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September 22, 2006

Using Blogs, Wikis, etc,./Thoughts on WHRE Foundations 8141

As I'm becoming somewhat familiar with these technology tools, I'd like to add a link about the UMWiki. This is on my to do list. I would like to start one for WHRE topics. I saw one for EdPA, but it looked like it was in its infancy stages.

U of Mn Wiki Tool

Thoughts on WHRE 8141

We have now had a few classes and I am finding it very interesting. The readings have helped me broaden my understanding of the history and philosophy of work as it relates to us and the organizations we work with. What has also been interesting is to reflect on the previous classes and experiences that I have had. Especially the recent trip to China. It is interesting for me to read about our neo-classical roots while thinking about Eastern ideology and how it is playing such a larger role than I think many of us realize in our current environment. Our class is an eclectic group of people from many different walks of life and cultures. As we are in the early stages of "forming" in the class, it will be interesting to see what the "stormin" and "normin" phases will look like.

Our group has picked the topic of "Motivation and the Individual". Broad topic with many potentially interesting avenues that we may be able to pursue. We are possibly going to use a blog for collaborating on this. Some other options could be setting up a UMWiki. This has more options, but can be problematic in terms of using to much time learning the process as opposed to learning the current topic. Does Argyris address this in his "Double Loop Learning" concept?

Maybe this is more about the metacognition discussion piece we had in our first class?

Our first paper is also going to be a challenge for me. We will need to use a historical influence through out our topic that we pick. I'm thinking of the historical influence of technology on work, human resource and education but I think I need to narrow this down somewhat.

September 5, 2006

Start of Fall Classes!

Well, we are at it again! Welcome back to everybody who is pursuing their academic dreams and attending classes this fall.

I have decided to take a little lighter load this fall and concentrate on some of the readings that I have learned about this last year. I recently ordered books about Vygotsky, Friere, and other's. I am always looking for additional suggestions, so feel free to add ideas in the comments area. Some heavy reading but I think I need to understand some of these learning theorists more before I decide what area of a doctorate to work on.

I also have a son who is a senior this year and another one involved in sports at the local high school, so I would like to be able to be available for things they will be doing.

One of my courses will be emphasizing the history and philosophy of work, human resource and education. It will involve much reading, reflection and writing. Although the academic writing is a challenge philosophically for me, I am beginning to understand its purpose and need in filtering opinion from facts. The historical aspect of the course should also be interesting. As always it will be hard for me to synthesize things down to applications that I have interests in. This part of graduate school, indeed academia in general is where I find the most challenge philosophically. Although I understand the need for academic rigor in our coursework is necessary, the evaluation of our work is based more on our writing abilityrather than knowledge and understanding of the material. (my opinion) For example, if I was to compare and contrast Vygotsky and Friere's work through use of different CMC (Computer Mediated Communcation) such as an interactive Ppt or Voice tool application. Wouldn't this display knowledge in two areas? This gets into some of the work that Chris Argyris has done regarding double loop learning. With interests in learning theory and application of it using different technologies for displaying this knowledge, I feel I could be more motivated to dig deeper and more contextually into these areas. (at least for myself) Aw well, who said it would be easy!

AnotherTopic

I also have been working recently with a small local group called Interfaith Hospitality Network. They are part of a larger national organization that provides crisis housing for families that are on the verge of being homeless. I would like to help provide some financial literacy and advocacy support for this organization. I'll keep my blog posted as things develop here.

Here is an interesting article/book relating to the Michael Katz work and the poor in America.

Its interesting to read about his lifetime of experience and consider its application for an international context. One of the principal thesis of his writings is that poor people have very little control over their environment and that it is very difficult to reach any level of normalcy while they are in these environments. Here are some interesting statistics from his book.
Among African-American children in this country, half live in poverty.

In the city of Washington, African-American males who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, 50% are in the criminal justice system.

Well good luck to all students this fall!