22 SES 02 A, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
The paper reports on a research study into university professional education oriented to the public good and social justice, and the development of a version of Sen (1999) and Nussbaum’s (2000, 2011) capabilities approach which could be applied to higher education policy and practices. We are of the view that the case we make for educating public-good professionals holds for all countries struggling to reduce inequality, not just South Africa where the research was conducted. The conceptual lens of a normative capabilities-based professionalism was the yardstick for exploring the barriers, bridges, negotiations and interpretations of professionalism and professional education aligned with social justice. Initially the capability approach was conceptualised by Sen as an approach to welfare economics and a critique of other ways of thinking about human wellbeing. From a capabilities perspective we evaluate how well all people are doing not by looking at GDP or average income in a country (because this does not tell us who has how much of the resources each person has), nor by asking how satisfied people are with their lives (because people may resign themselves to bad circumstances). Rather, we would ask what people are actually ‘capable’ to be and to do in order to live good lives. Capabilities are the freedoms each person has to choose and exercise a combination of ways of beings and doing (functionings) they have reason to value. Using this framework the research proposes that ‘public-good professionals’ would have the professional capabilities to assist the capability expansion for the poor, and to carry out agency obligations to disadvantaged others, working for more justice and less inequality for people living vulnerable and precarious lives. The research questions asked: how can a human development and capabilities conceptualization of professionalism and its practical realization in professional education in universities contribute to poverty reduction? And, how does professional education foster the values and expand the capabilities and functionings of students to make contributions to human development as practising professionals? In this paper we focus on the educational arrangements in terms of curriculum and pedagogy in which messages are sent about ‘professional ways of being’.
References Nussbaum, M. (2000) Women and Human Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Nussbaum, M. (2011) Creating Capabilities. Belknap Press: Cambridge, MA Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.