necessary for and required to initiate immediate response to changes in the operational environment. Actionable knowledge reflects the learning capability of individuals and organizations to connect heterogeneous elements (social, political, economic, technological). The relational understanding generated by actionable knowledge can extend existing modes of knowing and inform future action (IGI Global). Actionable knowledge outputs (Sexton & Lu, 2009) Application context - The knowledge is produced in the context of application. Social accountability and reflexivity - participants are sensitized to the impact Transdisciplinary expertise - drawing upon a diverse, complementary range of expertise. Dynamic development of organization of work in action and reflection to guide problem-solving. Temporal, fluid activation of expertise and networks Diversity of quality controls that satisfy real-world project needs.
  20. 20. What actionable knowledge did LIFE develop? Leaders’ vision: Cross-disciplinary teams from students and educators (Know-who) bring in the disciplinary knowledge (Know-what) and competences and collaborate (Know-how) to grow tolerance when solving interdisciplinary problems that provide publicity to the university as the societal actor (Know-why). LIFE outcome: Cross-disciplinary collaboration (Know-how) between the academics from different disciplines (Know-who) established trust relationships (Know-why) that prompted collaborative research projects (Know-why), formed the interdisciplinary LIFE practice community (Know-who) who grasped the big picture of the university (Know-why), and became eager to proactively develop further (Know-how) the university teaching practices (Know-how) and the university vision (Know-why).
  21. 21. What actionable knowledge did LIFE develop? Academics’ vision: LIFE course is a safe testing ground to trigger (Know-how) students’ agency and self-direction and collaboration (know-why) in interdisciplinary problem solving and teamwork settings (Know-how), allowing them jointly with the academic experts from different disciplines and external customers (Know-who) to define the interdisciplinary challenges, selecting their own goals and types of outcomes (Know-why) as well as problem-solving methods (Know-how), developing successful teamwork routines (Know-how), establishing trust (Know-why) and collaboration among themselves (Know-how).
  22. 22. Capacity development framework as a system
  23. 23. Research plans about capacity development LEAD module as a case study - Inter-disciplinary andragogy and educational technology students, staff - Challenges of sustainable digital transformation - Cross-boundary practices, tools and development - Capacities as learning outcomes Capacity development for sustainability in educational practice Characteristics of successful capacity development approaches and cases for sustainability in formal and informal learning (HE and adult, vocational, …) How capacity development empowers the transformation of education to be actuating agent in the soceity?
  24. 24. References Faulkner, L., K. Brown, and T. Quinn. (2018). Analyzing community resilience as an emergent property of dynamic social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 23(1):24. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09784-230124 Fischer, G., Giaccardi, E., Ye, Y., Sutcliffe, A. G., & Mehandjiev, N. (2004). Meta-design: a manifesto for end-user development. Communications of the ACM, 47(9), 33-37. Morgan, P. (2006). The concept of capacity. https://ecdpm.org//wp-content/uploads/2006-The-Concept-of-Capacity.pdf Sexton, M., & Lu, S. L. (2009). The challenges of creating actionable knowledge: an action research perspective. Construction Management and Economics, 27(7), 683-694. Wang, L., & Liu, H. (2019). Comprehensive evaluation of regional resources and environmental carrying capacity using a PS-DR-DP theoretical model. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 29(3), 363-376.

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