Authentic learning may well be the way forward for education in Barbados.
In fact, Acting Principal of the Barbados Community College, Dr. Gladstone Best, told a group of 20 students yesterday not to be concerned about the classes they will miss over the next few days because what they are gathering in experience they could not otherwise attain.
He was speaking to participants in the Entrepreneurs in Action Classroom to Boardroom challenge at the Cave Hill School of Business, as the challenge began this morning.
“In education we talk about authentic learning. Authentic learning is the kind of learning that takes place when you are actually doing. You can learn about management, but learning about management is not actually doing the management and in this programme when you get the challenge, you are going to get authentic learning, the experience.
“Authentic learning is the kind of learning that educators embrace and educators recognise is the way forward. If we look at our learning from the time we come into the world, we would realise that the majority of learning is experiential learning, is authentic learning…,” said the acting BCC principal.
He told them true learning took place in what they were doing, going into the business environment, interacting with persons at different levels and trying to solve real life problems.
The challenge, set by Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson, was to come up with ways to get more Barbadians to travel to the United Kingdom. The students will spend four days in Virgin’s offices here working to come up with proposals to be presented to a team of Virgin Atlantic executives next Wednesday.
Deputy High Commissioner with the British High Commission, Phil Culligan said this year’s challenge was close to his heart, adding that he believed the UK had a lot to offer visitors.
“I’ve been very privileged to spend the last 30 years travelling around the world as a British diplomat. I have lived in a lot of beautiful countries around the world, Barbados being one of the best so far, but I truly feel that my own country has a lot of offer to visitors both some of the traditional but a lot of modernity as well…,” he said.(LB)