Propagating involves the breeding of specimens by natural processes from the parent stock. Rhizomes are creeping plant rootstalks or rootstocks that send out shoots and roots from its nodes. The word rhizome originates from New Latin rhizoma, meaning a "mass of roots"; which stems from Ancient Greek rhizóō, meaning "cause to strike root"; and rhiza, meaning "a root".
Cooperative and Work-integrated Education qualifications/programmes are distinguished by two characteristics, namely:
- Credit bearing work-experience forms an important part/s of the curriculum that is aimed at producing work-ready graduates.
- The curriculum is designed in conjunction with, supported by, and retained relevant by representation from the occupational-field that the programme is intended for.
Good Cooperative and Work-integrated Education practice is characterised by:
- An appropriate advisory system ensuring the retained relevance of the programme through providing regular updating input and critique about the existing curriculum.
- Continuous propagating and cultivating activities to retain and expand a supportive occupational community which is vital for (a) providing real-life work experience opportunities; as well as (b) mentoring of students by workplace supervisors during period of experience; and (c) evaluative input about the competence acquisition of students for graduation purposes.
The metaphor (rhizomatous propagation) suggests:
- Starting of a new garden from good quality rhizomes (irises, cannas and asparagus) — curriculum design in close collaboration with the vocational community and/or professional/statutory body.
- Keep the programme flavour just right by cooking/brewing with good quality rhizomes (ginger, hops and turmeric) — frequently consult the community of practice.
- The underground rhizome is crucial to longevity — foragers, insects, fungus, and fires may attempt to damage the qualification (the above-ground portion of an aspen colony), but a supportive group of practitioners will keep the qualification healthy and protected against threats.
- Rhizomes send out internodes that form roots from the bottom of the nodes and new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes — the members of the programme’s advisory system are instrumental in expanding the network of supportive organisations.
- Similar to a rhizome, a stolon (e.g. strawberry plants) grow long internodes that generates new shoots at the end — active marketing interventions takes place to generate wider support.
- A rhizome (also stem tuber or enlarged stolon) serves as storage organ that is often high in starch (e.g. common potatoes) — enabling survival during winter or drought.
- The rhizomes of some species grow above ground, e.g. iris species lie at the soil surface; whereas other are underground, e.g. bamboo — some members of the community of practice render explicit support whereas the contributions of other are equivocal.
- Generally rhizomes form a single layer, but some form a multi-tiered mass — in some communities of practice a qualification may lead to a variety of career paths, whereas in other it is limited.