So, to kick things off where they typically (?), should (?), hardly ever (?) start [please choose one], I would like to begin an Analysis discussion around our theoretical foundations. I submit that, if we are not at least theoretically-informed regarding our practice, then we are more throwing darts at an unknown target than truly practicing the art and science of ISD.
Personally, I am a huge fan of andragogy. “Yes,” it still is unrecognized by spell-checkers, however the principles espoused by Malcolm Knowles (and others) are what I hear Federal learning leaders clamoring for more and more. As an example, how often are you expected to “DDI&E” learning interventions in the Federal workforce which:
1. Capitalize on the self-concept of the typical Federal employee as independent, self-directed human being?
2. Incorporate the reservoir of experience which the typical Federal employee brings into the learning setting?
3. Make an attempt to address WHY (the motivation of) the learner is actually seeking to develop (even during all those annual Federally-mandated training programs!)?
4. Create an opportunity to address an actual problem which the Federal worker is facing?
These principles make for engaging learning in general, but are also the four primary aspects of Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory (as cited in Merriam, Caffarella,& Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84).
So I ask: How many ISDers out there serving the Federal workforce genuinely have andragogy as a primary theoretical underpinning of their A for their DDI&E?
Merriam,S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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