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Balancing knowledge construction and skills training in universities of technology

McKenna, Sioux; Sutherland, Lee

Abstract:

This article considers the prevalence of what have been termed 'training discourses' as dominant practices within a particular University of Technology, and discusses the implications of such discourses for teaching and learning. The rapid emergence of this training or skills discourse in Universities of Technology in South Africa, in preference to discourses that emphasise praxis (a combination of theory and practice) and, by implication, of social redress and transformation, is interrogated within the framework of the current emphasis on training for economic growth. While in some instances the training discourses could be considered empowering for students because of the inclusion of authentic, workplace practices, these discourses could also be considered constraining if they limit students' ability to solve problems critically and creatively. The ability to adapt to new and changing workplace environments, this article will argue, could be better developed by a more developmental discourse of 'critiquing', 'knowing' and 'doing', rather than just 'doing'.

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Document Title: Balancing knowledge construction and skills training in universities of technology
Journal: Perspectives in Education
Volume: 24
Issue: 3
No. of Pages: 15-24


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Teaching and Learning
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Knowledge Production, Universities of Technology, Skills Training, Vocational Education and Training VET


Rights:Publisher
Date Added:08 March 2011


McKenna, Sioux; Sutherland, Lee (2006). Balancing knowledge construction and skills training in universities of technology