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ERIC Number: EJ849032
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-5866
Worlds of Knowledge, Cosmologies of Skills: Ethnography Outdoors in a Neo-Liberal University
Abramson, Allen
LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, v3 n1 p5-28 Dec 2006
This article investigates the signs that modernizing agendas in contemporary UK universities have not only reduced autonomy and marketized practices but have also stimulated the crystallization of a ramifying academic worldview, structurally consonant with neo-liberal horizons and new organizational vistas. Ethnographically, the account focuses upon the imaginative pedagogy and symbolic content of an outdoor skills course offered by one sizeable academic institution. It demonstrates how notions of "generic skills", "transferability" and "personal development" are theatrically woven into a broader tapestry of cosmological suggestion and strategic mission, designed to establish personal areas of measurable certainty in socially disruptive fields. In the process, this essentially anthropological expansion throws into sharp relief the depth of the chasm separating academic orthodoxy from academic modernizers, also indicating the urgent need for orthodox practitioners to come up with analogous programmes that embed skills pedagogy within rather than outside of uncertain knowledge frames, stripped of epistemological guarantees.
Intellect Ltd. The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JG, UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom