A Study of Educational Process: To what End and by what Means

By Keith Thomas.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study of leadership development in the Australian Defence Force Academy is inspired by educational research that encourages high quality learning by understanding the student experience. This article profiles desired individual capability requirements and proposes a learning and development approach as the basis for development. Noting the capacity to adopt this approach as problematic, issues related to organisations creating a suitable learning environment are also discussed, including the emerging function of nurturing the capacity in senior leaders and instructional staff to teach, coach and otherwise grow future leaders. Study findings overall reveal a gap between espoused and in-use theory that reflects underlying social and contextual influences on student learning and given the premium the military places on leadership, there is clear value in reviewing development practice and challenging long-standing assumptions.

Keywords: Leadership Development, Instructional Design, Learning Outcomes, Development Approaches, Contextual Factors

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.61-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 688.983KB).

Dr. Keith Thomas

Visiting Fellow, Defence and Security Applications Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Dr. Keith Thomas lectures in Organisational Behaviour, Human Resource Management and Leadership. Earlier, while serving in the Australian military, he was the principal developer of the Army leadership model and the Army Leadership Handbook, both endorsed for use in Army in Nov 1998. He joined the GSM, La Trobe University in Feb 1999 and more recently moved as a Senior Lecturer to UNSW at its Canberra campus at the Defence Academy. Keith completed his doctoral studies in education (2003) at Deakin University. His thesis examined the influence of educational processes in leadership development in the military. Keith continues an involvement with Defence as a Visiting Military Fellow at the Australian Defence Leadership Studies Centre. His research interests include changes in the strategic environment and the challenges posed by the information revolution, particularly in terms of leadership and education and the related concepts of a learning organisation & knowledge management. Keith completed an MBA at Macquarie (1984), a Grad Dip in Strategic Studies (ANU) in 1994, Grad Dip in Defence Studies (JSSC) 1995 and a Grad Dip in Info Systems (CCAE) 1985. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1976. He was awarded a Bravery Medal in 1978.


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