Posted by: MandyS | November 12, 2010

My thoughts on Unit 5

I have found this Unit quite enlightening especially in relation to how professionalism is defined. Law is one of the oldest professions and I suppose, as a result, I have never had to consider whether I am a professional; I have largely taken it as read. Law fits neatly within Wilensky’s ‘game plan’ but then again, in 1964 he probably used the older and established professions to form his ideas in the first place.

A couple of thoughts occur to me. Is the model still accurate in 2010? amd why is it still important for an occupation to be regarded as a profession? To me, Wilensky’s model appears to have stood the test of time. I cannot think of anything which could be added to that list which bring it anymore up to date. As far as the importance is concerned, it is true that there are some very successful business people who probably earn a lot more money than the professional. No one would question their ability, but are they truly professionals or simply just good at their job? I supsect, leaving them aside, the importance is down to status and pay. Although I have to consider the impact of the EU in relation to many aspects of both my jobs, I have never considered the impact it has had on professionalism. I agree with Meal and Morgan that EU directives removing barriers to mobility has undermined the autonomy of professional bodies but if that were the case, why is it that realtively new occupations such as Learning Technologists are trying to achieve Professional Recognition? I think EU intervention has made it easier for professionals to cross frontiers and work around Europe but I don’t think that it has altered the fact that for an occupation to attain professional status brings with it other benefits; kudos being one of them. I had a look at another paper which Neal & Morgan were quoted in. It was to do with the rise of  Executive Search Agencies in Europe gaining professional recognition. This was a new occupation which strove to achieve professional recognition, not least so that they would gain increased business from potential clients. Given the high mobility rate of Learning Technologists, I think it is less to do with kudos and more to do with keeping hold of those who the educational instituions can not afford to do without.

Unit 5 has made me realise just how easy I have had my career so far. My professionalism has never been in question nor have I had to fight for legitimacy. This of course does not apply to my job as a tutor. I am definitely not a professional tutor, but prior to this Unit, I would have thought that it was simply because I had not been doing the job long enough. In actual fact, until I can say I have half the skills of the Learning Technologist, I won’t even consider that I am anywhere near.

The content of the Unit has been especially interesting, but I have also used the Unit to be more proactive. When I was compiling the reflective writing for TMA, I was acutely aware that I had very little evidence of proactivity and none in relation to critiquing others. Despite what I think about their weighting, they are still important skills to have. Questioning is part and parcel of my day job so why do I not have the confidence to do it on this course? Probably because I know so little about education; technology, pedogagy or otherwise. The readings have given me more of an insight into that side and, as a result, an increased confidence to form my own view. However, the biggest boost has come from the forum responses to my views. Even if others have more to say or don’t necessarily agree with me, I can definitely see it as the way to learn more. I know I have engaged more with this Unit than the others. I think this is may because I am further into the course now and know more about what is expected, the material has been less intimidating and probably because Iam mindful that Unit 6 is looming. The last collaborative activity wasn’t quite what I expected and I am not sure what I learnt from it. I participated last time, but I not sure that I engaged with it. I have tried to be more proactive by setting the ball rolling about how we might approach the activity and even managed to set up a Wiki for availability. I’m looking forward to taking part in the Skype conference and hopefully that too will be productive.

All in all, I feel much better about the course as a whole. I have taken on board my notes to self from the TMA and I now organise as I go along. I can now start Unit 6 tommorrow, knowing Unit 5 is complete and nothing is outstanding, not event the referencing or snipping!!



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