Why do we need principles?
“…abstract ideas are conceptual integrations which subsume and incalculable number of concretes – and without abstract ideas you would not be able to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems. You would be in the position of a newborn infant, to whom every object is a unique, unprecedented phenomenon. The difference between his mental state and yours lies in the number of conceptual integrations your mind has performed. You have no choice about the necessity to integrate your observations, your experiences, your knowledge into abstract principles.” (Rand, 1982, p.6)
Source: Rand, A. (1982). Philosophy: Who needs it. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.
It’s that time of the year again and I am at Online Educa conference in Berlin.
There is an extensive programme of plenary and parallel sessions over the next couple of days. I’m planning to attend the following sessions:
THURSDAY DEC 5 2013
12:00-13:30 BUS04 Learning Moves in the Corporate Sector parallel session, with representatives from Challenge Stretching Talent The Netherlands; UK Medical Research Council; DNV GL Oil and Gas Norway, and Swiss Post, Switzerland
14:30-16:00 My own talk on ‘narrating work’ experiment in BUS20 Doing Things Differently parallel session
16:30-17:30 BUS36 The Battle of Benchmarks, with presentations from ASTD and others.
17:45-19:00 The OEB Debate
20:00+ OEB Dinner and Dance
FRIDAY DEC 6
09:30-11:00 Plenary on Lifelong Learning
11:45-13:00 BUS50: A Global Dialogue on a New Way of Working,Learning and Innovating
14:15-16:00 BUS65: Transforming Learning, with case studies from Toyota Europe and IBM Germany
I’m very much looking forward to a stimulating conference and to meeting old and new colleagues.
I am looking for a Research Assistant (postdoc) to work with me on a series of studies on self-regulated learning in the workplace. The position is based in the Caledonian Academy in Glasgow. It is a full-time, fixed term post for 12 months (in the first instance). Below are the details of the post and information about how to apply.
Salary Grade/Scale: Grade 5, £25,504 – £29,541 (Points 24-29)
Closing Date: 31 January 2014
The Caledonian Academy, a research centre for technology-enhanced professional learning at Glasgow Caledonian University, UK, is seeking a researcher to collaborate on a series of studies of how professionals self-regulate their learning in the contemporary networked workplace in knowledge-intensive domains. Responsibilities will primarily involve conducting a meta-review of literature; collecting qualitative data in multinational companies and analysing these data; devising research grant proposals; and setting up and running a reading group on self-regulation of learning at work. The post-holder will work closely with the Principal Investigator Dr Anoush Margaryan.
The successful candidate should have a PhD (or equivalent) in Learning Sciences, with specialisation in self-regulated learning in the workplace. Candidates with a background in Industrial or Educational Psychology, Organisational Learning or other human learning disciplines will be considered provided they can demonstrate a solid understanding of theories of adult learning in the workplace and strong interest in self-regulated learning theories. A track record of peer-reviewed articles in impact-rated academic journals is essential. Applicants should have formal training in qualitative research methods and demonstrate excellent interviewing skills, including the skills necessary to recruit potential interviewees. Preference will be given to candidates who have training in and/or experience of ethnographic research methods. Ability to read, analytically synthesise and summarise large amount of literature quickly and competently is essential. The successful candidate should have excellent written and spoken English language skills; exceptional project management skills; be well-organised, self-regulated and able to work independently. The successful candidate will demonstrate ability to persuasively present their research to businesspeople and policy-makers as well as other researchers. Candidates whose background is in topics other than self-regulated learning at work should be willing to align their research focus with our research programme.
This post is an exciting opportunity to participate in innovative, interdisciplinary research that seeks to break new ground both theoretically and methodologically. Although the post is initially for 12 months, there is possibility of extension through acquisition of external research grants. We are a small, dynamic and prolific group. We are non-hierarchical, approachable, and collegiate. Flexible hours and mobile working can be negotiated, on the basis that agreed project outputs are delivered on time and to high standard.
We have ongoing research and consultancy collaborations with a range of global multinational companies in the energy and finance sectors. Our research has been supported by grants from funders including the European Commission, the Gates Foundation, UK Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), UK Join Information Systems Committee (JISC), and the industry. This post will provide an opportunity to participate in writing research grant applications and networking with these and other funders.
The successful applicant will benefit from mentoring by the Principal Investigator. The Caledonian Academy runs regular research seminars and knowledge exchange sessions, which the successful candidate will be encouraged to participate in. There is also a wide range of professional development courses and workshops offered by the university. You will work in a modern research space, sharing an office with one or two other researchers.
Interviews for this post will be held in February or early March 2014. The position is expected to start shortly thereafter (date negotiable).
To apply for this position, please submit the following materials by 17:00 (UK time) on 31 January 2014 to email@example.com
- GCU application form, which can be downloaded from www.gcu.ac.uk/jobs/vacancies/index.html
- Your CV, including publications list
- Cover letter explaining why you are interested in this Assistantship and outlining your relevant qualifications and prior experiences. The essential and desirable criteria for this post are available from www.gcu.ac.uk/jobs/vacancies/index.html In your cover letter, outline concrete evidence of how you fit each of the essential criteria, and the desirable criteria if applicable. Applications that do not provide evidence for the essential criteria will not be considered. Statements such as ‘see my CV’ will not be accepted as evidence.
- One recent paper, which best represents your research, where you are the sole or the lead author, and which is published in a peer-reviewed international journal.
- Names and contact email for two referees. One of these should be your doctoral supervisor
I am at Online Educa Berlin this week. A conversation with another conference participants crystallised in my mind the three types of conferences I prefer:
- Conferences which cover a broad variety of research domains within my research field, Learning Sciences. A key conference exemplifying this category for me is the biannual conference of the European Association of Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI).
- Conferences which bring together a variety of sectors and organisations – universities or other public sector organisations and the industry, research centers and publishers, etc. Online Educa Berlin (OEB) is an example of this type of conference.
- Conferences focused on my particular research area (Technology-Enhanced Professional Learning). Typical conferences in this category are EARLI Professional Learning SIG, Researching Work and Learning (RWL), EDMEDIA.
I am reading the 2009 Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development edited by M.C. Smith . It’s comprehensive overview of theoretical perspectives on adult development and learning, research methods in adult development, aging research and policy perspectives on aging. Understanding adult learning requires understanding developmental changes across adulthood.
There are 26 chapters, and I plan separate blogposts summarising the key insights from each.
This will be a largely notetaking rather than an analytical exercise.
I made one for myself, based on keywords from all my peer-reviewed academic journal articles. Although journal articles constitute only about a quarter of all my publications (other types are conference papers, book chapters, project reports, and a book), this is probably a fairly accurate representation of my research.