Today, a lot is read and heard about the teaching of “life-skills”. Often, it seems one is left to wonder what is actually meant by the usage of this term. It is a relatively new idea that seems to leave some older institutions trying helplessly to adapt their traditional regime to new modes of learning.
It sometimes appears that academic institutions simply string associated words together – like “life skills”, “well-rounded”, “holistic”, and “realistic”. Is this enough to lay claim to the new, fully integrated way of learning? The way of learning which is considered to be the benchmark in education?
So, what could have been said about how life-skills link up with the field of multi-disciplinary draughting and design? As a student of the Academy of Inventive Design and Technology in Cape Town, a glimpse into daily routine will clear this up:
• 07h00 – Get dressed, meeting dress code requirements: long sleeves, collar and tie. Immediately rush off to the academy, breakfast or not.
• 08h00 – Arrive and clock-in via electronic fingerprint access/security control/time checker. Get a caffeine fix – the first of many needed.
• 08h10-09h00 Log in to bespoke learning platform, preview the day ahead, plan work activities.
• 08h30-09h30 – 1st Briefing: What’s the latest on the industry; opinions and ideas expressed and shared; motion needed on last week’s “Do we all agree to an on-site course module?”. Finally, projects for the day are handed out, how-to explained by lecturer, and deadlines given.
• 09h30 – Briefing adjourned. Head to workstation: no teacher, no drawing board doubling as desk, no classroom. Rather, at Academy IDT each individual has
• Private and petitioned workstations with office desks, drawing boards, filing cabinets, and computers linked to networks, and a multitude of software at one’s fingertips – Bentley Microstation, SolidWorks, AutoCad 2- and 3D, ArchiCad and Sketchup.
• There is professional supervision and additional briefings from the drawing office manger and other project managers throughout the day (all facilitators are currently employed in industry), as well as Internet access for research and self-development.
• 17h00 – Submit finished assignments electronically before the automatic time-check control shuts your submission out, facing financial penalty, a scolding from the boss, and irate team members.
“Academy of Inventive Design and Technology is of the opinion that the traditional teaching approach of “chalk and talk teaching” cannot successfully be applied to life skills and work ethic. These are values and skills, which need to develop, by being able to practice them constantly over a period of time, as well as an interaction with professionals from industry who already apply them. Academy IDT, operating from first-rate business buildings at Century Gate, is possibly the only draughting academy where the learning environment is similar to, if not the same as the work environment. The practice of work ethic is daily routine for our students and it is not difficult to see why over 70% of our students are placed in work following graduation, and why some have been placed even before completing their first-year of study,” says Keith Cole, CEO and co-founder of the academy. “The demand for Academy IDT’s students in the workplace is in no small way linked to the practical, work-oriented attitude of professionalism we expect of them during their intensive Multi-Disciplinary Drawing Office Practice programme. Demands which have seen almost sixty distinctions in various 2009 NQF examinations alone, as well as two of the highest scores in the country,” continued the co-founder and Chief Operations Manager, Sonya De Jager.
Academy IDT incorporates new technologies to produce a graduate who integrates into industry with ease by equipping them with versatile skills on a broad base of different CAD software packages. As well as their technical education, learners are involved with drawing-office projects — from the initial client briefing, through to the estimation phase, to the final delivery of the detailed drawings.
Academy IDT is determined to remain relevant to both industry and generation-Y. Learners thrive on the collaborative goal setting, yet they have no misconceptions about our high expectations regarding the standard of their work. In this simulated drawing office environment, they have constant access to industry expertise and supervision but Academy IDT places the responsibility for efficient and accurate project delivery firmly on the learners’ shoulders.
Academy IDT are inviting professionals from the architectural and engineering industries to an open day where learners’ work will be showcased. Learners have been given the assignment to present work that deals with challenges in South Africa regarding the following issues: Transport, Housing, Health, Energy, Education and Supply of Food and Water. The purpose is to encourage a philosophy of improving quality of life -of Life through design and to present viable solutions to real problems.