This is the third and final posting of my thoughts after reading the first chapter of
Collis B, Moonen J (2001). Flexible Learning in a digital world: Experiences and Expectations. Routledge, UK.
(For an online copy go to http://books.google.com/ and search using the title.)
Sfard's models of education are very interesting. She talks about the acquisition model where the process of learning is defined as the acquisition of pre-defined knowledge and skills and the participation model where the focus of learning "is on becoming a member of a community of practice, learning from the community but also contributing to it" (Collis, Moonen, 2001 - from the book mentioned above). She makes it clear that tertiary education is currently heavily tilted towards the acquisition model, but that both models are equally important and necessary in the education process.
What I find interesting about this is that on reflection, the first year of our (18 month) programme is predominantly taught from within the acquisition model. This is important as the 1st years are learning new skills which must fit the requirements of Massage New Zealand - the professional body for massage in New Zealand. However the 2nd year is much more participative in nature. Our focus in this year is in supporting our students in their practice, business, and profession.