The importance of practical learning

The Novi Sad Business School is helping students to acquire professional and practical skills as well as academic and theoretical knowledge.

ALEKSANDRA VUJKO HAS WRITTEN ABOUT HOW.

Cultural, economic and societal change creates a need for different approaches to education. Globalisation, which is increasing international interdependence, and the creation of new knowledge, and the obsolescence of older knowledge, means that teachers and students alike must be open to change and new opportunities.

When we think about the word education, we often think of the formal education that happens in primary and secondary schools and in high schools and colleges. However, this is not the only form of education. There are many examples of non-formal education. These might include a variety of courses for different professions, training of new personnel, career development learning for existing personnel, or, more broadly, the education of the populations through public campaigns.

In contrast to explicit knowledge, which helps us ‘know what’, tacit knowledge can be understood as ‘know how’. Tacit knowledge is something that we often can’t learn by reading books; it is acquired by addressing real problems and practice, it relates to experience, ideals, intuition, values, creative thinking, emotions, skills and attitudes. Tacit knowledge in education can be a critical input in the innovation process. 

IN THE HOPE OF PROVIDING THEIR STUDENTS WITH PRACTICAL KNOW HOW, THE NOVI SAD BUSINESS SCHOOL OFFERS AN ALTERNATE TYPE OF WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN VARIOUS SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES AND ENTERPRISES.

The Novi Sad Business School also invites experts from government, industry, markets, tourism and hotel management to share their valuable experience with students.

It is important to enhance academic-industry partnerships and engagement through the involvement of students in professional work, and encourage teachers to conduct research, publish papers and participate in different projects. The business school adopted this model to help create relationships and interactions between teachers, students, participating organisations and the broader local community. The idea was to prepare students for all aspects of work, and also provide practical knowledge for teachers and professors.

Assessing the quality of education is incredibly important in ensuring that students acquire practical skills. Assessment must not only measure the effects of learning of individual students but also the sum of student experiences defined in a meaningful system of ‘performance indicators’. It can be difficult to measure the consequences of education because many of its outcomes can only be seen much later in the professional and social activities of former students. However, this is only another reason to try to measure the quality of education. 

If you would like to comment on this article, please email VEE@britishcouncil.org and join the debate. If you would like to submit your own article, find out how here.