Summarizing a half century of work on the problem of identifying units of analysis for complex human behaviour, this book introduces modes of practice as a unit of analysis for the science and design of human activities, and shows how to record them and create field guides at scales from individual to society. Revealing scientific analysis of human practices has been hampered by the lack of a unit of analysis, Dirlam describes how the difficulties of defining a unit are overcome by combining insights from mathematics and human development. Part II presents methods for developmental surveys and interviews that enable social scientists, designers, and education or training assessment professionals to gather data on modes of practice. Part III provides practical descriptions of how to organize interviews into developmental surveys that can be used by a community. Part IV inspires future advances in research and design. Concrete examples from science, design, and learning assessment are used throughout, and the appendix includes the results of 300 developmental interviews, organized into exploratory descriptions of modes of practice and commitment.
"Dr. David Dirlam has provided the field of education with a technique for truly understanding the intricate and essential pieces of the learning process. This has been done in a way that is complex, as learning is not a simple process. But the complexity which is presented is an indispensable approach to the development of meaningful and transformative education and the assessment of that learning."
- Catherine M. Wehlburg, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at Texas Christian University, USA.
Part I. Beginning the Identification of Modes of Practice 1. Defining the Unit of Human Practices Part II. Exploring Modes of Practice 2. The Developmental Survey 3. The Developmental Interview Part III. Sustaining Research, Design, and Interpretation of Modes of Practice 4. Organizing Multiple Interviews into Learning Outcomes Networks 5. Embedded Networks of Fields of Expertise 6. Creating a Coherent and Accelerated Development Curriculum for the Liberal Arts 7. Transformative Learning Sequences Part IV. Inspiring the Development of Expert Practice 8. Personal and Collaborative Assessment 9. Creating and Analyzing Impacts of Instructional Designs 10. Developing Cultures of Practice 11. Praxomics with Ecological Questions for Research on Modes of Practices 12. Discovery, Innovation and Precedent of Modes of Practice