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ERIC Number: EJ1143117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Symbolic Translation and What Our Work Requires
Adelman, Clifford
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v49 n2 p37-42 2017
In the traditional higher education sphere, AAC&U's "Essential Learning Outcomes" (ELO 2012) and the Lumina Foundation sponsored "Degree Qualifications Profile" (DQP 2014) both set forth, in different ways, concrete expectations for student learning that include what symbolic translation and its infusions is about. Both documents envision learning as a multi-faceted, deeply human set of activities. These documents are rooted in the formal system of higher education: the ELO document and its 2007 predecessor, "College Learning for the New Global Century," principally in the nest of baccalaureate education; the DQP across three degree levels (associate's, bachelor's, and master's) all granted by institutions of higher education. The ELO offers a meta-critique of the system and a template of tough questions and big aims. The DQP spells out in considerable detail what each proficiency desired of graduates at each degree level means, with operational verbs leading to concrete examples of assignments that elicit those proficiencies. These are different, noble documents, but the DQP comes much closer to the world of symbolic translation because many of its proficiency statements spell out different types of movements from one conceptual language to another, i.e. translations. This article argues that helping students develop translation capacity is to give them a new way of life, enable them to fill future work roles, and to imbue all economies with flexibility. It asks two questions: (1) Do our higher education institutions challenge their students with developing proficiencies in these translations; and (2) Does what higher education institutions enable students to do in courses in and out of classrooms result in their demonstration of relationships among symbolic inputs and systems?
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A