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Preparing for practice in the age of complexity

By Nita Cherry


In The university of learning, John Bowden and Ference Marton explore the idea that being able to handle varying and unfamiliar conditions is fundamental to effective practice in ‘real life’. They suggest that in an age of rapid change and complexity, the challenge for educators and students is to ‘prepare for the unknown by means of the known’, and they offer the powerful proposition that the educational experience itself should provide rich diversity in the ways in which learning encourages engagement with phenomena. Variation, they suggest, is fundamental to what they call the ‘whole idea’ of the university. This paper is a tribute to John Bowden, reflecting upon the significance of his thinking for the development of teaching and learning practice. In particular, it explores the practical possibilities and the fruitful, though considerable, challenges of deliberately introducing variation into teaching and learning in the university context

Topics: Educational experience, Higher education, Teaching and learning, 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1080/07294360500284649
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