Leadership: Learning Ojectives

An Introduction to the Social Change Model of Leadership: Learning Objectives

In this week’s reading, Fink said “we need a new language with which to talk about learning’, and I agree.   The value of taxonomies of learning are that they give us a common language with which to think about, discuss and critique both learning and teaching.   As a learner, I especially appreciate knowing what my goal is in a task. Knowing helps me filter for information importance and allows me to focus my time and attention where it needs to be.

As an instructor a taxonomy will provide the framework for me to critically edit my own content. In this week’s assignment, the building of a concept map, this became a literal exercise.   Of the three taxonomies, I chose to work with Fink’s model because of the non hierarchical structure.   In the subject of leadership, after some of the initial foundational groundwork is laid, I think the other 5 dimensions can be worked simultaneously and would benefit from doing so.

In this case, it only makes sense to approach them simultaneously because the students I am working are already fulfilling their leadership positions.   As we build the foundation knowledge and practice developing skills, I hope to see the efforts they are already making grow more sophisticated and intentional.   The social change model they will be working with has 3 basic components; know thyself; work civilly and productively within a group, and contribute positively to the community.

Using Fink’s model made it conceptually much easier for me to be able to work with the separate components simultaneously.   Through the mapping process I realized that most of the foundational knowledge was attached to the actual theory we will be using rather than any of the three actual components.   That was an immense help and changed my entire approach.   My initial learning objectives will focus on comprehension.   They are:

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
*   (Comprehension Level) summarize the 7 C’s of Leadership

*   (Comprehension Level) differentiate social change initiatives from social service initiatives

*   (Comprehension Level) identify the 3 components of the social change model and explain their relationship to each other.


Leadership in Fink's Taxono

4 thoughts on “Leadership: Learning Ojectives

  1. Hi Kim,

    Nicely done. I like your mind map or conceptual visualization and I’m always glad to hear the exercise was helpful. Were there less helpful parts or aspects that didn’t resonate with you?

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on assessments. How are you going to have your students demonstrate their understandings? I like Fink because it includes aspects of learning not generally directly addressed by learning objectives, but implicitly included in our hopes and goals for all educational experiences. Leadership is a subject particularly well suited to some of these larger or more lofty educational goals. How might you assess whether or not students are obtaining understanding in these dimensions? I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    Thanks and very well done!

    1. The interesting thing about not having the grade as a motivation, is that I am also not required to use a formal grading system. A hidden bonus I guess. I was assuming that assessment of the human dimension would come mostly from group conversation and direct observation. When conflicts arise, asking them to step back from the topic and have a conversation about what values they might be using as lenses while talking with each other. Actually helping them work through civil conflict while giving prompts and watching for them to start looking for and integrating their own and each others strengths as they conduct their meetings, make decisions and tackle tasks . I hadn’t really thought about how much of the instruction is intended to be online, but most if not all of the assessment will be in direct observation. hmmm.

  2. Well said Kim. Your initial comment on establishing a common language is particularly salient in our digital age, where sharing and utilizing lessons developed by others becomes increasingly common.
    You said “As we build the foundation knowledge and practice developing skills, I hope to see the efforts they are already making grow more sophisticated and intentional.” To me, this desire could be developed into an objective and an assessment. When, or if, this happens, your students would be moving into an application phase of learning. I’m not sure if your objectives encompass the whole semester or just the initial lesson(s). If the former, I may suggest trying to move students out of the comprehension level and into higher-level thinking. This could be a case study as a cohort or a demonstration of learning by applying new ideas and approaches to old tasks. I guess what I’m trying to say is summarized by Fink, p. 105. Significant learning activities ask students to DO what we want them to learn how to do.

    Interesting topic!

  3. Kim – your map is very well done and I think you should share it with your students. It’s very well organized and I think might help them conceptualize the aspects of leadership. It also looks like you and I mostly agree on taxonomies so not much to add there.

    I also think your objectives are good but I don’t know if I agree that the second one is comprehension level. If you look at Bloom’s Rose from the readings and look at the verbs there, I think you’re aiming higher than comprehension with what you’re asking students to do there. Which is good, I’m not saying it’s not, just that that seems like a higher order task than the other two things you’re doing. Maybe that could be like an end goal? I don’t know if you deliberately shot for the comprehension level as an aspect of the level of course you’re offering, but if that’s not the case, it might be worth reconsidering that one as a higher level objective. Or maybe I’m totally wrong and there are inherent disconnects between Fink’s models and Bloom’s.

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