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International Journal of Training and Development March 2001 – Review

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The International Journal of Training and Development
Volume 5 Number 1, March 2001
ISSN: 1360-3736
Blackwell Publishers

The principal purpose of this journal is to encourage an international dialogue in the field of training and development including: “the determinants of training; training and development practice; and policy and strategy”. This aim is reflected in the appearance, which comes across as studious and restrained: A5 format, articles with titles that could qualify as paragraphs, 90-plus pages, tightly packed text with small-scale illustrations and diverse and heavily referenced contents. Not the sort of thing that either invites or was intended for cover-to-cover reading I suspect.

Content-wise, there are six articles and an international briefing. The international briefing looks as if it is a regular feature; the subject in this issue is training and development in France, I found this intriguing – another model for the evolution of the training and consultancy trade!

As for a review of the articles themselves I have struggled to find a way of communicating my experience with this publication. I have dipped into it several times now, and the impact, I have slowly realised, has been positive: I have found myself rethinking issues in learning and change that I thought I was clear on. I don’t know whether this will make me sound like some sort of cave dweller but I hadn’t come across the notion of “reflective practice”. Hunting on the internet for some background resulted in the happy discovery that alternatives to the “if what you are doing isn’t working… do more of it” school of training are flourishing (but see item one on the whine list below).

However, it was definitely not a case of love at first browse:

I grinned at “Supervisory support as major condition to enhance transfer” for proposing that one way of solving the problem of transfer of learning back to the workplace was to train the supervisors in “exhibiting transfer enhancing behaviour”. Do we assume that supervisors are some form of higher being or will they require that their own managers exhibit transfer enhancing behaviours in order for them to apply their learning about transfer enhancing behaviour? And so on. This seems to be a nice recipe for an endless loop of solution-based interventions that require more of the same in order to be effective; do you suppose this is the thinking Michael Porter’s consultancy used on AT&T when they charged them nearly $59m in 1993 (for more try Big Brands Big Trouble by Jack Trout)?

Continuing briefly with whining, “Transnational worker representation and transnational training needs: the case of European works councils” lost out to “Computer assisted learning design for reflective practice supporting multiple learning styles for education and training in pre-hospital emergency care” in the final of the ‘most specific part of the universe as a research target’ championship.

Subscription prices for 2001, 4 publications, are £212 for institutions and £56 for individuals. A small price to pay for a springboard to quality learning and dialogue.

Jon Kendall
Castleton Partners
jon.kendall@castletonpartners.co.uk

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