EDUC 7620, Learning Community of Practice
Course Instructors: Phyllis Balcerzak, Theresa Coble, Thomasina Hassler, Carl Hoagland, Timothy Makubuya, Keith Miller
Course Meeting Times: Tuesdays, 9-10:15 AM Central or Wednesdays 5-6:15 PM Central via Collaborate
Optional Collaborate Discussion Sessions for Integrated Research Block (EDUC 7220, 7210, 7230, 7225):
Tuesdays, 10:30-noon Central or Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 PM Central via Collaborate
Collaborate Room Link: Heritage Leadership Ed.D. Collaborate Room
Participant Dial In: (571) 392-7703, PIN 554854330101
UMSL MyGateway: https://mygateway.umsl.edu
Zotero Sign-in: http://zotero.org
Tonia Herndon – Reflection
January 18, 2017 at 9:59 am #1354
January 14, 2017
Community of Practice Reflection
This past week has been truly energizing as I embark on the first of my courses in this Heritage Leadership program. I will be illuminating three aspects of the experience which will cover what excites me most in pursuing my degree in this program, what area I can see the proposed research agenda leaning towards, as well as the questions that may be a possibility to begin to explore, and lastly how this would be relevant to my current and future work in this field.
Let me first begin by looking at what makes my heart sing through this program. I find myself pulling from my experiences in both formal and informal education, as well as my background in leadership, conflict resolution, and organizational change to work toward designing something that combines two specific areas of personal interest. One contribution I would like to offer is the overarching application of leadership skills to the still fledgling field of heritage leadership, and a second surrounds fulfilling the great need I heard spoken about during the panel of heritage experts and leaders which included how to approach and conduct conversations involving controversy.
Next I’d like to share how through the great process of both hearing the identified need from the existing heritage community, and through the brainstorming that took place in the large and small group sessions with fellow students, some powerful questions began to develop. These initial questions centered around a need for leadership development and the desire to acquire the necessary skills to conduct productive controversial conversations both between facilitator and learner (whether in a formal or informal setting), or possibly between the facilitator and some entity of their organization (if not the organization itself). The three questions that developed include; 1) What are the organizational barriers which prevent conversations about controversial topics, 2) What does the theory of Transformational Leadership offer to the engagement in controversial conversations within organizations, and lastly 3) What might be effective strategies for mitigating unconscious bias in organizational paradigms?
Having the proposed research agenda include aspects of the aforementioned questions supports heritage leadership in sustainability, social justice, and participatory culture by offering possible solutions to a field-identified need for a skill set that could be utilized as a cross-disciplinary tool to improve and deepen communication opportunities within and through organizations. There are many components that rest under the umbrella of heritage leadership which include such topics as racial justice, accessibility, cultural preservation, climate change, as well as community interests and inter-agency collaboration. These varied topics typically have multifaceted dimensions to acknowledge, which result in having numerous narratives to wade through when considering what approach to take with students, visitors and even organizational staff. The very nature of these multi-lens topics lend themselves to having the potential for conflict and therefor an overarching need is realized in the ability to appropriately navigate the controversy that either spontaneously develops or is purposely encouraged through provocation.
Lastly, pursuing this proposed research agenda is directly relevant to my current work as adjunct faculty at Point Loma Nazarene University, where I teach both Effective Interpersonal Relations and Informal Interpretation because it is also directly asked for by students. My students are constantly bringing up the topic of having to deal with conversations around controversial topics as they practice the skills and share ideas learned in the classroom through pushing the personal boundaries of others at their home and workplaces. That being said, this proposed research agenda would directly and positively affect the societal challenge of bringing to light many of the marginalized, misunderstood, unpopular, and underrepresented narratives that, through better understanding, may contribute to positive social change in those respected areas.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that this process of arriving at the trailhead of a proposed research agenda that focuses on facilitating the difficult and controversial conversations necessary to offer a more rounded perspective on topics within heritage leadership is one that I feel very passionate about pursuing. Not only has it been asked for by current and up-and-coming experts in the field, as well as being a vital tool for me professionally at my current university position, but I can see future applicability in my aspirational pursuit of creating a ‘culture of leadership’ within the field of heritage leadership. For me this means taking on roles that directly influence the generation of great leaders through offering the tools and support needed to empower them to independently disseminate that same leader-generating mindset in others (i.g. students, visitors, community members, coworkers and organizations). To dismiss the courage to walk boldly and skillfully into controversy means we miss a powerful direct path to eliciting collaborative change in the world of social causes. After all, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Let’s get our leaders ready for this challenge.
February 17, 2017 at 8:33 am #1386
A Message to My Classmates…
Good morning to everyone, I have a timely reflection to all my classmates that may serve in your journey as we ALL seek to answer the million dollar question:
What will I research?
After getting to bed after mid-night last evening and up before five today I can only recall on (2) hands the repeating types of events this situation has occurred in my life:
1). When I was younger my “off” switch was broken… I did not have the sense to go home when the party ended. I still enjoy gatherings today, and the switch is fixed…most of the time
2). As a duck hunter for thirteen years you just never slept – perhaps the number “13” is telling…I don’t hunt anymore – I enjoy sleep too much!
3). Our first child was born in the middle of the night. He is 17 now.
4). When I lost my older sister to a bronchial-asthmatic attack.
5). When I lost my mother to a car wreck…terrible night.
****Number 4 & 5 were tough! Both are still dear in heart to me…both had so much inner beauty*** UMSL Heritage Leaders intrinsically have this INNER beauty!!!
6). Finally, this Ed D program…it does keep me up at night…sometimes (more on this later).
The point I am suggesting is that we are going through a Change Process (TOC).
We must embrace the change not fight it. If we fight it then this program is just an exercise and we can log into other programs with less effort to get the same outcome.
What I do to create an anchor in this journey to research.
TOP 10 Richie Approaches to Relevancy
1. I frequently remind myself what our first semester offered (Re-read your reflections).
2. Re-visit your TOC
3. If you are not journalizing your thoughts…you need to journalize your thoughts…
4. If you are not communicating with personality identities in class…you need to “Reach Out and Touch Someone” (not title IX)
5. If your thought is in a tunnel…time to step out to the cold wind-blown snowy field, and vice versa…
6. Re-write you journal thoughts…
7. SIT SPOT(see my fall blog)
8. Perhaps you just need to plan personal time…okay you do need to plan personal time…I run…I just started 19 months ago.
9. WE ALL HAVE THE CAPACITY TO NOT ONLY COMPLETE THE PROGRAM, BUT CHALLENGE OURSELVES TO DO EVEN GREATER WORK!
10. Start Mining all these areas
Have a Great Weekend!
- This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Richard Hudanick.
March 1, 2017 at 2:04 pm #1394
Thank you for your open-hearted reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed your insights and personal story as you also struggle with workload coupled with other responsibilities. Many thanks, too, for your Top 10 list. I much appreciate it when people open up to be vulnerable with what is at our core and fundamental.
May 1, 2017 at 8:10 am #1436
Alright classmates we are in the final stretch for SP17.
Remember what you didn’t know yesterday is knowledge today(Research topic)
Remember without a desire to do greater for ourselves we remain stagnate
Remember we must create opportunity so that we have choices
Remember we chose to act on our choices…you only have yourself to blame
Remember the pain for the prize!
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