Session E

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Managing learning in management

Christian Tang Lystbæk

This paper describes and discusses how a Batesonian framework can be applied to the organization of learning in management. Such a framework can highlight both key elements and possible dilemmas. In the organization of management learning.Several years ago, Bateson identified ”the logical categories of learning” (Bateson, 1972). More recently, this analytical framwork has been developed by, amongsothers, Qvortrup (Qvortrup, 2004).This paper develops this originally Batesonian framework even further and applies it to the organisation of a partnership on management learning amongst 2 Universities and 7 Municipalities in the western part of Jutland, Denmark.  The partnership is called UniQ. It was initiated in 2007, following a reform of the municipality structure in Denmark, which made management and management learning a key issues for the (new) municipalities. The partnership involves several educational programms for managers as well as ideas and initiatives to support the managers in ”applying” this and continuing their learning in their management practiceThe paper will argue that the this theoretical framework can highlight key elements in management learning practice, such as the facilitation of different ”levels of reflection” in the application of different ”learning arenas” in management learning.But, the paper will argue, the theoretical framework also highlights some of the dilemmas that arise when different levels of reflection and different learning arenas are being mixed, making laerning in management a both fruitfull and frustrating experience to the organizers and the participating managers.Hence, the relevance of this paper to the conference theme is both its development of a theoretical framework to understand and organize a learning practice, but also its pin pointing of the key elements and possible dilemmas in this.

 

Producing subjects in beauty school advertisement – a question of gendered knowledge and consumerism

Eleonor Bredlöv

This article focusses on private adult education for the beauty industry, and explores the production of student subjects in beauty school advertisement. In Sweden, as in other parts of the world, the beauty industry is expanding rapidly. This is noticeable also in the education sector, where new unregulated private schools for adults are starting up. The participants of these schools pay a course fee, for example 98 000 SEK for a six months course in ”Beauty therapy”. Other subjects of these courses are for example ”Skin therapy”, ”Make up” and ”Hair styling”. Around one third of the fee is paid in order to finance products used in the course, and the schools are often connected to a specific brand. This creates a strong link between the beauty industry and beauty education. The beauty industry in general shapes our conceptions of beauty, and educational arrangements in general can be described as cultural arenas where ideas about ”race”/ethnicity, gender and difference are reproduced and maintained (Mohanty, 2003).The factors described above highlights the importance of examining the field of private beauty education. Furthermore, this is an unexplored field of research. Drawing on Judith Butlers notions of subjectivation and performativity, beauty education advertisement and information material, which includes course descriptions, homepages of schools and facebook pages connected to these schools, are analysed. Of special interest is how the participants are produced as both consumers of beauty products and treatments and as sellers of these and how such subject construction can be understood in terms of femininity.

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Finnish Teachers’ Experiences of Internal and External Evaluation as a Tool for Development

Päivi Atjonen

Educational institutions have widely faced numerous expectations to evaluate their educational and staff-related practices based on the concept of ‘quality assurance’. Finland is well-known as a country that promotes mutual trust between educational authorities and highly educated teachers. Therefore, evaluations have not been viewed as very threatening but rather have been seen as tools for improvement. However, gradually increasing evaluative pressures have raised the topics of control, pedagogical autonomy, and true boosters of teacher/school development into the discussion.RQ: What kinds of experiences do comprehensive school teachers have of internal or external evaluation that is focused on their school as a community?The data were gathered by means of a questionnaire designed for teachers of comprehensive schools dealing with their experiences of school-focused evaluation. Teachers were asked to describe a good and a bad experience of evaluation, which was focused on their own school and was initiated either internally (by a head teacher or by teaching staff itself) or externally (by local or national educational authorities). A sample of 126 teachers completed and returned the questionnaire. A descriptive, mainly qualitative approach was used to analyse the data to address the main research problem.67 % of respondents described positive experiences of school-focused evaluation, and 62 % reported negative experiences. As a whole, 33 % had either negative or both negative and positive experiences, and 44 % reported only positive experiences. Female teachers were more critical than males, but differences did not emerge in relation to school level, teaching experience, or school size.Among the most satisfactory experiences of school-focused evaluations were increased common discussions among teaching staff, the discovery of new targets for improvement, and development discussions between head teacher and teacher. Teachers complained most about bad implementation of evaluations and that evaluation results were ignored. The results of the main thematic categories will be qualitatively analysed in detail in the full paper at the 5NCoAL conference.Relevance to conference theme

The presentation deals with the balance between two aspects of evaluation: On the one hand, the theoretical aspect is that evaluation in the framework of quality assurance improves educational practices. On the other hand, teachers complain in practice about losing their pedagogical autonomy and working in an atmosphere of mistrust, which would not promote their professional development or motivation as teachers.

 

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