Home > About SEDA > Core Mission and Values > Further Guidance on SEDA Values
Further Guidance on the SEDA Values for Members
After a review including a wide consultation with the SEDA community, in
October 2014 SEDA revised the wording of the values it adopted at its foundation.
They are the values of SEDA and the table below gives some illustrations of
what they might mean in practice to SEDA members, who are committed to them. We
also commend them to the wider audience of all those working in post-compulsory
SEDA is a
values-driven organisation, committed to educational development, and
underpinned by the following values:
Evidence/guidance/illustrations for staff and
Developing understanding of how people learn
Varying our teaching approaches, acknowledging that people learn in
Recognising that learning takes place in different contexts and through
Sharing and engaging practices with others through conferences, events,
the Professional Development Framework, Fellowships and membership;
Acknowledging the diversity of individual experience and disciplines;
Seeking out practice on which to draw;
Developing the individual for the benefit of the student learning
Practising in ways that are scholarly, professional and ethical
Using evidence-informed approaches, the outcomes from research and
reflection in and on practice to inform our work;
Drawing on alternative perspectives, theories, models, research and
Questioning and challenging our practice;
Acknowledging that the need to engage with theory underpins all our
Questioning our own practices and looking for ways to develop further;
Evaluating practice elsewhere and comparing/contrasting our own practices;
Developing and using practices that show respect and concern for others.
Working with and developing learning communities
Working with colleagues, peers, developers and supporters of learning to
share ideas, practice, reflections and theory;
Facilitating networking opportunities through conferences and other
Developing thematic Special Interest Groups and other online communities;
Working with our membership to inform and develop knowledge;
Working, engaging and disseminating beyond the traditional establishment
with global, diverse learning communities.
Valuing diversity and promoting inclusivity
Identifying and seeking to meet the many and varied learning needs of the
learners with whom we work;
Celebrating difference and working to redress disadvantage;
Using technology to widen representation in SEDA;
ncreasing access to SEDA events and publications and recognising the
needs of varied, under-represented groups;
Strengthening the ways in which SEDA programmes illustrate the SEDA values.
Continually reflecting on practice to develop ourselves, others and
Improving our practice in the light of our reflections on it and in it;
Reviewing our development and our practice, and the relations between
Ensuring that processes and practices are developmental and supportive;
Supporting and encouraging change-making processes which are contextually
sensitive and owned;
Developing valuable and appropriate courses and practices which reflect
the needs of the participant group and the wider context;
Enhancing the professional identity of ourselves and others, within and
beyond our professional networks.
What do we mean by the SEDA values?
These SEDA values are not an attempt to prescribe what
we think or believe or feel. But they are intended to inform our actions,
whether as a teacher, a supporter of learning, or an educational developer.
They are sometimes about what we do; sometimes about why and how we do it;
sometimes about what our actions are intended to achieve.
So, the SEDA values are a guide for action. They are
also a basis for monitoring and evaluating our actions and our achievements, as
individual professionals and as an organisation.
The SEDA values do not claim to be an exhaustive list
of the values which should underpin our practice; although SEDA has embraced
these values, with minor changes, for over twenty years. As appropriate we
should add our own, whether personal, professional or institutional. And we
should be explicit about these additional values, so that we, and those with
whom we work, can test the values and test what we do in relation to them.
In the sections below we offer some ideas to help
explore what these values might mean, and how they may inform your work. The
ideas are illustrative, not prescriptive. We understand that we all need to
interpret these values for our own particular learners and educational
There is, as we should expect, some overlap among the
understanding of how people learn
Learning is a complex and challenging business. It takes
place in many different ways and contexts. Many factors encourage or inhibit
learning. These factors vary from learner to learner, depending upon, among other
things, purpose and both disciplinary and institutional environment.
This value encourages us to think through why we do
things, and to study, research, develop and apply understandings of how people
learn; to the benefit of our work and of those with whom we work.
2. Practising in ways that are
scholarly, professional and ethical
Scholarship, professionalism and ethical practice are closely
linked, and they must all drive our work.
The idea of scholarship broadens out from the
consideration in Value 1 of how people learn. Scholarship encourages learners
and developers to adopt an informed, critical and analytic approach across
their practice. By drawing on alternative perspectives, theories, models,
policies and research, scholarship involves us in questioning and challenging
our practice. We use existing scholarly knowledge - critically, of course. We
add to our and others’ scholarly knowledge. And we encourage a scholarly
approach in those with whom we work.
Ethical practice above all means recognising the
different power relationships inherent in our various roles and relationships; perhaps
being explicit about them rather than denying or ignoring them, and certainly not
misusing them. It also means adhering to any other ethical guidelines required
by another discipline or profession, if we have one.
Professionalism includes scholarship and ethical
practice. In addition, it involves establishing and maintaining clear agreements,
contracts or frameworks with those whose learning is to be supported. It also
encourages us to commit to the continuing improvement of our own practice and
to share that in our professional communities.
3. Working with and developing
We work with, and indeed in, many kinds of learning
communities. For example:
A group of learners, meeting in a class or a virtual
environment, can be a community in which learners support each others'
learning, giving each other feedback and encouragement and appropriate
practical or academic help.
Colleagues, peers, developers and supporters of
learning can form a learning community, sharing ideas, practice, reflections
and theory, and learning about the business of development and the support
Groups related to our other discipline or profession,
if we have one.
It is sometimes appropriate for a developer or a
supporter of learning to work with an individual, but most effective
educational change at some stage will involve working with groups, teams, or communities.
4. Valuing diversity and
In our learning support and development practice, it
is important to identify and seek to meet the many and varied learning needs of
the learners with whom we work. All groups of learners, and supporters of
learning, are diverse. We seek to ensure that each learner has, as far as is
possible, the same or appropriate equivalent opportunity to learn, develop and
succeed. Diversity is not just something that we must accommodate, it is a rich
source of varied experiences and views that we should value and use for the
benefit of all. In doing so, we can create opportunities for us, our colleagues
or our learners to learn from and, where appropriate, to learn about, each
Promoting inclusivity means that in the context in
which we work we will positively create or support opportunities for those who
might otherwise be excluded, to be able to join learning contexts and then to
participate fully in them.
5. Continually reflecting on
practice to develop ourselves, others and processes
As professionals, we continue to learn and to develop
our professional expertise. Perhaps the most powerful tool for supporting our
development is our continuing scholarly, deep, analytic reflection on our
‘Reflection’ can sound rather mysterious. But it can
be undertaken as a technique, and elaborated over time. Questions to prompt
reflection might include, before a development or teaching event or process,
- What am I trying to achieve?
- What do those with whom I am working, and those who
have sponsored the development, want to achieve?
- How will I know how successful I, and those with whom
I am working have been?
During the event or process,
- How is it going?
- What, if any, changes should I make now?
After the event or process,
- How did it go?
- How far did the development achieve what I intended it
- How far did those with whom I am working achieve what
they wanted to achieve?
- How do I know this?
- Why did what I did have the effects that it did?
- What unintended things happened?
- What could or should I do differently next time?
These last 7 questions can be repeated after a series
of events. Then, after going round these cycles a few times, we can ask further
questions, about the value of the questions themselves and how we can become
better at reflecting.
Reflecting is essential but not sufficient. We also
need action; a testing and implementation of what we have learned in our
practice; so that we can learn and then improve from the continued interaction
between action and reflection, each informing the other.
Through reflection, scholarship and working with our
learning communities we can develop not only ourselves and our colleagues but
also the formal and informal processes we may use at different levels,
personal, collective, institutional and even national and international.
Concluding comment on the SEDA
In our learning support and development practice, we
are concerned with the development of ourselves, our learners, the institutions
and communities we work in and the educational processes with which we work.
Value 5 suggests that we develop ourselves by a cycle
of continuing reflection. We also develop ourselves through the conventional
forms of staff development including reading, conversation, workshops,
conferences, working with our professional associations and undertaking
development projects. This is enhanced by capturing what we have learned from
these activities and by exploring how we can test and apply what we have
We aid the development of those whose learning we
support by helping each of them to do similar things. We help them to reflect
on their learning and their experiences, and to apply and test their learning
and their practical experience against each other, accepting that the nature of
both learning and practical experience may differ greatly according to their
The SEDA values are not just about individual or local
action. As opportunities arise, they prompt us to contribute to the formation
of professional, institutional or national policies, and to create new or
improved approaches and practices to improve the experience of learners of all
kinds in post-compulsory education everywhere.