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EDUC 3001 : Reflexive Learning

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EDUC 3001 : Reflexive Learning

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EDUC 3001 : Reflexive Learning

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Course Code: EDUC 3001
University: The University Of Adelaide is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

Beyond Competence: Developing Managers of Complex Projects, Lynn Crawford and Ed Hoffman (in the book by Terry Cooke-Davies) discuss the means of developing reflective practitioners . In that section they state:
Experience and education cannot be directly equated to each other. For some experiences are miseducative.Any experience is mis-educative that has the effect of arresting or distorting the growth of further experience.” For learning from experience to be effective, the learner must be self-aware and have a degree of humility that may be missing in some practitioners especially if they believe and have certifications to attest to their “competence” as project managers.
• Do you agree with Crawford and Hoffman?• Please expand on your thoughts regarding the world of project complexities and whether they contain inherent characteristics that are mis-educative? Is it not the wickedness discussed by Lynelle Briggs and that “project management training that reduces all thetasks of a project manager to a simple and straightforward rational, linear, and deterministic set of predefined processes and activities, tends to increase the challenges of systemicity by developing project personnel who are not on the lookout for the project’s interconnectedness” (Chapter 1 p. 6)? Which, as a consequence means that the competence approach will in fact increase the complexities of a project rather than reducing them in an orderly manner!In chapter 7 of Terry Cooke-Davies’ book Aspects of Complexity Lynn Crawford and Ed Hoffman cite John Dewey whom they write said “…not all experiences leads to beneficial learning. Learners need to be capable of critical reflection so they can interpret their experience and draw upon it selectively as a source of learning and change” (Cooke-Davies 2011, p.93). But what is the big deal with this as far as complex projects are concerned? Surely it is a common characteristic of project management and those whom practice project management to reflect on lessons learned? Therefore, is this not fundamental and inherent to everyone involved in project management? So what point is Lynn Crawford and Ed Hoffman trying to make by citing John Dewey and what should we take home from it for our reflections on complex project management?

Practitioners are people who are qualified to practice various professions, occupations or religions (Pierson, 2017). Generally, the vocabulary means those individuals engaged in some practical behaviors, activities or traits associated with specific jobs, careers or spiritual activities. Practitioners need to be reflexive to their experiences. As Lynn Crawford and Ed Hoffman discuss in chapter seven of the book written by Terry Cooke-Davies, there are various means of developing reflexive practitioners. However, they dispute the fact education and experience can be directly equated to each other. According to them, some lessons are not educative. Experiences which can arrest or distort the growth and development of any further experience are not educative. Out of this, they argue that for a practitioner to learn from experiences, he or she must have some level of awareness as well as a certain degree of humility which is not available in some practitioners. This is only possible if they can attest to their competence as project managers (Crawford, Patton, Stevens, & Williams, 2011). In this section, the work of some different authors in connection to equating education and experience will be looked at to help decide on whether to agree or disagree with Crawford and Hoffman.
Education is referred to as the insertion of information within the brain without authentication (Allen, 2011). It forms the foundations through which the factual information with the connection to the particular subject or data is then filtered through the manifestation of the necessary data. On the other hand, the experience is where the same information which has already been collectively accepted is fumbled upon casually or by personal effort. Well, education is a sort of knowledge, but the experience is the factual knowledge (Bruneel, Renko, & Clarysse, 2010). It is the first-hand information. For example, one might learn some stuff in school for a profession but when he or she goes to get a job what they learned in school and the real thing might be two different issues. For example, one might do mechanic at college on a new vehicle but when they go to do a task on an old car, it would not the same thing as the bolts will be rusted. At this point, the mechanic will be required to heat them up or even apply force to open them. In case the pin breaks down, he or she might be needed to redo or drill the threads of the bolt afresh or even replace the old bolt with a new lock. The same thing in human resource management, a manager, might be trained on how to manage a business or an organization but if the same manager goes to the job market, the same techniques he or she learned in the college might not be applicable in the job industry. These examples broadly justify that education is very critical in life, but the experience is by far much better. Thus one needs to experience for them to enjoy their work. Therefore, I agree with Crawford and Hoffman that education and experience cannot be directly equated to each other as some skills are not educative.
Projects have become more complex in today’s world. Therefore there is a need to understand that the complexity offers a significant advantage to the project managers as they tend to reason deeply on how to solve the complexities (Cristóbal, 2017). Besides, the complexity affects some other factors in line with the managers such as safety, cost, modeling, and evaluation. In this section, the thoughts regarding global project complexities and their possibility of containing non-educative characteristics are discussed. As Lynelle Briggs explains, project management training reduces all the tasks of project managers thus increasing challenges of the regular orders through the development of project personnel who are reluctant to the projects interconnectedness.
Management role requires special skills for one to be a successful manager. Organizing, proper planning, setting up goals and leading people or employees are some of the experiences that managers need for them to be effective. Definitely! One cannot learn all that in the classroom. Most classroom activities are theoretical (Elizabeth, 2011). An approach based on competency has been widely used in the management sector. The approach integrates human resource plans together with business plans to help organizations examine their present human resource capability about competency against the energy needed to lead to the desired mission and vision of the organization (Loew, 2016). This approach is much more harmful to management. First of all, it is an approach which focuses on the immediate management needs. The proposal is much less concerned with preparing the managers with new skills which they can use to curb the menace of the same kind in future. The approach suits some environments hence neglecting others. Additionally, the plan fails to adapt subject areas in which it is difficult to prescribe competencies. It also fails in areas where new knowledge and skills need to be simultaneously accommodated.
As Crawford and co-author quote John Dewey’s work, all experiences do not lead to beneficial learning. As far as complex projects are concerned, it is good for the managers to realize that not all the adventures they go through in the management field are educative. Some of the experiences they enjoy while in their line of duty are not educative and thus there is a need to reflect on which of these experiences are educative to them. Most of those who practice project management usually do not reflect on their experiences as they consider themselves busy. They are always too busy to hurry to the next task in their line of duty. Lynn Crawford and Hoffman had a point when they quoted John Dewey. It is important to note that reflection can help one to solve all complications in management which seem formidable. Those reflections if shared with others can help to cement the relationship between managers and keep projects going forward (Bost, 2018).
Education cannot be equated to experience directly. Even though education is the source of knowledge, some skills are by far educative while others are not educative. Therefore, practitioners need to be exposed to more practical activities which are all round built. For example, in the case of mechanics, there is a need to prove them to all manner of vehicles for them to learn how to handle various challenges using different cars. The same case to managers, there is a need to train them more practically than theoretically.
Allen, B. (2011, February 27). What is the Diffrence Between Education, and Experience? Retrieved from InwardQuest:
Bost, M. (2018). Why is Reflection so Important to Project Lessons Learned. Project Management Articles, Online. Retrieved from Projects Management Articles:
Bruneel, J., Renko, H. Y., & Clarysse, B. (2010). Leaening from Experience and learning from others: How Congenital and Interorganizational Learning Substitute for Experiential Learning in Young Firm Internationalization. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 164-182. Retrieved from Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal:
Crawford, L., Patton, J. R., Stevens, C., & Williams, T. M. (2011). Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World. 14 Campus Boulevard: Project Management Institute, Inc.
Cristóbal, S. J. (2017). Complexity in Project Management. ScienceDirect, 762-766.
Elizabeth. (2011). Is Project Management Training Really Effective? A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Online. Retrieved from
Loew, L. (2016). Competency Management: Challanges and Benefits. Turn Managers into Leaders, Online. Retrieved from
Pierson, C. (2017). Cardiovascular Disease and Omega-3s: Prescription Products and Fish Oil Dietary Supplements are not the Same. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 29(12), 711-713. Retrieved from

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