The Reasonable Adventurer - video presentation
The presentation below provides an overview of the type of enterprising student I am to trying help the development of.
In his study of Princeton undergraduates, Heath (1964) identified six specific attributes through which a student’s ability to create their opportunities for satisfaction were enhanced. Let us consider each briefly to outline the nature of how each might relate to skills frameworks, such as the NESF. The first attribute is intellectectuality, the ability to alternate between being a believer and a sceptic. An ability to remain curious whilst determining what matters through making connections between the object under consideration and the reality of their world. The second attribute is close friendships, or the ability to discover the individuality of others. The realisation that they have shared feelings with others and that prior perceptions have been altered due to these friendships. The third attribute is independence in value judgements, or the ability to rely upon personal experience rather than known external authorities. This increased reliance upon one’s judgement provides an avenue towards self-reflection that may be travelled with much vigour and enthusiasm. The fourth attribute is a tolerance of ambiguity, or the ability to view life as a series of interruptions and recoveries (Dewey, 1922), to be able to suspend judgements until sufficient information is obtained to make the right decision. The fifth attribute is the breadth of interest demonstrated. Heath (1964, p 34) calls this an “uncommon interest in the commonplace”. So depth replaces breadth to enable the sustained pursuit of specific problems. The last attribute is a balanced sense of humour. A benign, but lively sense of humour that distinguishes the reasonable adventurer, making he or she good company, and capable of being sensitive towards others across conflicting circumstances.
So Heath (1964) promotes the idea of a fully functioning graduate, one that is capable of using his or her individuality in ways that are beyond their pre-existing mental endowments. The key is the fact that he or she is tethered to the reality of their world, yet capable of finding deep satisfaction from the ingredients of their raw life. This outline of the reasonable adventurer forms the author’s ideal minimal outcome for any graduate, be they destined to employment in a large firm, a SME, or self-employment. It is the contention of this paper that the reasonable adventurer concept is the chassis around which other features (i.e. skills) can be fashioned, and is the primary structure upon which the journey into the future is possible. It represents a state of development without which, all other attempts at skill development will be merely add-ons to an inferior model of graduate.
Jones, C. (2007). Creating the reasonable adventurer: The co-evolution of student and learning environment. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, v 14(2): 228-240.