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Jousting: Developing Knowledge Base July 17, 2007

Posted by Janine Lim in Competencies.
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Developing Knowledge Base by Erich Baumgartner

Handout – an article that you’ll get in LEAD 638. There’s nothing more practical than a good theory. What is the value of a knowledge base for you as a leader? You are good leaders already. This program is about making what you are doing already intuitively and to encourage you to develop a knowledge base for what you are doing – both for and against other theories.

The handout has an evaluation rubric for the competency and the synthesis reflection paper. These are in the 2007 handbook.

You need to have a “working knowledge” which is being able to use the theory in your practice.

A competency is a complex skill you are learning undergirded and/or linked to a knowledge base. Which means something you can talk about. It isn’t just unconscious like it was when you came in; now it’s conscious. Theories can cover one thing but not another. It may or may not apply to your profession.

It’s a theory that leads to new practice. It’s the Kolb Learning Cycle. We develop competencies using the Kolb Learning Cycle. Start anywhere you can start. With your practice or experience, or with the theory. You might start with the experience. “Last week I did a seminar on such & such. What went well? What didn’t go well? Why? Reflect on why it went well or why it didn’t go well. I wonder if anybody else has been thinking about this and has some answers. Why something goes well or not well in a certain type of situation.

New people start with past experience. You cannot just stay there. Now you ask yourself how did it go? It was a real mess? It’s good data to put into your reflection. Why was it that way? What are some models? Some authors who address. Oh I see that we didn’t do one of the steps. You start with your experience which draws you into the models, theory, etc.

Now because of what you are learning, you start experimenting. What if I were to do it this way? Ideally it’s a project you do in your workplace that allows you to work from the knowledge base. Don’t just “do” stuff. Sandwich in some learning before you approach the new project. In your reflection paper, the most important tool for your learning, is crucial for your portfolio. For each of your competencies – the first thing Erich will look at is, what have you learned?

Don’t take the learning cycle as that you have to go once around the cycle. You will read something, write it down, try it, and eventually it will synthesize into your reflection paper.

Knowledge retrieval system. It could be electronic, i.e. EndNotes. Or note cards. Or blog/database of knowledge. It should have a Reference, a Subject, a Subhead, and any cross references. Where did you find it? (the cross reference). You might have those already.

Keep always in mind that when you work for coursework and competencies, be thinking in terms of your portfolio presentation. Every competency needs this knowledge base. When you present that competency, make sure that you reference some of your authors. For example the presentation on Sunday, he sometimes read the author. Be able to say “I used this model as my theoretical framework.”

Don’t be scared. Just go step by step and you will get there eventually.

The tendency for beginners is to read, summarize / describe what you read. Simple knowledge starts with developing the vocabulary and understanding concepts. Look at Bloom’s Taxonomy. At the higher levels, you can explain it, apply it, etc. You may break down a theory into it’s parts. Then as you look at it, you find that this theory doesn’t work in this situation. Then you take parts of this theory and parts of this theory. Then I prefer this model because…. and/or I am using these parts to make a new model.

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