Sunday, May 30, 2021

Reading 2

My second reading for Weeks 1-2 is a paper that looks to see where adult learners go to find or provide support for each other.

This paper took a couple of reads to grasp.  It seemed to suggest there were three methods of support used by learners, but also that learners tend to transition (in sequence) to later methods.  The first method of support was called "zone of proximal development" and basically covers the fact that since we're all in this together, we'll work together to accomplish the goal.  I hope I got this point correct.  The second method called "Community of Practice" (CoP) puts more structure into the group.  Organizing discussions and identifying strengths/leadership allows for a more effective experience.  The third support was "Peer Mentoring."  This model is in itself support for the CoP method.  Peer mentoring is something I've seen commonly used in larger companies to help bring up the next generation of leadership.

For me, I didn't feel more informed from this paper.  Perhaps I've always identified that difficult tasks are best done as a team?  Completing a doctorate program is no small task.  What will be interesting is seeing if my cohort naturally begins to form these support structures.  With the very diverse group we have, I could see some informal peer mentoring even happening among students.

Cherrstrom, C. A., Zarestky, J., & Deer, S. (2017). “This Group Is Vital”: Adult Peers in Community for Support and Learning. Adult Learning, 29(2), 43–52.

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