Commodities into assets?

I am enjoying working with Dennis Bryant on his PhD.

Dennis is looking at student learning success in one year (2009) at one University. Together we are looking at the possibilities of students being regarded as assets rather than commodities.

His research has been prompting me to think about personal learning plans and their role in sport.

This prompting became even stronger when I read about Nicholas Gruen’s Wellbeing Index. In a report about the Index the Sydney Morning Herald noted that:

One of the nation’s most valuable assets is not its physical assets, like buildings and machinery, but its human capital – the knowledge and knowhow embodied in our people. Education is the key driver of improvements in human capital.

Nicholas Gruen has written about the Index here.

Dennis and Nicholas have made me think about the value we add to a person’s entry profile into a system. I see this value adding process as very personal.

I am keen to explore the interaction of indices of wellbeing and learning success. I think they provide a key to the investments made in development pathways.

Photo Credit

Banksy Fridge Kite

Lessons for Sport from OECD Education Insights

Andreas Schleicher (Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division of OECD’s Directorate for Education) visited Australia earlier this month (May 2010). One of his presentations whilst in Australia, Seeing Your Education System in the Mirror of Other OECD Systems, can be found on SlideShare.

His presentation included data from the OECD report The High Cost of Low Educational Performance. This YouTube video outlines some of the key points of the report (please excuse the music!).

I think both OECD resources have fascinating implications for decision-makers in the governance of sport and for coaches as they contemplate long-term development. The report “uses recent economic modelling to relate cognitive skills … to economic growth, demonstrating that relatively small improvements to labour force skills can largely impact the future well-being of a nation. The report also shows that it is the quality of learning outcomes, not the length of schooling, which makes the difference.”

I am keen to promote high challenge/high support learning environments and liked Andreas’s slide (27) from his presentation:

Andreas explores how continuous professional development can transform education. Within his data there is an important message about innovation and insight. His case study of Finland should resonate with any sport or coach seeking to bring about cost effective change.

I liked too his juxtaposition of integration and personalised learning (slide 35):

After looking at the report and the Slideshare presentation I wondered how a sport system at the macro level (a national sport system) and at the micro level (the club) might support an innovative investment in learning that might take a decade to develop.

Andreas’s slide on skill development (slide 15) raises the question of lead and lag investments in a sport system.

His final slide (slide 41) encouraged me to think how a system can be changed and what role intrapreneurial vision might play in change. Do sport systems evolve despite or because of inherent conservatism? How does any macro or micro system move from the left to the right of the slide below?

Andreas’s presentation and the report share how Finland did it in education!

Photo Credit

Bouw houten huis in Finland