Tuesday, August 25, 2009

meat in the sandwich; and which relish would you like with that?

William Doll's approach to curriculum is very much one of relating, something neither he nor I see a lot of in a functional approach of outcome based ideas married to assessment processes; easily audited but loses the plot.
To instead take Dewey's vision of integrating education, schooling, curriculum and community into a seamless whole, would require conversation. A willingness to engage with those involved, with authenticity.
Taking Daniel Pink's suggestions in arguing the economical transition needed, for conceptual rather than knowledge workers similarly emphasises the relational also.
But that would take some fundamental shifts that valued communication skills; listening and empathy. Such skills seem to my mind to be in diminishing supply in the university that is increasingly focused on technologies mediating its purpose. Such devices as ppt and content management systems can be useful, but its worth looking at how such shaping impacts on teaching and learning...not just at a technological application level but a level that looks at the sociotechnical relationships that evolve. Jan Nespor does a fine job of this bringing together an analysis including the wider picture of how come there was a readiness for this evolution in current teaching and learning practices in the university. I'm enjoying his writing style with personable quips such as "how had my work ended up as meat on somebody's lunch line?" A sentiment I can relate to.

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