chapter  1
Universities, teaching, and learning
Pages 20

This chapter addresses how discernible trends in teaching and learning might change organizational structures and behaviours. It examines the state higher education currently finds itself in, economically, politically, pedagogically, and technologically. The chapter considers how shifts towards a corporatist consumer discourse of learning, arising from intensified global competitiveness, combined with a changed tempo of organizational life driven by technological speed, are creating tensions within traditional modes of organization of teaching and learning. It explores the contradictions and competing discourses that arise for the organization, and how it might choose to behave, when it is simultaneously required to produce satisfied consumers as well as graduates for the wider society who can act in complex and unpredictable environments. Barnett has characterized the state that higher education finds itself in at the beginning of the twenty-first century as being one of supercomplexity'. The liminal state can be seen to perform a progressive function which begins with the encountering and integration of something new.