Date- 6-10 March 2017
This particular group was very lively and outspoken, they were super eager about this particular course because everyone knows that the facilitation course is so much fun. However during the week I got an odd question that I never expected, and to be honest I never really thought about it before. One of the learners asked “is it really necessary to stand while facilitating, or can you sit’?
I pondered on the question for a second and re-directed it back to the class to find out what were their thoughts and feelings about the matter. Surprisingly, most of them felt that siting while facilitating was perfectly okay. I’ve always felt that it’s more professional to stand and facilitate and move around a bit, of course you don’t want to distract them either, but sitting while facilitating has always been something I’d frown upon. I feel that it’s not professional to sit and facilitate. However if you have a medical condition that doesn’t allow you to stand for so long, in that case I personally would feel that it’s more than okay to sit down, however the quality of facilitation must never be compromised whether sitting or standing while facilitating.
I would love to hear other people’s opinions on the matter. What do you think? Should you sit or stand while facilitating?
Article by Dr J.P. Nel, MD Mentornet
I actually stopped my discussion of research paradigms halfway through because nobody seemed interested. My articles did not attract any discussion or even criticism. I need to share my notes on scientism with you, though, because my interpretation might be completely wrong. I am hoping that some research wizard will point my cognitive dissonance out to me.
Scientism is discussed here as representing the technicity group of paradigms. It is unlikely that researchers using qualitative methodology will adopt this paradigm because it is usually used when quantitative research is conducted. Supporters of the scientism paradigm claim that it is based on the “rule of law of science”. Even so, some scientists do regard scientism as a paradigm that can be used as the favoured assumption when doing qualitative research.
The “rule of science” refers to the prescription of a domain, a set of practices and an attitude to the world. This actually applies to any paradigm because all paradigms are assumptions upon which research is developed. Scientism, it is said, manages the match between the rule of science and the knowledge emerging from the rule, ensuring that the rule adjusts so that it is never too out of sync with what is known. If this is the case, then I cannot see how one can use scientism as your paradigmatic assumption if you follow a grounded theory research design. In grounded theory you are supposed to have an open mind, allowing your data to lead you to conclusions and recommendations. In grounded theory you need to accept your research findings even if it does not agree with what you had in mind. Actually, this should apply to any scientific research.
Scientism, it is said, creates a closed system of knowing that certifies itself by scientific discoveries or evidence that fits its own closed system of paradigm understanding. If the new knowledge does not fit the paradigm, it is usually assumed that there was something wrong with the methodology that produces it, rarely with the paradigm understanding itself. In terms of the nature of research this is a rather risky and questionable point of view, because research should always provide for the possibility that a hypothesis can be disproven, which does not mean that there is anything wrong with the research process, gathered information or conclusions made. It might be possible that not sufficient information was gathered or that the information was not sufficiently corroborated. However, questioning the methodology because you do not agree with the research findings may well be extremely subjective and unscientific.
What do you think? Where am I missing the point?
 www.nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.egi?article=1981&context=tgr. Accessed on 05/04/2017.
Article by Dr J.P. Nel, MD Mentornet
It is an international trend for library budgets to be slashed. Especially in South Africa public libraries are disappearing at an alarming rate where they are needed the most, namely in rural areas and small towns. To make things worse, people read much less than two decades ago. Printed books are being replaced by e-books and even they are read by a rather small percentage of the population.
Computers and the internet are not bad news only. Dedicated computer programmes render the work of librarians much more accurate and less time consuming even if not always much easier.
The nature, layout and even functions of libraries are also changing rapidly. Libraries used to be halls filled with printed materials and trained staff to assist library members to find the information that they need. Now book shelves are being replaced by computer screens. More tables and chairs are brought in, although they are increasingly arranged like stools and round tables in a bar. Library members are allowed to enjoy coffee, cold drinks, sandwiches and cakes while doing research in the library. Books on computer no longer take up much physical space. The internet provides access to more information than the book shelves of any library in the world. Libraries look more like internet cafes than the quiet, clinical rows upon rows of books of some two decades ago.
In spite of all the changes in the library environment, quality assurance bodies still insist that learning institutions must have libraries with a minimum number of books. This, and many other questions about the validity and relevance of quality criteria used by quality assurance bodies, which I will discuss in a number of articles after this one, makes me wonder if quality assurance bodies make any contribution to the quality of learning offered by both public and private learning institutions.