An interesting debate has been kicked off by Doug Bleshaws paper entitled “How Do You Define Attendance”.
Doug suggests 3 modes:
- attention-based attendance – involves applying your mind to something, and investing effort. This is obviously something that we want in learning organisations and we often call this ‘engagement’.
- community – individuals are present at an event that relies upon interaction around a resource or proceeding. Live concerts, court summons and webinars can all be examples of attendance as community.
- service – somebody waiting upon the actions or decisions of a superior. This is what many would see as a rather 19th-century idea of subservience.
Basically schools are focussed on 3 where maybe a little more focus on 1 would be more productive.
There is a lot more to this paper however and it’s well worth the read, contains some interesting thought on “Second Life“ and MOOCs (you’ll have to read the paper to find out what that is).