I was led to recast the course of a master's degree in human resources.
This curriculum was a mixture of young people in initial training and adults in the course of their careers. This was organized in a classic way. One year of teaching, professors, testimonies of professionals in activity, practical training, individual or group exercises and evaluations, an end-of-year dissertation. This course worked well for the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. It dealt with skills management, payroll, HR strategy, recruitment of training, and social relations. But it could be improved on softs-skills that left something to be desired.
Curriculum redesign project
The first step was to observe how HR managers really do their job. It was a matter of decoding their mindset. Observation to show a lot of flexibility in how to decide. An ability to constantly adjust to new developments. A willingness to keep all options open constantly. An almost systematic search for peer networks was observed. The consultation of the texts of laws or social convention in force came after. It was on the basis of these ways of thinking and the associated soft skills that the curriculum was redesigned. The main idea was to introduce massively the initiative taken by the participants themselves and the possibility that they learn in network. 50% of the courses have been transformed into practical workshops to be built by the participants themselves. The learners had to choose at the beginning of the year the type of workshop they had to organize and animate for the rest of the promotion: case study proposal, book commentary, organization of testimony, organization of a conference, participation in networks, associations, clubs of professional HR managers, study tour, work on real cases proposed by companies. Depending on the complexity of the workshop to organize points were awarded for graduation. The commentary of a book yielded few points. The organization of a trip or a colloquy provided many points. Learners became autonomous and responsible for their learning. They had to choose the workshops themselves. A room dedicated to the group of learners was arranged for them as a real place of life. They had full responsibility.
Implementation of the revision of the curriculum
The first year the curriculum reform failed. The teaching team consisted of professional teachers. It was instructed to do a classical morning and help participants in their self-organization in the afternoon. In fact, the team preferred to conduct their classes in the afternoon as well. The second year, I decided to pay the speakers only in the morning, to avoid that they stay afternoon classes. In the afternoon I recruited a professional coach to help learners organize themselves. At the beginning of the course he was present 3 half-days a week at the end, he came half a day every other week. Regular teaching team meetings provided an opportunity to see the progress of the softs-skills and how the learners took charge.
Results of the curriculum redesign
The results were formidable with regard to the professional development of the participants. In this redesign of the curriculum, it was necessary to change 50% of the teaching staff. Traditional teachers were destabilized by the idea that learners construct their own knowledge themselves. Participants also took time to understand that they could learn for themselves. Some doubted. Some even cried. They know how to know if we have really acquired quality knowledge? I had to help them come back to meaning. I have been trying to find a way to improve my career, but I do not know how to do it. The benefit of this pedagogical approach inspired by Carl Rogers' book "Freedom to Learn" was a complete development of the person beyond the professional
With this approach, I as a pedagogue developed more daring in the construction of educational situation placed under the responsibility of the learners. I have more confidence in their ability to project themselves in unforeseen and complex situations, based on a pedagogical intention. I develop an ontological security. I am better able to accept the difference. I give less lessons. I let more learn. Leaving the learners to define their own educational objectives allowed me to create a free international learning circle ("Learning together" #CercleAPE) of nearly 900 pedagogues, managers, francophone coaches and so on. functioning face-to-face and using the full potential of the internet to connect us and empower us in our relationships to knowledge.