Enacting Deep Learning for Building a Knowledge Economy: An Ecological Approach to Teaching Business Management in a New Degree
Developing the capacity for amplification of brain power is critical in preparing our graduates for success in the Knowledge Era. In particular, New Zealand's Government's comprehensive strategies for taking advantage of the knowledge revolution require educated population capable of creating, sharing and using knowledge to its full potential. In many cases, however, this creates the need for unlocking learners' ingrained approaches to individual and organizational learning acquired in previous learning environments. To overcome their resistance to change and defensive routines, academics and students need to take a transformational leadership approach (Avdjieva, 2004) to developing their capacity for deep learning in an Innovation Driven Economy. This paper shares learning experiences in facilitating the paradigm shift towards Learner Centred Teaching (Weimer, 2003) through the integration of educational (Frielick, 2003) and organisational learning theories (Romme, 2003; Senge, 2000). Specific collaborative and dialogical strategies for fostering a productive learning environment are formulated through practising Reflection-in- and on-Action. Both students and academics are expected to learn how to learn (Argyris, 1991) by practising the disciplines of a learning organisation (Senge, 1990). This is captured in the 8 C's framework, which was devised over the past three years. A culture of deep learning (Ramsden, 1992) and agility is fostered through Collaboratively inter-Connecting Content and Curriculum design in ways that are meaningful for students now, and in the future. Students' Confidence in, and Capacity for, amplification of their brain power in and out of the Classroom and, in turn, fostering themselves cultures of quality organisational learning, are being built through Competencies underpinning self-directed and collaborative learning. This new frame for learning makes students active participants in co-creating beneficial knowledge and practices. Recent graduates emphasise its role in them becoming leaders who can foster a culture of initiative, Collaboration and accountability — the keys to building a Knowledge Economy.
Keywords: Knowledge Era/ Society/ Economy, Transformational Leadership, Curriculum, Culture of Deep Learning, Organisational Learning, Learning organisation, Dialogic and Collaborative Pedagogy, Control and Agency
Senior Tutor, University of Auckland Business School (UABS) Tamaki Division , The University of Auckland