ERNEST COX (Senior Lecturer Trent Business School, Nottingham)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 1 June 1982


For me, one of the most interesting and stimulating aspects of the PHOENIX SCENARIO and the subsequent articles in Industrial and Commercial Training over the past sixteen months has been its catalytic effect on my view of subjects as diverse as: parental involvement in curriculum development; School/Industry liaison; the stimulating of small‐business activity; Course design in Continuing Professional Education; and the role of the Polytechnics. One of the major reasons, I am sure, why the Wellens approach has had this type of impact on me lies in his method of exposition. My own background and training has emphasised the traditional logical method of problem‐solving — through analysis of the constituents of a situation, selection of the major constraints, deduction of alternative solutions to remove the constraints and testing of these to arrive at the optimum solution. By contrast, John Wellens has used an almost lateral thinking methodology. Given the scope and complexity of the problems to which he has addressed himself, one can see an obvious advantage in looking separately at a series of topics first so that one can, through them, gain some appreciation of the central issues of which they are the diverse reflections. To use one of his own analogies, he has been sending up a large number of ‘trial balloons’. Perhaps the time has come when some of his readers should try to link together these ‘balloons’ to provide ourselves with enough ‘lift’ to create necessary changes. In this spirit, and hoping that if I am ‘shot down’ it will be by someone who has got a better handful of balloons to which we can all cling, I offer the following ‘connections’ on the subject of TRAINING PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY IN EMPLOYMENT.


COX, E. (1982), "THE POLYTECHNIC ALTERNATIVE", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 196-197.

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Copyright © 1982, MCB UP Limited

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