Personal and Professional Development Workbook

In a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Workbook you assemble and organize installments of your project, comments you receive on them, and various other items that emerge during your research. Having a PPD Workbook allows you to readily pick up after a break what you were thinking and to see emerging patterns that warrant your attention. In the same way that keeping a portfolio of your work helps an advisor make generative comments (see Dialogue around Written Work), having your own PPD Workbook helps you to bring to the surface, form, and articulate your ideas as a researcher.

One way to think about what to include in a PPD Workbook and how to organize it is to imagine returning to the material a year or more later. What items, annotations, and organization would make it possible to quickly re-engage with your own thinking and processes of development?

You might prefer to assemble these materials mostly on your computer or online on a wiki. Typically, however, you will have some paper as well as computer files and you will need cross-references from one medium to the other.

The items in the PPD Workbooks might include:
  • Notes on readings and other preparation for each Phase or part of the Cycles and Epicycles of Action Research process.
  • Notes and printouts from activities during the sessions.
  • Installments, comments from readers, and revisions, which document Dialogue around Written Work.
  • Weekly journal-like reflections that explore the relationship between, on one hand, your interests and project, and, on the other hand, the readings, activities, and tools introduced during the sessions.
  • Annotated clippings from print and internet sources (to keep up with current developments and to develop good habits for life-long learning).
  • Self-Assessment at Mid-Project (including a report on the gap between where you are and where you would like to be in relation to your Research Organization—both on paper and on your computer.
  • Process Review at the end of the project.