Action learning was developed in the UK in the 1960s and is now one of the most widely used development methods in healthcare. This practical manual embodies the dual focus of action learning as both philosophy and technique, – exploring the underlying concepts derived from adult education and organisation development, addressing challenges and providing invaluable support material.
Specifically targeting the healthcare sector, this book is divided into three parts: an exploration of core ideas and underlying assumptions including techniques and methods for implementation; practice-preparation, projects, sets, facilitation and evaluation; and a compendium of additional resources.
Action Learning in Healthcare is vital reading for senior managers and professionals considering using action learning for leadership, management and organisation development purposes. It is also highly recommended for organisation development practitioners (with responsibility for project managing the use of action learning in local and national programmes). Action learning facilitators, too, will find much to absorb, modify and use in their own practice, as will action learning set members wishing to enhance their knowledge.
In this book, John presents learning as a means of personal and organisation development which steers a path between action and reflection, and enables the creation of a development culture in our organisations. He has created a book which is not a theoretical tome, although it includes plenty of theory, but is truly a user’s manual.
Hazel Mackenzie, Head of the National Leadership Unit, NHS Scotland
- Who should read this book?
- About the author
Part 1: Principles
- What is action learning and what is it for?
- Action learning and traditional learning
- Action learning: the core ideas
Part 2: Practice
- Preparing for action learning
- Problems, projects, topics and issues
- Action learning sets
- Listening and questioning: the key skills
- And the other skills
- Supporting, recording, ending
- Dealing with anxiety in action learning
- Facilitating action learning sets
- Variations on the action learning theme
- Evaluating action learning
- How action learning has evolved
Part 3: Resources
- Slow motion questioning exercise
- Break-space exercise
- Listening in the corner exercise
- Making the best use of airtime
- Action learning constellations
- Support/challenge map
- Thinking, feeling and willing exercise
- Accessing the learning styles questionnaire
- Life goals exercise
- Core process exercise
- Set meeting review worksheet
- International Foundation for Action Learning (IFAL)
- Action learning: research and practice
- Useful websites
- Bibliography and further reading
John Edmonstone, Director, MTDS Consultancy, Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, Keele University, Fellow, Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Associate, Centre for Innovation in Health Management, Leeds University and Associate, Edinburgh Institute for Leadership and Management Practice, Edinburgh Napier University