Presentation on theme: "Being a Graduate in the Twenty-first Century"— Presentation transcript:
1Being a Graduate in the Twenty-first Century Sub-brand to go hereBeing a Graduate in the Twenty-first CenturyRonald Barnett, Institute of Education, LondonInternational Career Studies Symposium, University of Reading, September, 2009Centre for HigherEducation Studies
2Context – and Emma’s tale A present context: the unemployed graduate‘Last year, I created a new society for the University, for my course. That involved quite a lot of responsibility and taking control and I’ve never been in that, sort of, leadership position before. … the society stuff definitely helped my degree – if no other reason than just feeling more accessible to the lecturers and the tutors.‘I’m [also] an artist .. I tend to do [large] landscapes in acylics.Q Do you see that as something quite separate or do you think it spills over in any way?‘Yeah, I think it does in a way because I was thinking about how long it takes me to do the paintings, I think that’s, kind of, patience and the motivation to do it because there’s times when I think, I just want to give up.’
3Beginning questions So from these two starting points: Just what is it to be a graduate in the C21?Just what might we hope for from our students?What might they want of themselves?How might we understand ‘career’ now (eg amid (worldwide) recession)What is it to learn in a university? What are the responsibilities of a university towards its students?
4Changing answers Built successively around the themes of: knowledge/ understanding (‘initiation’)skills (‘employability’)And now emerging?wellbeing (‘therapy’)citizenship (‘the global citizen’)
5The twenty-first century ChallengeChangeUncertaintyComplexity/ supercomplexityDivision – differences – of values, of resources, of perspectivesGlobal dimension
6Students as Global Citizens A care/ concern for the worldA sense of interconnectednessNot living in one’s own worldHelping to bring about a better world (cf ‘wisdom’)A project of ‘engagement’Implies first-handedness; genuine (critical) thought & actionImpact on curriculaAnd on opportunities while a student
7Forms of learning Sense that learning takes place in multiple sites Even for the studentIs anything special about the student’s academic learning?Lifewide learning – horizontal learningLifelong learning – learning through time(We’ll come back to these matters in a moment.)
8The ideas of ‘graduate attributes’ & ‘graduateness’ (So) the world presents human being with considerable challenges – technical, social, communicative, personalWe look to graduates esp to be human beings who can live purposively in the face of these challengesEven to be exemplary human beingsSuch a world requires, in the first place, neither knowledge nor skills but dispositions and qualities of certain kinds
9Dispositions for a world of challenge A will to learnA will to engageA preparedness to listenA preparedness to exploreA willingness to hold oneself open to experiencesA determination to keep going forward
10Qualities for a world of challenge CarefulnessCourageResilienceSelf-disciplineIntegrityRestraintRespect for othersOpenness
11Dispositions and qualities compared The dispositions are necessary; the qualities have a degree of optionality in themHence, just a few dispositions; but many qualitiesThe dispositions enable one to go forwardThe qualities colour that forward movement; give it ‘character’
12The (higher) educational significance of the dispositions and qualities The dispositions and qualities are concomitants of a genuine higher educationCurricula and pedagogies could nurture themBut often fall shortStudents are denied curricula space, and pedagogical affirmationBut the dispositions and qualities (above) are logically implied in a ‘higher’ education.
13The idea of a careerThe idea of ‘career’ implied steady progression in a particular (and challenging) field of workAnd that there were clear boundaries between work and non-workBoth of those axioms have to be ditchedAgainst the considerations here, a ‘career’ becomes the continuous public working out of one’s possibilities in an uncertain worldIt is the sedimentation of the dispositions and the widening and strengthening of the qualitiesIn particular, the will to learn (disposition) and courage and openness (qualities) are paramount‘Careers Units’ should perhaps be renamed ‘For-Life Units’
14Lifewide learningBeing a graduate (it follows) calls for both lifelong and for lifewide learningIf lifelong lng is lng through one’s lifespan, lifewide learning is learning across one’s life experiencesImplications for universities: the opening up of learning experiences outside the formal curriculum – both on and off campus.It just may be that graduates gain as much – in the formation of the dispositions and qualities – from non-formal settings as from the formal curriculum.So the idea of the ‘life-informed curriculum’ beckons(We are unclear as to the relationships between the student’s manifold sites of learning; to what degree learning in one domain can assist learning in another domain. The answer may lie in Ds and Qs.)
15Conclusions Becoming clearer about being a graduate in the C21 calls for a sense of the world in which graduates find themselves& of the responsibilities graduates have in the world- to themselves and to others and even to the world itselfIn turn, the idea of ‘career’ diminishesBut there arises larger questions as to the relationshipbetween graduates and the wider worldIn turn, arise profound issues over curriculum & pedagogy& in turn, arise qs as to the responsibilities of universitiesAnd so arises the question of the university in the C21It is that, no less, that lies before us in these considerations.Institute of EducationUniversity of London20 Bedford WayLondon WC1H 0ALTel +44 (0)Fax +44 (0)Web