Cape Peninsula University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 6804-6809
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
This paper speaks to the following topic areas:

•Education: New trends and experiences - Innovative, hybrid teaching and learning models for the future.

•Research: New trends and experiences - Innovative approaches to practice-based research.

•Curriculum design: Practice-based curricula.

•University-industry co-operation: The needs of industry and the requirements of academia.

‘Do our teaching philosophies and methods, lesson plans and research methodologies, allow for the following modes of thinking and action: Indeterminacy, improvisation and innovation?’

To be relevant in the shaping of social life, the symbiotic relationship between all stakeholders in the area of higher education, and in the field of design specifically - from student to teacher, from the academy to industry - should ideally be both collaborative, as well as iterative and create synergies.

There has been much debate globally and in South Africa over the past decade about whether and how higher education institutions should become more responsive to social and economic needs.

In this paper I argue for the development of a creative and innovative culture of teaching, learning and research by design; for extending "knowledge through research, teaching or service to the direct benefit of external social partners" (Staak et al; 2010) by 'writing' new curricula that "expand the intellectual horizons and critical faculties of our students," (Nzimande; 2010) encourage practice-based approaches to teaching, learning and research, and address real world problems by extending interactions with local and global communities.

I propose post-Outcomes Based Education curriculum reform, and in particular a Curriculum for Innovation, as a method for navigating the indeterminacy, uncertainty and fluidity of the higher education landscape and for responding to a world of constant change.

It is my contention that giving equal weight to both visual and written components in practice-based teaching and learning interventions, as well as practice-based academic inquiry, could create new teaching and learning possibilities and a diversified curriculum that is better-aligned with the world of work.

Bearing this in mind, I suggest that visual documentation i.e. personal practice-based narratives in the form of teaching and learning portfolios and reflective journals emanating from one’s own personal, workplace experiences and observations - be it in the lecture hall or design studio - would not only effectively address the dominance of ‘language as text’ in academic discourse, but could, at the same time, “provide the labour market in a knowledge‐driven and knowledge‐dependent society, with the ever‐changing high‐level competencies and expertise necessary for the growth and prosperity of a modern economy." (DoE, 1997:7)
Innovative, reflective, narrative, practice-based.