Contemplating Whitehead's freedom and discipline

Jones, Colin (2007) Contemplating Whitehead's freedom and discipline. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 4(1), pp. 1-12.

View at publisher (open access)


This paper extends the previous application of Alfred Whitehead's educational ideas to the domain of enterprise education. In doing so, a unique approach to enterprise education is illustrated that links students to their reality whilst also connecting the curriculum to contemporary entrepreneurship theory. The paper reports upon past cycles of reflective practice related to the developing hic et nunc teaching and learning framework. Two specific findings of note have emerged. First, that student' learning outcomes are enhanced through the oscillating influence of freedom and discipline. However, in the absence of either factor, sub-optimal outcomes are seen to occur. That is, an imbalance between freedom and discipline has resulted in sub-optimal outcomes from either a lack of student interest or an inability to adequately apply acquired knowledge. Where gains have been made, the most obvious process has been through consultation with students. Second, that the students also play an important role in shaping the nature of the learning environments within which they interact. Both findings are of significant importance to all academics charged with the responsibility of developing enterprise education curriculum. The main implication of the paper is that in the absence of sound pedagogical practises, it is possible that enterprise programs may develop a tendency to reinforce past practises. The processes of constructive alignment and criterion-based assessment are argued to offer avenues through which students can influence the educational process. They also provide the educator with a reflective pathway through which continual improvements are constantly possible. This paper provides other academics with a window through which to view the ongoing development of a process that has been recognised nationally for teaching excellence and influenced many fine young entrepreneurs. The paper also draws attention to a set of core educational philosophies that have transferable value to any academic setting. It is noted that the task of developing a learner-centred curriculum for enterprise education has been an entrepreneurial endeavour in itself. Many mistakes have been made and many memorable achievements have been celebrated.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 92851
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Whitehead, Curriculum Development, Entrepreneurship Education
ISSN: 1449-9789
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 15 Feb 2016 05:16
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2016 02:04

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page