Of sea anemones and clownfish: exploring a mutually beneficial approach to educational development through soft systems methodology.

Lawton, Megan (2010) Of sea anemones and clownfish: exploring a mutually beneficial approach to educational development through soft systems methodology. DProf thesis, Middlesex University.



This report presents a large scale exploration of the roles, practice and influence of members of staff in a central educational development department working alongside academic discipline-based teaching staff in a UK University. The project uses Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) for this exploration. The concept modelled within this doctoral project is one of developmental mentoring embedded in the management and design of an externally funded project – the Pathfinder Project. This includes using the characteristics of developmental mentoring and the five phases of the mentoring relationship. The concept model is compared to and discussed in a real-world situation of discipline-based teaching and learning. This activity takes place throughout the life span of the Pathfinder Project during the academic year 2007-08. This doctoral project heavily influenced the design and delivery of the Pathfinder Project although Pathfinder remains an entity in its own right. The doctoral project and the Pathfinder Project shared data however the analysis, findings, conclusions and recommendations are different. The work-based research questions which this doctoral project seeks to address are concerned with the means to develop ways for a central department to work most effectively with discipline-based teaching staff. The project outcomes offer a model for staff development that helps build staff capability and capacity. From a practitioner/researcher point of view, outcomes also suggest how the experiences and findings of this project can inform the work-based context for educational developers. This project report integrates project outcomes with a reflective critical commentary written in the first person. The project report includes original images throughout the text as could be expected from a user of SSM.

Item Type:Thesis (DProf)
Additional Information:

A project submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate in Professional Studies (learning and teaching).

Research Areas:A. Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Institute for Work Based Learning
B. Theses and Doctoral Context Statements > Theses
ID Code:7980
Deposited On:06 Jul 2011 13:14
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 15:29

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