Curriculum Development: What constitutes a professional degree. Suellen Shay 4 September 2013

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1 Curriculum Development: What constitutes a professional degree Suellen Shay 4 September 2013

2 Outline What are our curriculum challenges? World is changing Pressure for curriculum renewal Policy helpful to a point but The unhelpful false choices A conceptual frame for thinking about curriculum development Different kinds of knowledge Different kinds of curriculum [Different student/professional identities] Implications: Masters/Professional Masters

3 Drive for innovation Technology Rising middle class expectation Growth & specialization of K Increased competition Threats to professions Shrinking state resources Massification/Shrinking Threats to autonomy Growing inequality Problem-driven science Decrease in public/ Increase in private money Global movement/ Internationalization Shifts in power from Developed/emerging Economies Rise of Africa

4 What are the big (curriculum) issues: Low participation high drop-out Depth of specialization and breadth of exposure Graduate attributes Professional identities Unemployment and under-employment of graduates

5 Edu. Sectors Levels New NQF (HEQF levels 5-10) HET 10 P O S 9 T G R A D Vocational/ Career-Focused 8 Postgraduate Diploma Doctoral Degree Professional Master s/master s Degree Professional/General-formative Honours Bachelor s degree 7 U N D E 6 Advanced R Certificate G R A 5 Higher D Certificate Advanced Diploma (1 yr) Diploma Bachelor s degree FET 2-4 National Senior Certificate or National Certificate (Vocational) GET 1 General Education and Training Certificate

6 Critiques of curriculum reform o Shift to outcomes o Designing-down o Gutting-out of knowledge o False choices

7 False Choices Employability vs. Educating the mind Vocational vs. Academic Knowing vs. Being Problem-based vs. Disciplined-based Depth vs. Breadth Mode 1 vs. Mode 2

8 Key curriculum reform issues : In what ways are these differentiated pathways access to different forms of knowledge? Unless we do the hard conceptual work, we run the risk of re-differenting, re-segregating our students along these tracks. Social access to HE must translate into epistemic access access to powerful forms of knowledge.

9 Social access and epistemic access to knowledge are causally related, because the latter is a condition for the former. Unless we have epistemic access to knowledge we cannot be part of (societies ) conversation(s). This is relevant in the academic disciplines, but also for occupational fields of practice and the knowledge base that underpins practice. This is why theoretical knowledge must be at the centre of all educational qualifications, including vocational qualifications. (Wheelahan 2010).

10 Occupational fields and knowledge Particular occupations General occupations Professions Research based work Labour market Eg. Travel agents, hospitality workers Eg. Engineering trades (fitters, boilermakers), HR operators Eg. Engineers, lawyers, architects, HR managers, doctors, teachers, social workers Academics, researchers, new white collar welfare and service workers Knowledge Largely practical Knowledge Practical knowledge plus some applied theory Applied theory plus practical experience Largely theoretical progression of the discipline Induction On-the-jobtraining, some apprenticeship Apprenticeship External internship (eg. pupilage, housemanship) Internal internship (eg. postdoctoral work, tenure) Regulation (Muller 2009, p. 10) Moderate to weak sectoral regulation (eg hairdresser s practical test) Moderate sectoral regulation (eg trade test) Strong sectoral regulation (eg board exams.) Moderate to strong disciplinary regulation (peer review)

11 Framework for conceptualizing: Bernstein 2000.different kinds of knowledge; Muller 2009.different kinds of curriculum logics;.different progressions of knowledge and skills. Maton 2013, Shay 2013

12 Field of Knowledge Production Field of Curriculum

13 Types of Knowledge experience horizontal informal context-dependent practice particular vertical Formal theory empirical general context-independent (Bernstein 2000)

14 Different Curriculum Logics + Contextual +Conceptual (-conceptual Coherence) (-contextual coherence) Logic: external (region) Logic: internal (discipline) Muller 2009

15 To. curriculum plane Conceptual (+/-) Contextual (+/-)

16 Contextual - Field of Knowledge Production Theoretical knowledge Generic curricula Theoretical curricula Field of Curriculum Conceptual - Professional/ Conceptual + Practical curricula vocational curricula Practical knowledge Professional knowledge/ practice Contextual +

17 What does all this have to do with professional masters?

18 Purpose of Qualification Curriculum Orientation Relationship b/w Theory/practice Assessment Masters Professional Masters Conceptual Demand

19 Purpose of Qualification Masters.to educate and train researchers who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level. Professional Masters..to educate and train graduates who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level such that they are prepared for advanced and specialised professional employment.

20 Masters Professional Masters Curriculum Orientation

21 Different curriculum orientations (or logic) Contextual - Generic Theoretical MASTER S Conceptual - Conceptual + PROFESSIONAL MASTER S Practical Professional Contextual +

22 Masters Professional Masters Relationship of Theory to Practice Theory-driven: practice serves the theory Practice/probl em driven: theory serves the practice

23 Assessment Masters able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, design and critically appraise analytical writing, make sound judgments using data and information at their disposal and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks with a professional orientation, and continue to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to a particular Genre: profession. thesis Research literacies are those required in academia: coverage of literature, theoretical rigour, application of theory to data, overall argument Professional Masters Research literacies of prof. practice: application of literature, theory to solving a complex problem, persuasive case to external audience Genre: report, project

24 Masters Professional Masters Conceptual Demand Increasing levels of theoretical engagement A high level theoretical engagement and intellectual independence as well as demonstration of the ability to relate knowledge to the resolution of complex problems in appropriate areas of professional practice. Increasing levels of theory/practice integration in problem-solving

25 Conceptual demand: Progression Context - Concept - Concept + Context +

26 Masters Professional Masters Purpose of Qualification development of knowledge at an advanced level. so that they are prepared for advanced and specialised professional employment. Curriculum Orientation Conceptually oriented Contextually oriented w/ strong conceptual roots Relationship b/w Theory/practice Theory-driven practice serves the theory Practice/problem driven theory serves the practice Assessment Conceptual Demand Research literacies required for advanced academic study Increasing levels of theoretical engagement Research literacies required for professional practice Increasing levels of theory/practice integration in problem-solving

27 What is the same: The NQF level both level 9 Depending on their background, students will need support for master s level research literacies Alignment between purpose, pedagogy and assessment is crucial

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