1 Chalk Mountain - Last week I talked about how difficult it is sometimes to make a start. The chapter I have been writing has been a struggle over a long period of time. I put it off and put it off. I did bits here and there and generally hated doing it which is very unusual for me when the task involves writing. But eventually, when I couldn't put it off any longer, and having missed my own deadline twice, I did knuckle down and did it and the result was okay. At least it got us to the stage where we can see where to go next with it. This was in complete contrast to the experience I had writing another chapter the week before which was a joy and just flowed from my mind... I am not sure I learnt much from this struggle but I did get valuable feedback on both chapters which means I can now shape them to make a better fit with what the institution wants.. So the learning is reinforcing what I already know about the need for feedback in order to produce work that is useful.
2 Lifewide Education - My biggest achievement this week was to launch the Lifewide Development Award on the 28/09. I spent time preparing a slide show for the introductory talk and gave the talk to students on the MA Human Resources Management course at Southampton Solent University. I have worked for a long time to reach this moment and done much work to create the guidance and the website infrastructure. It gave me a real sense of satisfaction in talking about what we are doing and explaining the strong positive ideas that underpin the practice.
'Making' the slide show was enjoyable and I felt creative. It resulted in some useful materials to help me explain the background, purposes, structure, process and tools underlying the scheme. I realise that this slideshow is an important tool and I can see how I might produce a podcast for the website from the materials. I think this was an example of 'learning by making a tool'. It's always hard to judge what participants are thinking but my sense is that they found it interesting and I am hoping they will want to participate.
In putting the materials together I came across the old African proverb - it takes a village to raise a child and recognised the wisdom in this and its value to LWE as a concept. It is a great metaphor for thecommunity-based enterprise that will have to underlie the Award if it is to be successful. I'm delighted that the on-line Community Forum I established two weeks ago is working really well and I hope that we can draw in the learners to share their experiences.
3 My third area of activity relates to my family.. At the weekend my wife and I took our daughter to university. Not surprisingly she was apprehensive and anxious moving away from home for the first time. We had prepared her as best we could and she had prepared herself by spending three weeks in France - her first independent holiday. After an emotional farewell we left her to get on with it. A week later she tells us how hard it's been - surprisingly she is 'having to juggle loads of things' and
'it's been so frustrating spending three days trying to get logged on to the university system' and 'everywhere is so big and it's easy to get lost' and 'the buses don't come and I spent an hour waiting for one in the rain'. This is why
going to university is good for you - it's a nice (protected) wake up call to the real world after years of timetabled familiarity..
My oldest daughter is very much in the real world with one child of 5 and two month old twins and a husband in America.. So I spent some time trying to help.. I was even left for 2 hours by myself with them - that was quite an experience and only filled me even more with admiration. But at least I can feed them both at the same time now and I am growing in confidence and experience of how to look after them.. Incidentally, she is also two thirds through on OU degree trying to
fit in the assignments around babies and no sleep.. Its quite humbling...
So an interesting week in which I think I have achieved in three areas of my development plan..
Learning in passing -I clicked a Linked-In Learning without Frontiers link to a blog by Gaurav Gupta http://agoodschool.blogspot.co.uk and discovered a lovely little blog site called the Good School site..In it I
found the it takes a village to raise a child proverb and I contacted the writer (an Indian) with an invitation to write a short piece for Lifewide Magazine which he is doing.. I feel its a good example of useful knowledge and relationships emerging by just following links.