tekhne - scientia - praksis - gnosis - relatio
      claritas - unitas - integritas - consonantia

cogitate incognitum

think the unthinkable


M. Atilla Öner


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Place of Management Field in Knowledge Chain

The following two figures show the place of management field in the knowledge chain:

Figure 1: The Knowledge Chain – two different representations

We should note that course contents in management departments should not be the same as in engineering departments. There is the potential danger of introducing industrial engineering approach into management courses especially in courses which are in the overlapping areas, such production and operations management.

Product or Co-Producer?

The professors' most important customer is the student. Student does not only consume the final product (therefore, are customers), but also participate in its production (therefore, is co-producer or employee).

Upon a closer review, it becomes evident that the student is not the product. The real product is the learning of the students. Learning is a term effort between the professor and the student. Jointly, they produce a product, that is learning of the student. Both parties are responsible participants in the process. Broadly speaking, it is a multi-faceted effort on the part of all constituencies -- students, parents, alumnae, the community and the faculty.

The professor, based on his/her experience and expertise as a producer, is the one who develops the plan for learning, the course content. The student, as a co-producer and customer, will focus on the teaching and learning.  

Lecturer and/or Advisor?

Learner-centered learning substantially alters the role of a professor. A professor is no longer a dispenser of knowledge addressed to students as passive receptors. Instead, where small teams of students explore and work together and help one another, a "professor" becomes a colleague and participating learner.

Professors set directions and introduce opportunities. Professors act as guides and resource persons, not as authoritarian figures dictating each step of the educational process. The relationship is “more like being a thesis advisor than a lecturer".

Different Approaches

We should be careful in not overemphasizing an “Atomistic - Surface” Approach:

1. A quantitative increase in knowledge.

2. Memorising.

3. Acquiring facts, skills & methods which can be retained & used as necessary (eg at work);

4. Awareness of task demands.

5. New, complex & over extensive subject matter.

6. Threat & anxiety about failing.

7. High workload & contact hours.

8. Teacher centred style; professor/student contact hours that are mainly didactic (ie meant to instruct; eg lectures).

Instead, we should try to emphasize  “Holistic - Deep” Approach:

1. Understanding viz. relating parts of the subject matter to each other & to the real world.

2. A process of making sense of reality.

3. Dealing with knowledge in a sophisticated relative way.

4. Awareness of task demands.

By making presentations themselves, by listening to presentations made by their class-mates, by discussing the course materials in class,  and by working on a group project which combines all course material, the students get the benefits of the holistic approach in my classes.