Write a work based learning project of no more than 3,000 words.

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Project description
Write a work based learning project of no more than 3,000 words. They will be expected to include observations of one of the workplaces in which they are conducting their placement. They will need to apply concepts from the Psychodynamics of Organisational Processes to interpret the meaning of their observations.

The Work based Learning project invites the student to demonstrate an understanding of institutional and group dynamics, and how these affect both staff and clients.

In their writing of this project students will also be able to demonstrate their capacity to take on the role of a research oriented participant observer in one of their placements. This may be in the placement agency itself, or in a related part of the wider organization in which the placement agency is situated. The project is a piece of Qualitative research in the form of participant observation. One of the tasks given to the student on placement is that of negotiating a viable role as a participant observer.

A ?participant observer is someone who is making observations while at the same time participating as a member of the organization which is being observed.
Depending on the culture? of each organization, this may mean being able to take up a more traditionally passive role, or it may involve being an active participant in whatever is being observed. Again, depending on the nature of their placement organization,

students may be able to observe meetings, or they may have to or choose to make observations of the agency in action (for example, the reception area or the general office). It is essential, over the course of Module 4, to have a series of observations made under the same or similar conditions, so that a consistent frame can be applied with which to observe the institutions anxieties, defences and ways of dealing with conflict and authority (and other relevant issues)

. It is much easier to see patterns in organizational functioning if a student is able to make weekly or fortnightly observations. Sometimes this is not possible and the student will have to find other ways of making observations on an irregular basis.
In writing the Work Based Learning Project, students should include a very brief factual description of the agency, and a brief description of its primary task, its structures and roles.

Consideration also needs to be given, again very briefly, to the relationship of the agency to the wider environment, and the impact of events or policies in the wider environment on the agency.

The written paper will inevitably be a reflection of the student experience of being in the placement agency. However the student needs to remember that they are being asked to write an academic paper and not a piece of personal biography, nor an account of their experience of their placement and its personnel.

The use of personal experience needs to be employed specifically in relation to the task of understanding the dynamics of the agency, just as in clinical psychodynamic work exploration of the counsellor’s counter-transference is undertaken in order to understand the nature of the client’s transference. A major task of the Work Based Learning Project is in fact to find a viable position from which to write, and an appropriate tone and manner in which to do so, for example one which avoids the temptations of idealisation or condemnation of the agency being observed.

In writing the work based learning project it is important that students take care to preserve the confidentiality of the agency and staff members about whom they are writing. A minimum requirement is that the names of the organisation and individuals should be changed and disguised to preserve anonymity.

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