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Thread: Delivering Cultural Competence

  1. #41
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Ottawa, Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by jenniferro10 View Post
    What I have heard (a *lot*) is that the opposite happens- the instructor is hired according the a strict interpretation of the rules. If they have to hire the person with the most time in the field, you get the guy 15 yr old PhD research experience because he has 5 years in the field, and not the guy with two recent tours, because he has less than 5 years. You get someone with a Masters in anthro, with work in behavioral modeling but no military experience, *not* the guy with an undergrad in criminology who worked in intelligence in Iraq.
    Yup - and it is both stupid and insulting to all involved !

    Quote Originally Posted by jenniferro10 View Post
    The key to the most effective training is shortening the feedback loop that gets lessons learned from the field into the training system.
    Exactly, which brings us back to the hiring decisions and the simple fact that people are hired for the wrong reasons. Honestly, if a lot of the small unit internal training material could be uploaded on an ongoing basis (and geo and time coded), that material; should be immediate relevance to people deploying to that area. The same goes for Sergeant X with no degree but a lot of real world experience - they should be able to put up their lessons learned.

    For most of the actual work of instruction, you don't want someone with an MA or a PhD - you want someone who knows the material, has relevant experience and who can teach. Where the grad degrees get useful as a hiring criteria are when you need someone who has access to a larger knowledge base and (hopefully) can think in multiple dimensions (okay, I'll admit, that lets out a lot of people with PhD's ).

    A lot of this is getting back to the difference between training and education. You need training in the immediately relevant and education to both a) triage what will be relevant and b) put it into a larger perspective.


    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University

  2. #42
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Wageningen, NL

    Default SMEs and SMEs

    I'm not sure what to make of the need to ensure that you hire instructors who have the right content.

    I'm doing some work in the Canadian Forces right now. I'm one of those PhDs with no field experience. This means, as a subject matter expert, I'm pretty much useless.

    I am trying to work on structure. I think I bring them the inclination to recognize each other as having knowledge and the tools to work together to separate wheat and chaff. Yes, sure, I'm delivering some content. That content is, pretty much guaranteed, out of date and otherwise irrelevant. The content is there cause that is the excuse for having people in the classroom. The real focus for me are the 2nd (how to learn and teach) and 3rd (creating a community of practice) order objectives.

    These objectives are pretty much driven by accepting that doctrine and curriculum development/delivery cycles will lag behind practice and that up to date mission/theatre specific knowledge and the sorts of sensibilities that will produce coherence from one rotation to the next need to be handled, at least in good part, horizontally.

    That, and the Canadian Forces is a pretty tribal organization. The tribal divisions, and a few perverse incentives, do produce incoherence from one rotation to the next. No amount of bureaucratic intervention is going to fix that.

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