Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
This axiom is reflected by a number of cultures - look no further than this source to see the competing claims but I want to use the fish analogy to help differentiate between teaching philosophies in the area of Business teaching.
Business and Management (especially Accounting and Finance) courses, diplomas, programmes and workshops are a mass market product. They are:
- Easy and cheap to deliver (nothing more than an iPad or laptop as equipment)
- Accessible at all levels of academic achievement and,
- Valued highly by students as part of their future aspirations.
Often, in my experience, programmes of study have, as an ultimate goal, the achievement of a certificate or diploma that qualifies the student for the next diploma or degree or even to enter a profession. Even those that purport to develop learning still conform to the norm of content shovelling, memory tests, modular design that makes a mockery of progression in studies.
So how should a degree course be designed IF we had a blank canvas?
NOT, in my opinion, as a progression of fish provision but as a voyage of discovery from tributary to river, to the open sea and out onto the ocean as actual experience is used as the learning mechanism, familiarity with increasingly complex issues and tools is developed and true learning is achieved.
So put your own programme up to the light and reflect whether it is a voyage of discovery or a bucket of halibut.