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ERIC Number: EJ1080250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0311-2543
"Skills Talk" and the Practice of (Higher) Education
Carter, David
Education Research and Perspectives, v34 n2 p63-79 2007
This paper reflects on the relevance and applicability of "key transferable skills" to the higher education curriculum. Although they are regarded as having common currency within universities, it is argued that their uncritical acceptance devalues and distorts the nature and character of the teaching and learning employed in academe. The paper focuses primarily on the contemporary context in the United Kingdom, with broader implications elsewhere, in which the nomenclature of skills was progressively introduced and became pervasive across the sector. Similarly, the social/political policies driving such changes were essentially vocational and instrumental in nature. It is affirmed that while transferable skills have an important place and role to play in higher education a body of evidence shows that they do not readily transfer from the university to the workplace as is tacitly assumed. Furthermore, skills dominance in curriculum design and implementation leads to confusion and tensions concerning curricular ends and means.
University of Western Australia. 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, Perth, 6009 Australia. Tel: +61-8-6488-2388; Fax: +61-8-6488-1052; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A