2nd Asia-Pacific Educational Integrity Conference
Are we there yet??
Laurine Hurley - Australian Catholic University
Does the curriculum fit the student for practice? Does practice fit the curriculum for the student? Few would disagree that curriculum is complex – defined (Barnett 2000) as containing/requiring more facts, data, evidence and tasks than are easily manageable within our current frameworks. Higher education finds itself situated now in an environment of supercomplexity, Barnett argues, whereby the frameworks in which we make sense of our world are themselves no longer inviolate. Higher education must be responsive to the (perceived) needs of society, both at large and in the narrower discipline in which it may be based; this almost inevitably leads to uncertainty and questioning. How easy is it, in fact, for us to read and interpret these needs – indeed, are the messages clear and unambiguous at source? Do we educate for local or for global needs, and how do we define these? Who influences the design of curriculum, why and how? How can we best incorporate technology – from the everyday use of PowerPoint to the intricacies of web-based assessment and teaching – to assist learning rather than overwhelm with glitz and showmanship? Perhaps the most vexed issue in the “vocational” disciplines (nursing and teaching for example) is balancing encouragement of self-direction and/or experiential learning with the release into the wild of a suitable and safe practitioner. How can we avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Learning and educating in a climate of supercomplexity requires new tools and the skills to use, and not be used by, them.