Applying the matching principle: a comparative view
Our argument in this book has been that the ‘matching principle’, upon which we have based our work, is applicable as a general principle, well beyond the particular circumstances of the MA programme we have been describing. Indeed, we argue that this principle often operates at an implicit rather than an explicit level – people designing professional training programmes often appear to come up with models which do match practice, without necessarily having striven consciously to do so. We would say that it is likely to be productive if this process is made explicit rather than being left implicit, because this should allow for a closer and more effective match where this is needed and perhaps for less of a match where there may be aspects of the mode of practice which are seen as less desirable. These propositions remain to be tested and our hope is that others may feel motivated to apply the principle explicitly to their own course design and to report on the outcomes. Our final task here, therefore, is to offer some pointers as to how this might be done, by setting out some aspects of the process of course design and by drawing comparisons where possible with other modes of training and practice where these have been made evident in the literature.