Creating the reasonable adventurer: the co-evolution of student and learning environment
Jones, C, Creating the reasonable adventurer: the co-evolution of student and learning environment, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14, (2) pp. 228-240. ISSN 1462-6004 (2007) [Refereed Article]
Purpose – This paper seeks to address the issue of how graduate skills are developed. The focus is
not on which skills, but rather what type of learning environments are required within higher
education to support the development of skills valued and demanded by SMEs within Australia.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper takes a step back to consider the underlying issue of
how an individual student’s habits of thought are altered. In doing so, the past works of Morgan,
Dewey, Whitehead, and Tyler are synthesized with the modern work of Baxter Magolda, Heath, and
Findings – It is argued that that without the development of a student-centred learning environment,
most graduates will not develop the types of skills demanded by SMEs in a meaningful way. The
failure to treat knowledge and skills as equal drivers of curriculum design will result in an imbalance
that relegates skill development to a secondary learning outcome.
Practical implications – By removing the distraction of what skills should be developed, a clearer
focus is possible regarding how educators should assist students to develop a broad array of generic
graduate skills. From this perspective, skills can be viewed as an essential element of the educational
process, rather than a new element that must be squeezed in between content.
Originality/value – This paper extends recent discussion of skills development through the use of
an evolutionary perspective. Viewed as a process of creating social change, education becomes
increasingly connected to a world that lies beyond institutional boundaries, thus promoting the notion
of developing graduates for the world that awaits them.
Graduate Skills; Enterprise Education; Self-Development; Australian SMEs, Niche Construction