‘The World Universities Forum has been created in the belief that there is an urgent need for academe to connect more directly and boldly with the large questions of our time’ (http://ontheuniversity.com/ideas/; accessed 20100914). In this paper, we examine the core educational function of the university in the light of this conception of the university’s role in society. The question at issue is this: what are the curriculum and teaching implications of a university’s commitment to addressing the fundamental challenges of the twenty-first century? This paper draws from, reflects on and shares some of the ideas crystallising out of the first author’s PhD research on challenges of educational design in the twenty-first century university. We focus on the concepts of human aspiration and education for personal agency. We develop our case by reporting on two case studies – the first author’s PhD theorising and Charles Sturt University (Australia’s) institutional renewal project. We are in the process of ascertaining whether our emergent curriculum of becoming theory or mindspace could provide universities with an alternative approach to curriculum design – one that not only places students’ individual and shared meaning making centre-stage, but also one that enables universities to engage in the challenges of the twenty-first century as ‘participants in the travail’ rather than as arms-length knowledge brokers.
|Keywords:||Curriculum, Theory, Aspiration, Agency, Being, Becoming|
Teaching and Staff Development Coordinator, Learning and Teaching Services, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW, Australia
Director, The Education for Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University, North Parramatta, NSW, Australia
Deputy Director, The Education for Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW, Australia
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