Graduates for a changing world Dr Simon Barrie (University of

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					                       Graduates for a changing world

                   Dr Simon Barrie (University of Sydney)

PowerPoint Presentation slides from the Keynote address at the Teaching for
Learning Showcase at the University of Canberra (Friday 11 February, 2005)


Our world is changing. Not only are the students who come to us different,
what they need from an education is different. The world our graduates need
to thrive in is one of change and uncertainty which many would characterise
as the essence of modern life. What is needed is not simply more knowledge
or new skills; what is needed is a new way of being in the world. This has
some fundamental implications for how universities conceive of their
educational role and with this some challenges for what we teach and the way
we teach it.

This keynote address will draw on recent research conducted at the University of
Sydney to consider how the idea of generic graduate attributes might yet prove
helpful in thinking about how we might reshape tertiary education to better suit
these needs. It will consider why the rhetoric of 'graduate attributes' policy has
not necessarily been matched by the sorts of experiences tertiary education
institutions offer to students nor the outcomes their graduates evince. It will
consider how the University of Sydney is using these ideas about graduate
attributes to shape policy and teaching and then encourage those in the
audience to think about how they might use graduate attributes to reframe their
own teaching and curricula.
Graduates for a changing
world                                                      A changing world

                                                           • The world our graduates need to thrive
11 February 2005
Celebrating Excellence at the University of Canberra         in is one that is characterised by change
                                                             and uncertainty

                                                           • Knowledge?
Simon Barrie                                               • Skills?
Institute for Teaching and Learning
                                                           • An attitude to Being?
The University of Sydney
                                                       1                                                      2

What qualities should graduates                            How have universities sought to
of your degree possess?                                    articulate such purposes?
                                                           • Graduate Attributes: These are the
                                                             qualities skills and understandings that a
• Maybe not what they should know,                           university community agrees its students
                                                             should develop during their time with the
• maybe not even the skills they need to                     institution and consequently shape the
  apply what they know,                                      contribution they are able to make to their
                                                             profession and society….They are qualities
                                                             that also prepare graduates as agents of
• but maybe how they might go about                          social good in an unknown future.
                                                                                            (Bowden et al 2000)
  applying what they should know.                      3                                                      4

Statements of generic graduate
                                                           Curricula outcomes
• Have the potential to articulate newer forms
  of knowledge espoused by the academic
                                                           • The rhetoric of policy has not
                                                             necessarily been matched by the sorts
• However, rarely gone beyond a limited                      of experiences universities offer to
  articulation of knowledge and skills                       students nor the outcomes their
                                                             graduates evince.
• What impact have such ideas had on the
  sorts of educational experiences our students
  engage in?
                                                       5                                                      6
 Why haven’t university communities
 engaged in an effective way in creating                              What do academics mean by ‘generic
 learning experiences for students that                               attributes’
 achieve these sorts of outcomes?
                                                                      • A hierarchy of four increasingly complex
 • [Graduate attributes initiatives in the UK] have had                 understandings of the nature of graduate
   little impact so far in part because of teachers'                    attributes as outcomes
   scepticism of the message, the messenger and its
   vocabulary and in part because the skills demanded                 • Related to these understandings of outcomes
   lack clarity, consistency and a recognisable                         were six different understandings of the
   theoretical base. Any attempt to acquire enhanced                    process of teaching and learning such
   understandings of practice through which to inform                   attributes.
   staff and course development initiatives requires
   conceptualisation and development of models of                     • Certain outcomes were associated with
   generic skills.                   (Bennet et al 1999, p 90)
                                                                        certain processes (Barrie 2004).
                                                                  7                                                   8

                                                                      A hierarchy of complementary
Conceptions of Graduate Attributes                                    approaches
 • Academics understand generic
   attributes as:                                                     • A hierarchical model with Enabling strategies
                                                                        subsuming and being supported by
                                                                        Translating strategies, which in turn are
 •   Precursor Attributes                                               supported by Complementary and
 •   Complementary Attributes                                           Precursory strategies.
 •   Translating Attributes
 •   Enabling Attributes
                                                                  9                                                  10

                                                                      Revised Policy
       How is this research being                                     • The revised policy identifies three
     applied to policy and curriculum                                   overarching (Mode 3, Enabling Conception)
                                                                      • Scholarship: An attitude or stance towards
                                                                      • Global Citizenship: An attitude or stance
                                                                        towards the world
                                                                      • Lifelong Learning: An attitude or stance
                                                                        towards themselves
                                                                 11                                                  12
Scholarship: An attitude or stance towards            Global Citizenship: An attitude or stance
knowledge                                             towards the world

• Graduates of the University will have a
  scholarly attitude to knowledge and                 • Graduates of the University will be Global
  understanding. As Scholars, the University’s          Citizens, who will aspire to contribute to
  graduates will be leaders in the production of        society in a full and meaningful way through
  new knowledge and understanding through               their roles as members of local, national and
  inquiry, critique and synthesis. They will be         global communities.
  able to apply their knowledge to solve
  consequential problems and communicate
  their knowledge confidently and effectively .

                                                 13                                                                     14

Lifelong Learning: An attitude or stance towards      Each of these three overarching attributes can
themselves                                            be understood as a combination of five
                                                      overlapping clusters of (mode 3 & 2) skills and
• Graduates of the University will be Lifelong
                                                      1 Research and Inquiry
  Learners committed to and capable of
  continuous learning and reflection for the          2 Information Literacy
  purpose of furthering their understanding of
  the world and their place in it.                    3 Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
                                                      4 Ethical, Social and Professional Understanding
                                                      5 Communication

                                                 15                                                                     16

                                                      Research and Inquiry: Graduates of the
A different way of conceptualising the same           University will be able to create new knowledge
attributes                                            & understanding through the process of
                                                      research & inquiry

                                                      •   be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or
                                                          create processes to solve them
                                                      •   be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in
                                                          creating new understanding
                                                      •   be creative and imaginative thinkers
                                                      •   have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards,
                                                          values and boundaries of their discipline and the capacity to
                                                          question these
                                                      •   be able to critically evaluate existing understandings and
                                                          recognise the limitations of their own knowledge

                                                 17                                                                     18
Research and Inquiry at the Conservatorium of Music:
•   be able to identify, define and analyse problems in written work,
    composition, teaching and performance and identify or create        • Changing context for our graduates to live in
    processes to solve them
                                                                        • ‘Generic attributes’ try to articulate outcomes but don’t
•   be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in
    creating new understandings in relation to music analysis, music      match these needs - besides had little impact so far!
    composition, music education, music history, music technology,      • Started from what academics understand by generic
    and music performance                                                 attributes as conceptual basis for policy
•   be creative, imaginative and independent thinkers in their          • Acknowledge mode 3 outcomes from a university
    musical endeavours
                                                                          education while articulating mode 2 outcomes and
•   have an informed respect for the principles, standards, values
    and boundaries of current music knowledge, pedagogy and               recognising the role of mode 1 knowledge
    performance practice.                                               • Contribution of the different types of initiatives already in
•   be able to question critically and to evaluate current music          place can be recognised - an organising principle
    knowledge and compositional, pedagogical and performance
    practices, acknowledging global and historical diversity and        • This has implications for curriculum and teaching
    recognising the limitations of their own knowledge
                                                                   19                                                                20

Challenges for Teaching and
Curricula                                                               How will you teach for uncertainty?

•   Teaching can't be all about facts
•   Not about somebody else teaching skills                               • Through their studies students need to
•   Not about additional content                                            develop a habit of mind that is about
•   Integrated within discipline learning                                   living with multiple solutions and
•   Learning the subject in a different way                                 multiple perspectives - about living with
•   But even active learning in applied contexts is                         uncertainty…… do you teach that?
    only part of the answer

                                                                   21                                                                22

Learning experiences that foster
these attributes
                                                                          •   Building a learning community is hard
•   Active learning                                                       •   Discipline teachers foregrounded
•   Inquiry learning                                                      •   Change to learning outcomes & assessment
•   Peer assisted learning                                                •   Coordination across subjects
•   Student-centred teaching                                              •   Coordination across university (foundation)
•   Authentic learning                                                    •   Student focused to achieve engagement
•   Collaborative learning                                                •   Focus on broader university experience
•   Learning communities

                                                                   23                                                                24
 A curriculum revolution?
                                                                            Please…..share your ideas at…....
 • The endeavourby universities to foster the
   development of generic capabilities in their students
   constitutes ….. a significant challenge to conventional
   teaching and learning arrangements. (Bowden et al               /
   2000 p 10)

 • Challenge’…..a revolution more likely!

 • But revolutions can start with a single individual…..

                                                                      25                                                                           26

                                                                             Complementary Attributes
 Precursor Attributes
                                                                             • GGA are higher (university) level, additional generic outcomes
                                                                               (mode 2) that usefully complement or round out (mode 1) discipline
• Generic graduate attributes (GGA) are necessary precursor skills
  and abilities that are separate to discipline knowledge and lear ning
  however they are vital precursors to such (mode 1) learning.
                                                                             • Functional, atomistic, personal skills that, while an important addition
                                                                               to disciplinary learning, are quite distinct from other university
• Most students are expected to have these undifferentiated
                                                                               learning outcomes.
  foundation skills (like English language proficiency or basic
  numeracy on entry and any consideration of such skills at a
  university level would be remedial only.                                   • Addressed by the inclusion of an additional unit (or units) of s tudy in
                                                                               a course, an additional series of lectures or workshops within an
                                                                               existing unit, or through the inclusion of a particular learning task to
• As such, these attributes are seen as largely irrelevant in the              address the development of these attributes. This additional GGA
  context of the courses these academics teach.
                                                                               curriculum is part of the usual curriculum for all students.

• This additional remedial curriculum (an additional foundation skills
                                                                             • GGA do not interact with discipline knowledge and the attributes are
  course or a series of remedial workshops or similar support) should          essentially generic, although different attributes might be more or
  be provided by other non-disciplinary teachers.                     27       less important in the context of different disciplines.          28

 Translating Attributes                                                      Translating Attributes…..

  • GGA are important university learning outcomes that allow studen ts      • Because of the relationship between graduate attributes and
    to make use of & apply discipline knowledge. (Mode 2 knowledge)            knowledge in the different disciplines, in these strategies attr ibutes
                                                                               are differentiated by the discipline context.
  • These understandings position graduate attributes as clusters of
    personal attributes, cognitive abilities and skills of application.      • Rather than being generic, graduate attributes are specialised and
                                                                               differentiated forms of underlying generic abilities which are
                                                                               developed to meet the needs of a specific discipline or field of
  • While still separate to discipline knowledge, graduate attributes are
    no longer seen as independent of this knowledge. Instead, the              knowledge.
    graduate attributes interact with, and shape, discipline knowledge
    (for instance through the application of abstract or context specific    • Because of the intimate relation to discipline knowledge these
    discipline knowledge to the world of work and society), and are in         attributes are usually developed within the context of usual classes,
    turn shaped by this disciplinary knowledge.                                either as part of the usual course content, through the usual te aching
                                                                               processes of that content or (from a student centred perspective),
                                                                               through the students' engagement in the course.

                                                                      29                                                                           30
Enabling Attributes                                                           Enabling Attributes…….

• GGA are not seen as parallel learning outcomes to discipline
  knowledge, but as abilities that sit at very heart of discipline            • They might be learnt in the context of discipline knowledge as an
  knowledge and learning.                                                       integral element of students' experience of engaging in their co urses,
                                                                                or through students' engagement in the broader experience of
• Rather than clusters of attributes, graduate attributes are understood        participation in the university community.
  as interwoven networks of these clusters.
                                                                              • From this perspective, graduate attributes have the potential to
• These interwoven attitudes and capabilities give graduates a                  outlast the knowledge and contexts in which they were originally
  particular perspective or world- view (ie a way of relating to the world,     acquired. Moreover they provide a framework for engaging with th e
  or to knowledge, or to themselves). (Mode 3 knowledge)                        world and with ongoing learning of new knowledge.

• GGA provide the skeleton to discipline knowledge and are learnt as                                                                            ts
                                                                              • As such the generic attributes transcend the disciplinary contex in
  an integral part of that knowledge.                                           which they were originally acquired.

                                                                      31                                                                         32

Policy Revision
• revised to reflect the hierarchical nature of these
• The over-arching graduate attributes articulate the
  university’s mission to foster mode 3 knowledge and
  the distinctive nature and outcomes of a research-
  intensive undergraduate experience
• The revised policy also articulates a conception of
  graduate attributes as university level outcomes
  related to, & developed in discipline contexts
• The policy also recognises that stand-alone 'generic
  skills' initiatives provide valuable foundation level

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