Rethinking the Curriculum to Reflect a Digital Age Model of Competencies, Dispositions, and Capabilities: Transforming Understandings of Teaching and Learning

Rethinking the Curriculum to Reflect a Digital Age Model of Competencies, Dispositions, and Capabilities: Transforming Understandings of Teaching and Learning

Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston-Clear Lake, USA) and Sharon K. Andrews (University of Houston-Clear Lake, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4240-1.ch001
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The transformations that have been occurring during the digital age have upended more traditional understandings regarding the teaching and learning process. A recognition of competencies that reflect a novice level of proficiency, dispositional understandings associated with professional expectations and ethics, as well as an experienced aptitude that reflects the capabilities that highlight a capacity towards an enhanced level of subject matter understanding are a progressive style of curricular design and engagement that supports a rethinking of training and talent development in the digital age. This discussion focuses upon a competencies, dispositions, and capabilities model that rethinks curricular design, development, implementation, and evaluation, towards transforming an understanding of teaching, learning, and talent development in the digital age.
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The pandemic over the past couple of years has brought forward significant areas of strength throughout the global community, the nations as the citizenry come together, as well as at the local community as one looks from city to city and town to town. As a community, the organizations have also experienced quite a bit of upheaval throughout the pandemic experience. So much has been recognized as fleeting, from the prior conception of the importance of an office-mandated work environment that occurs in a one size fits all building, to the need for connections and communications that reflect a grace, a kindness, and an appreciation for one another, that is highlighted through the capabilities of the Digital Age that has grown on the Internet backbone of multiplicity and connectedness.

People slowly became to develop a rhythm during the pandemic lockdown, whether working or not working, whether enhancing one’s learning or expanding upon new talents and renewed hobbies, whether reconnecting and sharing important and impactful moments with loved ones and neighbors, or even recognizing the value of previously unrealized yet vital professions such as staff in the medical community and professional educators in the K-12, higher education, medical education, military education, and business world of talent development. The speed by which so much of the world shifted into an online world of virtual engagement was almost shocking to many. Within two weeks, K-12 and higher education shifted into a totally virtual world with synchronous and asynchronous online learning replacing the traditional comfortability and talents that supported face to face instructional environments.

Much like during the early days of online learning, the metaphoric understanding of everything and the kitchen sink became a normalized approach towards instructional engagement. At first, this over-compensation was accepted due to the unsure, and dubious nature of the day-to-day sense of fear and insecure survival. Instability and hesitant skepticism offered an impact upon mental stability. As suggested by Kapp (2022),

We are all tired of social isolation and working through a virtual presentation tool; people are longing to get back together with colleagues, friends, and co-workers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the best option going into this new year. Instead, we need to find new ways to engage and connect with one another and have fun …. (para. 4)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teaching: The process associated with guiding another individual’s understanding of subject matter.

Curriculum: The design of learning experiences, from a progressive and overarching framework of knowledge acquisition and information presentation.

Learning: The process of obtaining knowledge, framing information in new and different ways, that explain or enhance an understanding of subject matter.

Transformational Understandings: A critical analysis and strategic recognition of the significant changes that are occurring, including a recognition of the extent of viability associated with the experiences currently occurring and with a recognition towards what may be the outcome of the current experiences.

Capabilities: The enhanced engagement in more expert understandings associated with the subject matter, including more liberal arts outcomes and enhanced critical thinking, creativity, and associated aptitude.

Digital Age: The time period that began when the Internet was released to the public domain and the sharing of knowledge because open and available to all.

Curricular Design: This is the design of the teaching and learning process from a high level of thematic groupings, no matter whether based upon authors or theorists, types or styles of products, historical groupings, or innumerable other ways through which to present the perception and interpretation of knowledge that is meant to be taught within an agreed upon arrangement.

Instructional Design: This is the focused effort towards creating lesson-specific progressive instruction that can be recognized from a class-by-class session-based knowledge acquisition experience, that is generically articulated as analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Dispositions: The way that a person acts, not only professionally speaking but also personal and private beliefs that influence the ways that people behave and act.

Competencies: The ability to do the basic outcomes expected, such as life skills that include adaptive and technical skills, as well as outcomes that develop a person’s subject-specific takes and ability to obtain a job.

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