Monday, April 26, 2010

Students - theory and practicals

from w
In Saturday's Age newspaper I was intrigued by a graphic image by Judy Green - and wondered what the article was about. It was the need for a national internship in Australia, about theory with a practical component - university studies and the link with the workplace. Students are often not at all prepared for a situation of working with colleagues and the practical day to day functioning of an office or work environment. I know that when some members of our family did their hospitality or other courses in Fiji, they also did practical placements in the industry, I guess not for money but for the experience. Another family member here in Australia did practical at a wild-life sanctuary and had a great time feeding native birds and animals. When I trained to be a teacher - a long, long, time go, we had to go out into the schools one day a week in our final year of study.

I know that F.I.T. in Suva (now part of another university in Fiji) do send students on practical placement but I wonder if this is always the case in the three Fiji universities. The young men and women (and older ones too) need much more than theory and book and internet learning. They need hands on experience in how to get along with the boso and other workers, which can be a shock to the system. Judy Green's graphic is about this - a young woman at her book study, and then in an office. Judy's pictures in the Age are often quirky and interesting. Of course... she is my cousin's daughter!

University studies can often be so other-worldly - on the radio this afternoon was some anthropologist carrying on about dawn and dusk and thresholds and art, and honestly I just fell off to sleep for an hour! Theory, words, workplaces and action need to go together, eh?

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