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Professional education in built environment and design

Savage, Susan M., Davis, Rebekah M., & Miller, Evonne (2010) Professional education in built environment and design. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland.

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Abstract

Early and rich conversations with a range of stakeholders – academics, professionals and graduates in their early years of practice – quickly clarified that the singular challenge for most parties centres on the ways in which courses prepare graduates for the pace, diversity and flux of contemporary professional practice.---------In pursuing understanding of this central challenge this study has focused on new graduates in BED disciplines by canvassing their views and those of two other major stakeholder groups (academic staff and professional practitioners in the disciplines studied). The first crucial years of a young graduate’s life in the workforce are shaped by a number of factors including the quality of the transition-to-work experience. The quality of this life-shaping transition is dependent on a range of factors including the ways in which graduates are educated in universities, their personal developmental characteristics and those of the professional people around them and the preparedness of workplaces and other professional groups to guide new recruits through the transition experience. This study makes recommendations about how the variations in transition experience, resulting from the vagaries of all these factors across a range of worksites, may be better understood, perhaps normalised, and, at least, supported. . Early and rich conversations with a range of stakeholders – academics, professionals and graduates in their early years of practice – quickly clarified that the singular challenge for most parties centres on the ways in which courses prepare graduates for the pace, diversity and flux of contemporary professional practice. The study proceeded through literature review, focus group interviews, national online survey and workshops. Through all these methods a number of challenges and factors essential to the transition experience, and the quality of education which precedes it, were identified. Firstly the study found further evidence of the importance of higher-order graduate capabilities, namely, the development of judgment, critical enquiry and strategic thinking. Alongside these capabilities the importance of the development of emotional intelligence, particularly interpersonal and social skills, was stressed by all stakeholders. At the time of writing the global economic crisis was providing challenges to the sector and its young graduates. This phenomenon proved the value of the development of resilience and persistence in graduates, the education system was called upon by all stakeholders as a place where the future-proofing of neophytes would ensure that the unknown challenges of the future could also be confronted. The study found that the challenges of transition to work are best supported by authentic undergraduate experiences both on and off campus, inside and outside classrooms, and that commencing professional life is made easier for new graduates when university courses and workplace settings develop, sustain and support high standards and high expectations of students. All these findings indicate the importance of stakeholder expectations, roles and responsibilities in respect of the transition-to-work experience. Whilst full agreement about how these things should occur is not necessary, a process (amongst stakeholders) which seeks value alignment around transition through discussion, debate and agenda-setting would probably assist to address what is seen as a major challenge in built environment and design education.

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ID Code: 31328
Item Type: Report
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Professional Education, Built Environment, Design
ISBN: 9781741072907
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > OTHER BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (129900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > OTHER ENGINEERING (099900)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Queensland University of Technology and the Authors
Deposited On: 27 Apr 2010 11:45
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2010 00:24

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