Archive for July 2008

Some Thoughts About Practice Generalization

This is an overdue post. 3 things that needs to say first.

First: Almost a year now, I was busy with my work and Quoth blog programs. This includes understanding practice generalization more, developing Connecting Practice and Practitioner Group communication campaigns, and overcoming the difficulties of the undertaking in the process.

Second: I feel a need to give thanks to Bob and the AR List for the great thoughts that help me to reflect and think more about practice generalization.

Third: As plan, this piece describes more about practice generalization to explain further its fundamental ideas.

Moreover, in making an effort to describe practice generalization, the terms below might help you to understand the topic:

1. Generalized practice – I agree with the writing of candee basford dated 20th of July 2007 when she said, “The knowledge that is generalized, in my experience, is a way, the approach, an experiment for ordinary citizens to move about and learn in uncertain situations.”

2. Generalizable – I also agree with the writing of candee basford dated 20th of July 2007 when she said, ‘The “findings”, as they have been referred to in this discussion, seem better suited as stories that can be shared at the local level. I think one could anticipate that these stories (findings, actions, outcomes, insights, experiences) could inspire something but not exactly like the original. In this way they generate something (generationable?). … If by generalisable, we mean transferable, adopted in other settings and moments – then I would say it depends.’

Moreover, a generalizable practice in my understanding is more of knowledge (tacit) that we carry in our minds. Usually it is a solution (ways, means, or approaches) to a problem that we transferred to others by making contact; coding and storing it in certain media; sharing and articulating it with others; and allowing it to flow in increasing of connection and/or implementing of something new.

I believe that the transfer of knowledge is a crucial approach for creating common education.

3. Instances – I like the writing of David Tripp (by way of Bob Dick) dated 6th of August 2007 when he said, “However, as the purpose of action research is improved practice, when- and where-ever improved practice is achieved and others get to know about it, they tend to try it too, and so the practice is generalised as it moves from “it happened once here” to “it happens, here, there and everywhere!” and that’s so much more relevant and important in terms of the method than categorical generalisation of other kinds of research.”

However, I thought of the movements from “it happened once here” to “it happens, here, there and everywhere!” as the instances of practice. Instances are cases, examples, or occurrence of generalizability.

4. Pattern – It presents consistent detail and describes sets of relation among practices.

5. Property – It is an attribute of practices, which reflects the processes; programs, reviews, or workflows; procedures; method, techniques, or know-how-steps; planning, administration, functionalities, or technicalities.

6. Generalizability – I disagree with the writing of Ian Hughes dated 24th of July 2007 when he said, “If I may be allowed another comment on generalizability, the Cynefin framework for knowledge management in complex systems claims that there are four knowledge domains which can be called simple, complicated, complex and chaotic. Broadly speaking, positivist, reductionist science (including generalizable research) can make valuable contributions to knowledge in the simple and complicated domain. These methods are not useful in the complex knowledge domain, where a search for scientific generalizability is largely fruitless (except for the complicated and simple bits that are part of a complex situation). Much participatory and collaborative action research seeks to increase knowledge/understanding and improve practice in complex systems or situations. If Dave Snowden and others who use the Cynefin framework are correct, the role for generalizability in the scientific sense is quite limited in this domain.”

By reason of, generalizability in my understanding is a practice set (common properties) of practices (A, B, C, and/or etc.). See also 8. Decomposition (Practice Generalization Modeling Principles) below as supporting details.

Moreover, generalizability offers the following two (2) forms:

a. Proven practice – Generalizability from experience is a proven practice. Usually a proven practice is supported by evidence as proof of the general claims.
b. Assumed practice – Generalizability from another practices is an assumed practice. Usually an assumed practice is suggestive. That is, it gives a person something to think about, organizes his/her thoughts, and influences him/her to try it. Here our understanding informs our action, or the assumed practice is tested in our action.

Further, generalizability can be generated using a method or tool to identify and understand it.

7. Base Generalizability – It is a type of practice set that can be inherited. Typically, it contains the general attributes of generalized practice.

8. Derived Generalizability – It is a type of practice set that inherits some of its characteristics from the base practice set of generalized practice. It contains the specific properties of base practice set.

9. Practice Generalization – It is a process (spiral in nature) that we carry in our minds with a certain purpose (value premise of certain setting and situation) and generalizability necessary to operate subjectively and objectively to accomplish the end cited in the value premise. Usually the process starts to take shapes when we reflected and thought about a need of producing a sense of results

Furthermore, Practice generalization is not a sense of something applying the generalizability to all because it only serves to tell us that the generalizability is framed in a way that allows it to be used to produce same outcome in similar setting and situation. Using the generalizability in other setting and situation would only lost its value to accomplish its purpose.

To understand more what practice generalization is, consider the fundamental ideas described below.

One of the most common sets of activities in Quoth, Connecting Practice, or Practitioner Group (an application in this context) is practice generalization, wherein a person in a managing environment, whether it be office, school, home, or one’s workplace, wants to generate his practice based on certain setting and situation, let say, as father in a family; define his practice; and specifies all his “father-related” roles and responsibilities on purpose, such as ” head”, “provider”, “husband”, and “etc.” as dictated by or directed to support other practices. That is, he obtains and preserves the wholeness of an existing direction in striving to accomplish specific purpose.

Observe, other fathers in the application hold a different set of descriptive attributes or facets. Yet, they focus on the same purpose and achieve this same father practice on similar setting and situation.

In the event that a father learns about the other father practices interconnected in the application; and wants to remodel and enhance the quality of his father practice from these father practices, he can simply remodel his father practice by originating and capturing the practice set of these father practices using one or more modeling principles below:

1. Examination – A modeling principle that challenges a practice to generate generalizability. Usually an issue is raised when a practice is challenged by questioning:

the value of the practice, that is, the purpose to be accomplished or served;
the means to achieve the purpose;
the different definitions used in the practice; and
so on.

The intent of examination is not to knock the practice down, but to test or see how far the practice would apply.

Moreover, examination helps us to bring the unexpressed practice to light; make practice distinctions; see the structure of a controversy and organize our thoughts better for knowing and decision making; and create emerging data, information, knowledge, and possibilities to understand, support, or reject the practice.

2. Purpose (the value premise of certain setting and situation) – A modeling principle that must realize first by a generator of practice to take steps in working with possible competence to achieve results. Usually it is perceived while the generator of practice is contemplating to a “why” question. The answer to the “why” question is to accomplish the end cited in a value premise.

Moreover, purpose provides direction and helps a generator of practice to put a generalized practice into order when the generalized practice is confronted by pattern of base (unstable); disruptive program and functionality; and rough period (increase complaining) condition that could initiate a weak, divided, distracted, shaky, and/or inadequacy problems. This includes removing the generator of practice to focus on needed direction, development momentum and wholeness, and/or correlation with others.

Purpose is required to serve as a bridge in achieving aspirations.

3. Network – A modeling principle that models generalizability with legitimate responsibility relationships and interdependence.

Moreover, network is an environment that helps a generator of practice to organize line and staff relationships to think in innovative terms and complementing others in achieving results.

4. Alliance – A modeling principle that models generalizability with political stability and reliable security needed against unpleasant conditions.

Moreover, alliance is an environment that helps a generator of practice to build relationship and interdependence with others to achieve results.

5. Inheritance – A modeling principle that inherits the characteristics of practice set of practices to generate generalizability.

6. Polymorphism – A modeling principle that allows generalizability to be used by different people.

Moreover, polymorphism is the ability of different people to respond, each in its own way, to an identical practice.

7. Alignment – A modeling principle that directs generalizability to support a form.

Moreover, alignment helps us to get better understanding of our practices by connecting it with other forms of similar understanding.

8. Decomposition – A modeling principle that allows a generator of practice to break a practice into parts, or forms – each of which represents generalizability.

For example: A practice has started after obtaining the approval to go ahead. The relationships between forms are as follows:

a. Form 1, Form 2, Form 5 can start at once.
b. Form 1 and Form 2 must be completed before Form 3 and Form 4 can start in that order.
c. After Form 5 is completed, Form 6 can start.
d. Form 3, Form 4, and Form 6 must be completed before Form 7 can start.
e. After completing Form 7, Form 8 and Form 13 can start in that order.
f. After Form 8 is completed, Form 9 can start.
g. Before starting Form 10, Form 9 must be completed.
h. After Form 10 is completed, Form 12 and Form 11 can start.
i. After Form 11, Form 12, and Form 13 are completed, Form 14 can start.
j. Must complete Form 14 before starting Form 15.

The above is the form relationship of the practice.

Note that the occurrence (returning the result) of one form may trigger (initiating a request to carry out) the succeeding actions of another form – here it is called event. The event between forms, that is, the events before the accomplishment of the end cited in the purpose of the practice are called extended and/or intermediate events.

The above construct is an ideal solution in solving complicated, complex, and chaotic problems.

9. Modulation – A modeling principle that devides a form into a careful set of generalizabilities interconnected with synthesis in a mainly top-down fashion.

Moreover, modulation provides a systematic and transparent inventory, and a framework for evaluation and refinement of generalizability information.

10. Stepwise development – A modeling principle that constructs more patterns in focusing and strengthening operational direction.

Moreover, the stepwise development helps a generator of practice to initiate cooperation and collaboration with others.

11. Integration – A modeling principle that proceeds in an order governed by pattern interdependencies and wholeness of purpose.

Moreover, integration has a focus departmental and individual purposes that unites, utilizes, and aligns generalizability in the fundamental structure and natural processes of operation; makes clear priorities; and eliminates guessing about next move to achieve results.

12. Abstraction – A modeling principle that draws an analogy between and/or removing certain properties of practices allowing concentration on the properties they do share, so that a generator of practice can see the commonality.

Note that an analogy is stronger when the practices compared have a greater number of significant points in common and weaker when the practices compared have a greater number of significant points of difference. That is, the result separates what’s important from what’s not from the practices and leads a generator of practice to discover the fundamental relations at work and adopt the interested characteristics to affect the purpose.

13. Encapsulation – A modeling principle that compartmentalizes the elements of an abstraction that constitute its properties.

Moreover, encapsulation is the result or act of packaging practices and resources together. It allows certain creation of generalizabilities.

Here a generalizability of father practices will be generated from any of these modeling principles to yield similar outcome in similar setting and situation once carried out properly and with passion.

Also observe, much of a father’s work deals not only with his family, but with group, management, or organization as a whole in reality. Thus, a father can generate more than one practice and define them “Supervisor”, “Manager”, or “etc.”

‘m most interested in what others’ thoughts might be.

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