Full circle: Balancing the knowledge equilibrium between newly-enrolled design students and their design school

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Abstract

In a relationship where one party has less knowledge than the other, research suggests that providing the former with more context specific knowledge can reduce the anxiety experienced by this party. I propose that for a newly-enrolled design undergraduate, the knowledge balance in the universitystudent relationship is shifted towards the institution, both in terms of subject-specific and personspecific knowledge. I argue this imbalance in the 'knowledge equilibrium' may help to explain research findings which argue that many newly-enrolled first-year university students can experience anxiety. Issues linked with anxiety can be argued to be of particular relevance in the field of design. A more equal distribution of knowledge engenders an adult-adult relationship, helping to create a 'mutuality of participation' between protagonists. Design Schools provide adult learning. Movement towards an adult-adult relationship between 'the university' and 'the student' can be facilitated through creating an environment where knowledge can be more equally distributed. This paper describes a project developed for newly-enrolled first years at a Design School situated within an English university and makes use of a publication containing input from students, tutors and alumni associated with the 3D Curriculum. This project aims to move towards facilitating a balance to the university-student knowledge relationship by providing students with knowledge that goes over and above that given in the usual induction events such as those related to library usage. Initial results have shown this knowledge has been important in reducing student anxiety at a time when individuals are particularly vulnerable to it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
EventInternational Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - City University, London
Duration: 1 Sep 2011 → …

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Period1/09/11 → …

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