Hypothetical Implications of the Model

The sketched systemic model of competency development shown in Fig. 2.7 may lead to a number of hypothetical implications. These hypotheses govern the relationship and reciprocal continuity between the two main spaces a skilled human resource in a iKBE goes through.

Hypothetical Implication 1—Continuity of Content Knowledge between

Spaces: Complete distinction of content knowledge between Space 1 and Space 2 may result in delay or lower order of competency development; it may even require iteration through a new education/training system. Hence, educational/training systems should align their provisioned content knowledge with the needs of the workplace and real-life contexts their graduates are expected to function.

Hypothetical Implication 2—Continuity of Contextual Application: Higher resemblance of contextual application in Spaces 1 and 2 would lead to higher alignment in the development of attributes, skills, and competencies. Hence, educational/training systems should align the context by which their content knowledge is provision to become resemblance (as far as possible) to those contexts normally faced in the workplace and real-life situations their graduates are expected to function.

Hypothetical Implication 3—Emphasize on Application of Content Knowledge in Space 1: Traditional education systems tend to emphasize heavily on content knowledge provision, paying less attention to importance ofapplications for skills development. Theories, such as constructivism and experiential learning, in the learning sciences criticize such approaches, and emphasize the importance of

Fig. 2.7 Semantic systemic model of mechanistic and ontological relationships between content knowledge, skills, attributes, and competencies

applications for meaningful learning and skills attainment. Hence, educational/training systems that are heavily theory oriented with lack of experiential and active learning approaches for content knowledge applications may lead to poor development of graduate attributes needed for the workplace. Having modelled the dynamics and systematic development of competencies, the next subsection provides a view of needed competencies of twenty-first-century engineers in iKBEs and KBSs.

The model implies several theoretical assertions for education systems that are effective and connected to the workplace and twenty-first-century graduates. In the next section, we provide a synthesis of recommendations collected from stakeholders and from the literature on improving the engineering education system to meet twenty-first-century requirements.

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