I got involved with personal development planning (PDP) through working on the Centre’s e-Portfolio Framework project, since e-portfolios, when employed, are so often used to support PDP in the UK.
Through talking about this work and giving presentations at institutions around the country I quickly picked different attitudes towards PDP. One that really struck me was the belief that PDP didn’t have anything to do with teaching X (fill in your own choice of subject); it was extra, students and staff were busy and the timetable was already full.
Stressing the benefits of PDP doesn’t work against this argument because it’s a practical one. So you have to find a practical rejoinder.
There are a few times when you will find that paperwork will turn out to be your friend, this is one. Scan through the QAA benchmarks and you will find, even for the ‘hard’ sciences, they are full of what we often call transferable skills. Communication, team work, time management, all expressed as part of the discipline. For subjects without a benchmark, take a look at course descriptors.
So there you have it. If anyone says typical PDP activities are nothing to do with their subject, a quick inspection of the benchmark will probably prove otherwise. And if students know this, they may have a greater respect for PDP, it being part of the subject they elected to study. They may not enjoy learning transferable skills, that’s still up to you!