Competencies for paradigm shift 'survival'
Daniels, M; Cajander, A; Eckerdal, A; Lind, M; Nylen, A; Clear, T; McDermott, R
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The rapid development in the IT area brings a series of shifts, in underlying theories, technology and work practices. In the normal course of events, most changes are evolutionary, with small, incremental improvements being made to theoretical understanding or practical application. Occasionally, however, changes occur of such magnitude that they do not just alter current operational practice but require a thorough reappraisal of the underlying assumptions on which that practice is based. In short, they require a review of the dominant way of thinking, or paradigm. Ability to adapt to evolving circumstances is critical, not only for industrial and commercial organisations, but also for individual employees, to survive and remain successful during paradigm shifts. How can we prepare our students so they can survive in a working life characterized by frequent paradigm shifts? It is important that CS and IT education prepares students for coping with shifts induced by technological development in their future careers, that students develop the competencies needed. To understand what competencies are needed, it is important to investigate characteristics among employees that have flourished in earlier paradigm shifts and not least to build knowledge on how to develop learning environments where such competencies and personal characteristics can be achieved This paper is about setting the stage for an action research project aimed at enhancing education with regard to being able to survive paradigm shifts in the IT industry.