Friday, August 1, 2014

Developing the Whole Student in Higher Education

Education and training is seen within particular context. Educators often view specific objectives as the total learning process but fail to accept the whole person within that process. A paper by Carter & Donohue (2012) focuses on the total development of the person across the spectrum of scholarship, strategy and service.  The implications are more important for leadership development that must consider the person within his or her environment. 

Scholarship affords the opportunity to understand the foundational knowledge and theory related to particular societal issues. It is the academic process of gaining information through reading, studying, reflecting and understanding. 

Academic knowledge is only part of the solution. One could understand the theory but have no idea of how to apply it within the environment. The application of academic knowledge is based on strategic considerations that come from experience. 

To know how to apply a theory to the environment requires considerable experience that comes from working within and understanding that environment. Strategy is a critical thinking process that weighs and balances the outcomes through understanding how a process works.

Service is a process of having a focal point for actions. Students that have a purpose and focus are often more motivated than students who don’t. Offering a chance to work toward some goal in service can help them integrate the pieces of academic knowledge and strategy. 

Learning doesn’t only come from a textbook and entails the whole person within the environment in which he or she exists. Formal knowledge is important in raising the standard of total understanding so that the strategy can be applied to an activity for greater integration. Without considering the total person within the educational or training environment there is only partial development. 

Vincent, C. & Donohue, M. (2012). Whole person learning: embedding ethical enterprise leadership in business education. American Journal of Business Education, 5 (6).

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