22 SES 06 B, Teaching, Learning and Assesment in Higher Education
Contemporary society is characterized by complexity, interconnectedness, rapid change as well as uncertainty and risks encompassing different spheres of life. Nowadays, more than ever before the attention should be paid to the development of skills and competences that enable people to consider change as an opportunity and to be open to new ideas in a culturally diverse, knowledge-based society. Innovative capacity is closely linked with creativity as a personal attribute based on cultural and interpersonal skills and values (Decision of the European Parliament…, 2008). The development of new competences requires changes in education paradigm itself.
The global strategy for sustainable development (Agenda 21, 1992) could be considered as a paradigm which is the most relevant to the late modernity. It implies holistic approach to economic, societal and environmental development and cultural diversity to achieve relevant quality of life now and in future perspective. The purpose of education for sustainable development (ESD) is to reorient education including the content, methods and learning outcomes in order to become a driving force in creating sustainable society. ESD emphasizes creative and critical approaches, long-term thinking, innovation and empowerment for dealing with uncertainty, and for solving complex problems (UNECE, 2005). Linked to different needs and living conditions of people as well as to local cultures, ESD at the same time promotes universal values and competences based on systemic and integrated approach. In a broader scope, ESD stimulates a cultural shift towards shared worldview based on participation, appreciation, self-organization, equity and justice (Sterling, S., 2007). In terms of the ‘creative class’ (Florida, R., 2002), ESD contributes to a shift from ‘creative class’ to ‘creative society’.
Higher education institutions as centres for studies, research and innovation have a leading role in social change by preparing students for professional carrier and responsible citizenship as well as providing life-long learning environments. In the European Higher Education Area, the discussion on role of higher education institutions in developing future-oriented competences as well as making them more coherent and responsive to the needs in society was particularly active in preparing guidelines for the second decade of the Bologna process up to 2020. Therefore, ESD provides relevant conceptual framework in defining quality criteria in higher education.
According to the Bologna Process 2020(2009), students are increasingly becoming the active partners in developing approaches oriented to learning outcomes (A framework for qualifications…, 2005) and student-centred learning by implementing flexible and individually tailored education paths. In this context, the student survey was carried out with the purpose to clarify their perceptions of different factors determining education quality and the potential to actively participate in improving of studies. In this presentation a particular attention is concentrated on 3 interrelated components of the survey: 1) expectations and motives of students taking into account polarization between materialist and post-materialist values (Inglehart, R., 2000); 2) evaluating the importance of different aspects of creativity for the future professional work; 3) students’ opinion about the quality of study process in terms of conditions for personal development and self-expression.
A framework for qualifications of the European Higher Education Area. Bologna Working Group on Qualifications Frameworks. 2005. Agenda 21 (1992): Programme of action for sustainable development, UN Department of Public Information, New York. Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009), Brussels, 28.3.2008 COM(2008) 159 final. Florida, R. (2002). The rise of the creative class: and how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York: Perseus Book Group. Inglehart, R., Baker, W. E. (2000). Modernization, cultural change, and the persistence of traditional values. American Sociological Review, vol.65: 19-51. Sterling, S. Riding the storm: towards a connective cultural consciousness. In: Social learning towards a sustainable world, ed. Arjen E.J. Wals, Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007: 63-82. The Bologna Process 2020 - The European Higher Education Area in the new decade. Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve, 28-29 April 2009. UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development. CEP/AC.13/2005/3/Rev.123 March 2005.
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