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Critical Reflection #1~ Week 1 of Assessment & Evaluation

How excitement! Started my online Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning this week through USQ. Most of my coursework is centred around critical reflective practices. These posts of critical reflection of my learning experiences have a twofold purpose:

1. To become aware of how I engage with materials to develop as a professional.

2. To model to other students how to undertake a critical reflective journal.

And so to begin…

The reading that I am focusing on for this post is Understanding Learning, for my EDU5713 class. The goal for the week is simply to reflect upon, “What is learning”…to me.

So before I start the reading I will note my mood: sweating from humidity, upbeat.

And I will note my definition of “learning”:  Learning is building on prior knowledge to create meaning so I can navigate this world with a purpose. It is the ability to apply new knowledge, not just to “know” stuff. Learning is an exciting adventure of discovery about myself, others and the world I live in so that I can contribute better to my community~ local and global.

Ok~ now to the reading; what are some nuggets that I am drawing from this well (the title of the book is Understanding Learning, and although the reference is not given on the pdf I anticipate it is listed elsewhere on the site which I have yet to learn to navigate effectively ~:-);

  • Learning approaches need to be considerate of organisation and delivery for learning experiences that meet the needs and expectations of a diverse range of learners and their ways of learning.
  • Learning takes place when: I take on a new skill; acquire new knowledge; understand a concept previously not made sense of; and/or seeing an issue from another perspective.

I hadn’t considered the importance of organising material in my definition of learning, and it’s an obvious step really. How can I engage another in a learning activity if I do not know where they are starting from. Organising learning materials so that they build on the previous delivery was something that I expected of teachers, lecturers and students in my education. My definition of learning also neglected to mention the differences between people, which, for a psychologist is quite remiss ~:-) Though, considering that we are each individuals it may be too much to expect one style of organisation and delivery to suit all.

My definition of learning did not take into account the comprehension of a concept that I did not understand before, or of seeing something from a different perspective. Evidently I need to broaden my definition.

  • Change: understanding and/or behaviour
  • Inherently linked with motivation.
  • Knowledge construction and meaning making

It makes sense to me that learning is linked with motivation. When I am bored it is very difficult for me to concentrate on a topic~ like calculus or physics. I need the topic to be relevant to my life. Currently I am learning Spanish because my housemate is Spanish and some of the EFL students I help speak Spanish. I tried to learn it over 10 years ago because I have Spanish heritage, but that just wasn’t enough relevance to my life. Especially with a subject like statistics I encourage the students to become aware of what they hope to do with their degree, and how statistics plays a part in this. I then help them find everyday situations in which they use statistics; keeping score at sport; planning a household budget; observing their child or pet to change behaviours that will enhance  safety and socialization etc.

That knowledge builds on knowledge is exciting to me~ it is what I love about being a scientist. One builds-and-bounces of others. It is so artistic; lifting a rift; juxtaposing phrases; mixing styles or materials. Knowledge construction emphasises the creative aspect of learning. Magic in action, something within me, not external. And meaning making~ sigh, what is a life without purpose…? It is what fills me with joy and puts a skip in my step, to get going on something or to finish a project. Sometimes people will bag my sense of excitement about learning~ methinks perhaps their lives do not have much meaning to them~ would explain why they focus on mine.

  • Joyful engagement with new discoveries
  • Communication= meaning making
  • Interpretation–>Organisation–>Meaning

Ahh yes~ the process aspect. Though I think such a linear model oversimplifies it. But, one must start somewhere… And what is the point of having meaning in ones life if it isn’t shared/communicated with others? Like a neuron not connecting to other dendrites~ pointlessness (Though, if I were a sadhu/true hermit, would it be pointless? Would I still not be sharing in some way…hmmmm).

  • “Essentially experimental”
  • Day-to-day we unconsciously learn.
  • Therefore, the everyday can inform academic learning.

I totally agree with the day-to-day being brought into the classroom. How else to practically apply what one is learning? “Essentially experimental” just buzzes with creative potential, risk taking and paddling away from the known shallows to deep waters of unexplored horizons. Must leave one to reach the other.

  • Constructivist learning theory= inclusiveness
  • My beliefs –> construction of my teaching –> learning experiences of students in my class
  • Relationships b/w learning approaches and learning tasks/context

As a female in the West I have had my experiences of marginalisation based on the organisation of my generative and pleasure organs. So, inclusiveness is something that I advocate for passionately. It was weird to be in a 21st century university and to have people tell me I was only interested in a topic because some bloke was~ Hello..? Why don’t you tell me when I first dipped my toe in this pool [sarcasm intended]. Or better yet, that when a woman is interested in learning a topic it is no different to when a monkey is learning~ isn’t actually capable of undertaking the task at hand and is simply mimicking what it sees. So, my value of inclusiveness will play a dominant role in my delivery of learning materials. Currently  I am learning more about the challenges for student’s with a disability (or two) or a non-Western and non-English background. It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about recognising the agency and dignity of others and respecting that.

It makes sense to me that a correlation would exist between particular learning tasks and learning theories. I love that this is so as it reflects the multi-dimensionality of learning. There is not just one road; or one way of doing something; it’s just that a particular way can be more useful in a certain context. It’s like having a utility belt or toolbox or kit bag with gadgets and resources for every occasion. And some of them can work in tandem together (insert click, clip and beep sounds here).

  • Aristotle, Plato and Locke: newborn is tabula rasa.
  • Current debate continuum: Learning is due to…


Experiences              Experiences and How Mind Works               How Mind Works

The idea that we are born as blank slates does not gel with me. I prefer to align with readings that talk about our brains sculpting back after we are born. So in a sense we are born knowing and then this is refined through development and socialisation. For me there is a spiritual aspect to all that a person is, so a lot of what we know may not align with predominant concepts of knowing at this time on earth.

I love a continuum~ they are so un-capitalistic, so non Aristotlian and all others that want me either in or out of the box. Though I think the above model needs refining and would be better represented as a circle.

  • Behaviorist= Experiences
  • tabula rasa
  • Conscious learning = Classical conditioning
  • Unconscious learning= Operant conditioning
  • Stimulus–> Response –> Reinforcement/Punishment
  • Watson, Thorndike, Pavlov, Skinner
  • Vicarious learning= Social modeling; Bandura
  • Step-by step and observable change
  • Only explains simple skills

I can see the value of a step-by-step approach for learning to use an SPSS program or the formula for an equation, learning to ride or a dance style etc. However, I find the ideas of early theorists very disturbing, such as experiments on Little Albert and Skinner boxes and use of electro shocks. Viewing humans through the metaphor of the machine really takes away from what essentially makes us human~ our ability to choose.

Bandura I think was taking a step in the right direction by being more inclusive of the cognitive aspects of learning.

  • Cognitvist= Biological structures (How the mind works)
  • Information processing theory; mirrored computer
  • New knowledge–> Organisation–> Schema
  • Schema = large units of knowledge (ideas/pictures)
  • Enhanced retrieval via triggers/catalysts
  • New builds on old; thus schema expand
  • Hierarchies of learning
  • Complexity built from simplicity
  • Previous knowledge –> Storage of new knowledge
  • Memory
  • Connectionist; more recent; neural networks
  • Brain= Multiple locations of storage
  • Active engagement of learner
  • Teach metacognitive process-> Awareness of how we learn
  • Computer metaphor oversimplifies
  • Ignores context: Culture and Affect

Whilst I enjoy aspects of cognitive theory, again I find it’s metaphors too grounded in that of the machine. However, the emphasis on memory and connectivity is exciting to read about. Though some of the metaphors again become mechanical. Which is fine when I am trying to understand a robot I am building. That the theorists recognised the agency of the person was a boon for this school of thought as it has opened up the way for technologies that seek to understand the differences between people. Though again, there tends to be a large focus on wetware and structure and an ignoring of the spirit~ the ghost in the machine. As evident in the ignoring of context and culture etc.

  • Individual/Personal/Cognitive Constructivist= The middle way
  • Piaget
  • Sequential stages–> cognitive development
  1. Sensorimotor= reflex behaviour
  2. Preoperational= thought and language
  3. Concrete operational= logical thought and simultaneous perspectives
  4. Formal operational= speculative reasoning; abstract thought
  • Intellectual readiness
  • Current technology questions his timeline
  • Autonomous and active learner
  • Developmentally appropriate learning activities
  • Ignores role of social interaction
  • Ignores context

I like the emphasis on autonomy and active learning.

  • Social constructionist= The middle way
  • Learning is a collaborative process
  • Opposite of Western individualist/competitive classroom approach
  • Community of learners; situated learning
  • Embedded in social relationships/cultural practices
  • Culture/social mediates learning
  • Shared interaction; collaboration; negotiated meanings
  • Language development–> learning
  • Vygotsky
  • External knowledge internalized through social relationships
  • Language–> Thinking–> Behaviour
  • ZPD= Zone of Proximal Development= Distance of actual development and potential via adults and peers
  • Opposite of Piaget; Learning–> Development
  • Scaffolding–> Teacher’s role
  • Support before standing alone–> Moved elsewhere
  • Enables construction
  • Facilitator nor Transmitter
  • Appropriate resources + Activities + Probing questions
  • Reciprocal teaching; guided instruction; teacher feedback along the way
  • Designed in scaffolding= considerate planning
  • Point-of-need= spontaneous in-the-moment
  • Signs and symbols mediate psychosocial processes

“Community of learners”~ sends shivers down my spine; community, social, negotiation, facilitation, signs and symbols to mediate. There is an inherently spiritual and humanness element to this theory methinks.  A deep respect for another’s journey and the idea that our interaction with the wider world contributes to our inner growth intellectually (as well as spiritually for me). Constructionism is collaborative in its learning and I think, for an individual, we can discover how we construct our worlds through the use of narrative~ such as critical reflective journaling.

What are your reflections on one or more of these topics? Of my narrative?


Enchanted Thesis & Dissertation Aid

PSI Tutor:Mentor is now a proud affiliate of TADA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished™ ~

TA-DA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished™

To find out how the TA-DA!™ CD can help you finish your thesis or dissertation, click here.
TADA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished™ is a CD-ROM resource tool that introduces a new learning paradigm and methodology to increase students’ competitive advantage in completing a thesis or dissertation, and thus their graduate degree.

Dr Carter has bundled her wealth of knowledge and experience of thesis and dissertations into CD format to help you plan, stay motivated and get your thesis done. PSI Tutor:Mentor is excited to offer students the opportunity to use our services to complement your use of Carter’s resources.

View the demo video here.

Afterthoughts~ well, I got a wrap on the knuckles from one of my RAs, that this post was not explicit enough about how PSI Tutor:Mentor can complement the TA-DA! program. So, in a nutshell~

PSI T:M can provide additional mentoring support for your specific research area, statistics design and analysis and proofreading of your final document. If your are an ESL/EFL student, we can provide additional Academic English support and tutoring.

We suggest that you use TA-DA! for your project management (structure) and PSI T:M for extra study support (content) that is tailored to your projects needs.

Take a look today~ share with us what you think of the resource…Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Students~ Thought for The Day

Get some perspective on how to define success during your studies (and to generalise to the rest of your life ~:-)

Share with us your definition of success…


10 Steps to Finish 3 Assignments on Time!

278 Spirialling Steps of the Amedee Lighthouse
Image by Eustaquio Santimano via Flickr

This is the question posted at questionclub over at Live Journal~ what an awesome space for students!

I have to do a 10 minute presentation… A 2000 word essay on a subject … and a difficult essay.

Which do I do first?

1. Outline the hardest essay

2. Outline next essay.

3. Outline PowerPoint.

==Time out==

4. Research and structure hardest essay

5. Research and structure next essay

6. Research and structure PowerPoint

==Time out==

7. Re-draft hardest essay

8. Re-draft next essay

9. Re-draft presentation

==Time out==

10. Edit, edit, edit!

What would be your strategy?


6 Body Signals To Know Before Your Next Job Interview

Many of you as students will be seeking a job this semester. Guest blogger Donald Farber shares his top 6 body signals to help you shine at that next interview.

We all know that first impressions matter. So when you’re trying to make a good one (like for a job interview) make sure you put the right foot forward. But, a shower, shave and clean clothes can only go so far because first impressions are over in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately making a good one may be more difficult than you think.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2005 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking sheds some light on why it is we rely so heavily on rapid cognition.

We thin-slice whenever we meet a new person or have to make sense of something quickly or encounter a novel situation. We thin-slice because we have to, and we come to rely on that ability because there are lots of hidden fists out there, lots of situations where careful attention to the details of a very thin slice, even for no more than a second or two, can tell us an awful lot.

So of what practical use can this be to the average job interviewee when it comes to making a good impression? It is useful because in making those blink decisions; it is certain universal cues we look for. Knowing and manipulating those cues may be the key to making a good impression, throughout the entire interview.

Here now are 6 things to consider the next time you find yourself sitting in the waiting room with your resume. They are all designed to give off the impression of an attentive, conscientious, self-confident worker – in short: the ideal employee.

1. Eye Contact – Eye contact in a job interview is extremely important. Making naturally attentive eye contact is the equivalent of saying that you have nothing to hide and more important that you are listening. This applies to certain haircuts. Don’t send the wrong message when it comes to making an impression for the sake of fashion. Cut the bangs back and “listen with your eyes.”

2. Smiling (genuinely) – In a recent study, a group of people were shown photographs of people smiling. Half of those smiles were genuine and half of the people were faking the smile. The participants in the study were able to tell the difference 84% of the time between the two, yet not able to explain why exactly – they just had a gut feeling. The giveaway is in the eyes. A genuine smile is the result of additional muscles compared to a fake one. So a real smile is seen in the scrunching up in the corner of the eyes. Try to think of a slight “cheek scrunched” smile as being your neutral facial expression. Smiling is contagious and people in good moods will equate you with them.  Smiling, mouth agape with unblinking eye contact will probably come off as creepy.

3. Nodding – When agreeing with someone you tend to nod subtly if you agree and shake slightly when you disagree (check with local customs first… as this can be opposite in some cultures). Try to continually nod when the interviewer is talking. Eye contact means you are listening, while smiling and nodding says, “I understand what you are asking, or saying, and I am ready to respond.”

4. Posture & Body Position – This one should be familiar to most. Beyond the chiropractic considerations, a posture can be a very telling sign of your internal state and level of self-confidence. Your posture should be relaxed enough so that both feet remain flat on the ground. Always make sure your shoulders are turned to the speaker, and if there are two interviewers you turn your shoulders to show the speaker they have your full attention. Never just turn your head to address someone you are trying to make a good impression on. Facing someone means they are square with your shoulders and you are looking straight ahead. Mindful posture and body position is just as important as eye contact when it comes to showing someone you are attentive.

5. Arms & Legs – Don’t cross your arms or legs. Crossing any part of your body gives a very distinct impression that you are closing yourself off. Humans engage in arm crossing as a way of protecting themselves, and this applies to their ideas & beliefs as well. When we hear something that is being said that is disagreeable to our beliefs we naturally cross our arms across our chest, almost as a symbolic act of defiance. From a body language standpoint it is like saying you are stubborn and or close-minded to the situation. Even if you are just a habitual arm crosser from habit, it is important to remember that cues like this can be easily misinterpreted. Instead, try keeping your arms relaxed with your palms up. This is the body’s language for being open and agreeable.

6. Mirroring – The final is the most complex but perhaps the most influential of all. When you like someone, or you are a subordinate you mirror his or her body language. Observe two people talking in a coffee shop and you will be amazed at how common this is. Anything from crossed legs, to a facial expressions and posture. This effect has been studied extensively and is most noticeable in those who are in love. Using this to your advantage consciously may be difficult. But it’s the knowledge that all the aforementioned steps can be mirrored in your interviewer. This means, smiling will be met with smiling, nodding with nodding and on it goes. The more agreeable the interviewer, the more likely you are to be hired.

Just remember these for your next interview because it all helps. Despite being equally qualified for a position, it can be these 6 components of body language that make you more memorable than the rest and help you land the job.

Donald Farber works as a freelance writer and is interested in body language and finance topics, such as whole life insurance in Canada.


How Those Humans Behave!

Image by kingston99 via Flickr

Are you exploring the psychological being of humans this semester? The study of how humans think is inclusive in contemporary study of human behaviour. Unlike social behaviour, human behaviour per se is directed toward the self.

Better understanding of why we do as we do tends to focus on the concept of motivation, within the discipline of psychology. There are four influences of human motivation that you may explore in your Human Behaviour course:

  1. Individual personality
  2. Neuro-psychology
  3. The influence of others
  4. The influence of the physical environment

Ultimately, an enhanced awareness of ourselves and the methods and theories used to investigate motivation, aid our ability to interact effectively with others. It is logical to think then, that for those in the Social, Health and Business fields, an understanding of human behaviour could reduce workplace stress and enhance personal job satisfaction.

How are things for you at work? Which of the 4 motivational influences dominates your academic studies this semester?

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Academic Project Management~ What is its value to you, the student?

Monitoring and Control project activities
Image via Wikipedia

I am a busy bee typing up posts for the Study Club Resource Area. I review a selected project management system available online that I believe may be of benefit to you, the student. Zoho Personal

Yes~academic project management~ it all seems a bit daunting~ and why bother! some may ask. Because your  semester goals and steps to get there are worth the 2-3 hours of planning in Week 1.

You have a much better chance of finishing high quality assignments when you use some sort of systematic framework to plot a course. Of some sort ~:-)

Remember, that in the field as a professional of Social, Health and/or Business Industries, you will be expected to manage projects to get jobs done. Most of the processes involved in project management are common sense and can be generalised across contexts. Programs such as Zoho Personal provide a general framework, and you the student can tweak it to suit your academic needs.

A systematic framework requires you to slow down

and to think about the

details to manage your project effectively.

You become accountable for your time and effort with your studies.You are much better able to cluster topics across subjects and tutorials/demonstrations and seminars. Your academic project management adventure awaits. I suggest a visit to Zoho Personal (I am not affiliated with them; I have a free account).

And if you are interested in joining one of my tutor:mentor groups using this program, You will need to sign up for the Study Club. Registration is $30 per month, either by subscription or when you need.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]Share your academic project management ideas…

Damage Control: Drench yourself in academic rigor

Illustration of a coconut tree
Image via Wikipedia

Cyclone season in the North is a time of garden clean-ups and flood preparations. I was fortunate this time round that Olga did not wildly distribute the unharvested coconuts.  The sweat potato growing on the shed roof survived. And my trenches held (thanks to those coconuts I have harvested). My gardens are looking fantastic as housemates chip in time to clip and weed and of course, tie things down.

During the winds and rains I’ve been anchored to my keyboard, reading and responding to TESOL assessment criteria. What a fortnight! Days and evenings of just go-go-go, with work, household and socialising has really taken its toll with me.  By the time Olga was bidding us goodbye, I was finally finishing my final exams (I passed ~:-) I took a day of rest and am all set to start applying some of that new learnt knowledge.

I hope all who read now were safe and dry whilst Olga was visiting. Sometimes we forget the damage that occurs outside of our concrete jungles.

By the way~ if you are skilled at climbing and de-nutting trees I have two awaiting harvest ~:-) Trade of energy perhaps…?

And now to flood you with the value in seeking academic rigor as the new semester sets in~

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) notes that while many tertiary students expect their grades to be high, they are unaware of the high level of commitment and sacrifice that is needed to achieve such a goal.

And this is what defines academic rigor~ the ability to meet the standards set by the curriculum to become a competent human service professional. Embracing a philosophy of learning is a new experience for most uni and college students. To be able to think critically about the discipline you are studying within is an example of applying academic rigor.

Students can become more aware of academic rigor, or lack of it, through observation of teaching and admin staff:

In short, if we are serious about academic rigor, we must increase our own mastery of our discipline content, improve our ability to apply our learning, and model critical thinking for our students (NISOD).

Evidently, independent thinking and inquiry of the undergraduate builds on the encouragement of senior staff.

What can you do as a student to enhance your level of academic rigor? For a start, you can engage yourself in activities that cultivate the ideal academic culture you wish to thrive within. Open yourself to activities, workshops, seminars and networking that will provide you with experiences and exposure to values and expectations of rigor.

One way to do this is to create a personal honor code; “I take up the obligation to apply academic rigor to my studies.  Sacrifices in time, resources and social and personal activities will be made. With eagerness, I will source adventure in my learning and professional development.”

The Rest over at Super Cheap Teach suggests getting in contact with one’s inner Batman, and preparing a range of learning (as well as teaching) strategies. Student activation results from task engagement; strategies to leverage this process enhance the learning and retention of information. A range of strategies for learning enables the student to improvise across contexts. Application of learnt knowledge becomes a day-to-day practice. Academic rigor takes on an automatic response pattern, like kata in karate.

John Wood at the Pre-Design Forum states eloquently that,

The standard school essay implies a 180? relationship between authors and their unknown readers. It is profoundly linear, fact-based and rhetorical, therefore may be useful in the competitive culture of bureaucratic work. For this reason we need better practices of ‘self-teaching’ and ‘thinking-through’ to make the culture of [design] education a wiser one. Empathetic modes of writing – i.e. those with an author-reader relationship of less than 90? – enable designers to focus onto shared issues by ‘thinking-as’, ‘thinking-for’, and ‘thinking-into’ their nominated reader.

He continues with an in-depth and riveting interpretation of education (from the viewpoint of graphic design)~ his review is a must read.

Ultimately, it is up to you the student to implement damage control strategies for your learning career in tertiary ed. However, it is expected that the strategies you model will be those of your lectures, TAs and student peers. Thus, from a systems approach, each stakeholder in the academic framework of professional learning and development has an obligation to act with academic rigor.

What are your views on the subject?

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Study Support Handbook: For the Social, Health & Business Student Tribe

Finally~ it is done! Just for you I have put together a wealth of links to academic search engines, assignment project management software, study skills phone apps, mind mapping software, getting things done sites, and much much more.

Come and explore~ simply sign up for the free Juice! e-study supplement, that is sent monthly to your inbox. The e-newsletter is a juicy shot of academic resources and encouragement, to help you to keep on going!

Here is a preview of what the Handbook has to offer~

How to be a 21st Century Student

Discover Your Learning Style Combo

Get Things Done (GTD) Now!

Calendar Your Semester

Take Note~

Flashcard Moments…

Mindmap Your Way

Academic Tips & Tricks

Academic Search Engines

The Sociable Student

Cultivate Reflection

Be Constructive!

So sign up on the Homepage for the free newsletter to get access to the pdf download. Hey~ you might be the winner of $50 which is up for grabs to subscribers. Bet that could help with photocopying ~:-)

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Win Free Registration for Peer Supervision & Job Recruitment!

Only four days until the launch of the peer supervision and job recruitment forum for human service professionals.

People who join up on or BEFORE the launch on Jan 8 at 6pm ( Brisbane EST) are in the running to win one of three FREE registration packs:

· a monthly subscription valued at $29.55 (Aust),

· a yearly subscription valued at $299.95 (Aust), or

· a monthly organisational subscription valued at $119.80 (Aust).

Please forward this to all your friends and contacts in the human services (foster carers, social workers, community workers, youth workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, teachers, nurses, health workers, etc). They too will be in the running to win if they first register on or before January 8, 2010 (winners will have their first subscription refunded to them).

Register here:

Launch is at 6pm EST January 8. Draw for the winner of the FREE registration packs will occur during the launch. Winner does not have to be present to win….just check your pay pal account to see if your subscription has been refunded.


The Reflective Journal Assignment

The Reflective Journal Assignment: An example of the writing style using an organisational setting (Char, 2009), 10 pages.


An organization is a dynamic social structure that forms and maintains itself to achieve collective goals (Buchanan & Huczynski 2004). Contemporary organizations are very aware that change is a key factor to maintaining a diversified company that provides effective services (Flower, 1992).

Buchanan points out that the ideal of most organizations is that their staff relationships are inclusive, collaborative relationships of trust and openness, however, he points out that this is often not the case. I agree with the observation that contemporary organizations view competition as having to be held in balance with cooperative working policies.

And that it is the informal “backstage” or company policies, and culture embodied by these policies that determine the values and assumptions of all employees, and their subsequent performance. When I create a reflective document I am always mindful of Lewin’s (1951) comment that, to understand any organization we do by virtue change it; and so any diagnosis that I make will also be an intervention on my part. What a responsibility!


Essay Template: What is a Family?

What is a Family? (Char, 2009), 6 pages


“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you
are, you need one.”
- Jane Howard Families (1995)
The family is a social unit of two or more people who cohabit, may be related through
marriage, blood ties or choice, and share in socialisation processes of children whether they are
biological or adopted (Macionis & Plummer, 2002). Many theories and models within sociology
argue that the family has undergone dramatic structural and inter-personal changes following
post-industrialization and its subsequent social changes.
This paper explores the argument that the family is a haven. Firstly, three theoretical
perspectives will be presented in regards to the family being a ‘haven’ or a ‘violent place’.
Secondly, the implications for children and families will be presented. Finally, a conclusion will
synthesise the main points raised in this paper, and provide recommendations for future research.


Relective Essay Template: Teams at work

Reflective Essay Template: Teams at Work (Char, 2009), 3 pages.


A key feature of learning is to work within a team environment. The student may find themselves working in a team environment comprised of students of different gender, political and religious beliefs, ages and life experiences etc. It is well recognized within the literature that the interdependence of the knowledge, skills and competencies across group members can lead to innovative problem-solving and active learning. Groups are a part of social life. Each of us is a member of many different groups (Bennis & Shepherd, 1956). Before my social work course I had not really thought about all the different types of groups that exist as having a similar structure, and as going through similar processes, whether it be a group of professionals conferencing on a topic, a study group, a committee determining policy changes, or sporting group discussing next weeks strategy of play (Forsythe, 1990, 1998). Many of the groups that a person is a member of can impact greatly on their lives – either positively or negatively.

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