Otago Polytechnic

Andy Thompson has developed a model that identifies the golden opportunities to help learners become leaders.

As a lecturer in the Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure, Andy Thompson wanted to see learners develop in leadership. Not only would this help them to take responsibility for their learning, but it would also prepare them for employment and other roles they will have in future. What's the best way to facilitate their learning to become CEOs of their own lives?

To this end Andy undertook a Masters in Professional Practice, supervised by Aidan Hobson, Bridie Lonie and Simon Middlemas. Andy's starting point was to interview students, in the Diploma in Outdoor Leadership & Management and Otago Polytechnic's Leading Frontiers programme for staff development. He found that these learners came with a range of preconceived ideas about leadership. However, these ideas needed broadening and revitalising into 21st-century thinking.

From these interviews, Andy has developed a model for the relationship between the facilitator and the learner which identifies and defines the learning junctions. These are the points at which the learner and facilitator meet at different levels, and provide the best opportunities for development on both sides. Good leaders will also have an appreciation of the many factors that positively and negatively affect the learning environment. Andy's work is relevant to any leadership development situation, revealing opportunities for learning facilitators to develop their leadership as well as how they can help their learners to do so.



July 2018

Image credit: Andy Thompson Photography, used with permission