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Contemplating Whitehead's Freedom and Discipline

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Jones, CD (2007) Contemplating Whitehead's Freedom and Discipline. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 4 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1449-9789

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Abstract

This paper extends the previous application of Alfred Whitehead's educational ideas to the domain of enterprise education. In doing so, a unique approach to enterprise education is illustrated that links students to their reality whilst also connecting the curriculum to contemporary entrepreneurship theory. The paper reports upon past cycles of reflective practice related to the developing hic et nunc teaching and learning framework. Two specific findings of note have emerged. First, that student' learning outcomes are enhanced through the oscillating influence of freedom and discipline. However, in the absence of either factor, sub-optimal outcomes are seen to occur. That is, an imbalance between freedom and discipline has resulted in sub-optimal outcomes from either a lack of student interest or an inability to adequately apply acquired knowledge. Where gains have been made, the most obvious process has been through consultation with students. Second, that the students also play an important role in shaping the nature of the learning environments within which they interact. Both findings are of significant importance to all academics charged with the responsibility of developing enterprise education curriculum. The main implication of the paper is that in the absence of sound pedagogical practises, it is possible that enterprise programs may develop a tendency to reinforce past practises. The processes of constructive alignment and criterion-based assessment are argued to offer avenues through which students can influence the educational process. They also provide the educator with a reflective pathway through which continual improvements are constantly possible. This paper provides other academics with a window through which to view the ongoing development of a process that has been recognised nationally for teaching excellence and influenced many fine young entrepreneurs. The paper also draws attention to a set of core educational philosophies that have transferable value to any academic setting. It is noted that the task of developing a learner-centred curriculum for enterprise education has been an entrepreneurial endeavour in itself. Many mistakes have been made and many memorable achievements have been celebrated.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Whitehead, Curriculum Development, Entrepreneurship Education
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice
Page Range: pp. 1-12
ISSN: 1449-9789
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:17
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