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Learning for a complex world

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 11 years, 10 months ago

Preparing our students for a lifetime of working, learning and living in uncertain and unpredictable worlds that have yet to be revealed is perhaps one of the greatest responsibilities and challenges confronting universities all over the world. In fact preparing ourselves for what lies ahead is perhaps our greatest personal challenge.Thinking about such things raises different questions to the ones we normally consider when we talk about employability which tend to focus on what we know and understand now, rather than the sorts of capability, attitude, thinking and creativity that will enable our students to prosper in an indeterminate and unknowable future. You might argue that this is an impossible and futile task but simply grappling with such imponderables can be a useful exercise as through it we might come to see what we need to do. 



SCEPTrE expressed this 'wicked problem' in a symbolic image which tries to provide an imaginative view of the sorts of qualities, dispositions and capabilities that might be needed to move forward into an emergent world. In June 2007 we ran a conference at the University of Surrey 'Learning for a Complex World: Enquiry' and as part of this enterprise we established our first wiki - Complex World Wiki. Its a good example of trying to work in a connective way by opening up a thought or idea and exploring it and creating a structure where people can add ideas that are meaningfull to them. 


We have come to the conclusion that we need to develop a different approach to learning in higher education if we are to fulfill our moral purpose of helping learners prepare for the rest of their lives and we are in the early stages of inventing a new curriculum structure to provide us with the space and opportunity to do this. We are calling it a life-wide curriculum.




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