GoogleTranslate Service

Scenarios of practice and innovation

May 30th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

On a long trip around Romania and Poland – hence few opportunities to post here in the last few days. But, I have met many wonderful people and will come away with much to think about.

On Saturday I spoke at a seminar attended by the leaders of the Romanian students movement. Hope very much we will continue to keep in touch.

Monday I was in Constanta where I helped with a case study being undertaken as part of the European commission funded TT Plus project. The TT Plus project is looking at the changing roles and responsibilities of trainers. It is coordinated by my organisation, Pontydysgu, and has partners in six different European countries.

What makes the project especially interesting is that we are trying to develop new methodologies for comparative research. The main paradigm of comparative research, in education in Europe at least, has been to compare national studies – be it through surveys or case studies . We have borrowed from the computer world and are instead attempting to identify scenarios of practice and use cases (although these terms are difficult to define).

We are focusing not on functions and roles but on actual practice in providing training – whether or not the person is called a trainer. And we are attempting to look at practice from the perspective of different actors – including the trainer, managers and learners.

Rather than compare national studies we wish to identify different patterns in the scenarios of practice and use cases. Of course, practice will reflect national cultures. But we expect more in common between  scenarios of practice than differences based on country.

The scenarios of practice are based on case studies which is how I came to be in a cement factory in Constanta on Monday. Very interesting it was too. I will post the results fo the case study as soon as it is finished. For the moment, though, I just wanted to say a few comments about innovation. The cement factory, along with much of the industrial base in Romania, is old and in desperate need of investment. Much of the plant and machinery dates form the 1960s. If it was in the UK it would almost certainly be closed down on health and safety grounds – and in fact it is planned to relocate the plant outside Constanta because of new environmental regulations.

Not an obvious candidate for an innovation reward? Little modern technology. Basic products. But the innovation in maintaining and keeping such plant running is truly impressive. Monday I was talking to Paul, who used to be a ships engineer. He was telling me Romanian engineers were always on demand on cargo ships because they could mend anything. If a pump failed a British or German engineer would merely radio for a new one to be flown to the next port of call. The Romanians would fix the pump on the fly.

And such a tradition of innovation seems much closer to the ideas behind Web 2.0. We do not want shiny out of the box software – or even beautiful bespoke applications. Instead we need the electronic equivalent of the Romanian engineer, able to take what is available and make it work – hopefully adding value in the process. Such skills are very close to what John Seeely Brown has called bricolage.. Bricolage relates to the concrete and has to do with the ability to find something – an object or a tool, a piece of code, a document – and to use it in a new way and in a new context. This is exactly what is happening in the pre-digital world of the Constanta cement factory.


Comments are closed.

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers

    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories