In My End Is My Beginning
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This chapter reviews the key themes explored in the wide-ranging contributions to the book, the aim of which was to stimulate research, discussion, debate at the intersection of populism and PBL. As has emerged, this was easier said than done. It seems, extoling the virtues of the PBL methodology is natural; however, seeing and engaging with populism in questioning these virtues are at odds. There are recurring themes relating to the role and purpose of higher education, the impact of populism in new management and governance and neoliberal market-driven structures. The need for interdisciplinary curriculum and learning and teaching is another theme and this brings with it an array of challenges for structures, curriculum teams and staff development. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support the view that PBL prepares graduates to address societal challenges. Indeed it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the majority of today’s and tomorrow’s graduates may be as vulnerable to populist rhetoric as non-graduates, precisely because they are not engaged in a process of consciousness-raising through their curriculum. Reilly and Turcan suggest that this poses a number of questions about the nature of and motivation for ‘engagement’, which might be the subject of further study.
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