Socialisation:a perilous transition from novice to architect
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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Architectural education includes both formal and informal learning components, instrumental in the transformation of novices into architects. The informal component incorporates tacit aspects of education that can’t be readily quantified, and thus are often taken for granted (Stevens, 1998). These aspects include: clothing worn, language used, and criteria employed in assessment and judgement of quality, geared to preparing individuals for a particular profession (Coleman, 2010; Strickfaden and Heylighen, 2010). This transformation is otherwise known as socialisation, defined by Bragg, 1976: 6) as “… that process by which individuals acquire the values, attitudes, norms, knowledge, and skills needed to perform their roles acceptably in the group or groups in which they are, or seek to be, members.” Socialisation incorporates aspects of the curriculum that cannot be conveyed or garnered through books or lectures, but garnered through experience and immersion in aspects of professional education, that are ‘caught’ rather than ‘taught’. For Stevens (1998: 196), socialisation is “… an integral part of architectural education,” where the cultural aspects of the profession are “… slowly absorbed from those who are already cultivated.” This provides a historic link to the origins of the profession, and a “… sense of kinship with centuries of traditions, thoughts, and personalities […] the true tie that binds those who practice architecture with those who teach it and study it.” (Boyer and Mitgang, 1996: 4) Here, architectural Education is thus intimately tied to place, and society, with the resultant socialisation, influential on the way architecture students learn to think and act.