Twinning of Professional Courses

Manila Bulletin, June 25, 2006 | Go to article overview

Twinning of Professional Courses


Byline: Dolores Baja Lasan

THROUGH the years, the twinning of professional courses has contributed to the mutual enhancement of curricula-, the deepening of connectivities between different fields of endeavor, the creation of innovative approaches to situations and issues which demand inputs from more than one profession, and the de-professionalization of certain professional courses highly steeped in preserving and promoting their own professional expertise.

The twinning of professional courses is a response to the growing complexities of situations and the nature of the problems arising from them. Chances are that most professionals once licensed and entrenched in their respective professions talk with each other most of the time rather than with people from other professions.

The twinning of professional courses started with those whose similarities were obvious and, hence, did not need a complicated process of finding slots of convergence in their respective curricula. One early example of this is the twinning between a degree in the science of jurisprudence and a degree in law prior to a bar examination to qualify as a full-fledged lawyer. It is, therefore, not uncommon to see a student graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Jurisprudence as well as a Bachelor of Laws. As an aside, it would be interesting to study whether there is a significant difference in the performance of lawyers with a degree in jurisprudence and those without in bar examinations as well as in professional practice.

The twinning of professional courses is a curricular development process by which the relationship of knowledge, skills, and values of two professions is examined with an end in view of discovering convergence points. In this manner, subjects from both professional courses are programmed such that the relationships become visible to the students as well as the professions.

As mentioned earlier, the beginning experiences in the twinning of professional courses are with degrees traditionally linked with each other. The emerging exciting trend is the twinning of what may be perceived as quite different professions.

Consider as an example the twinning of Architecture and Social Work as has been done by one university in the United States of America. Architecture as a profession designs buildings and other structures; Social Work as a profession is concerned with humanitarianism with a method. One deals with bricks and mortar, the other with lives of human beings, social institutions and society in general. In the professional twinning of these two courses, Architecture and Social Work, students of both are enriched, for they are able to see the oftentimes hidden connections between aesthetics in Architecture and the beauty of human interaction in Social Work, among other things, like the importance of a strong building foundation and what goes into it and the importance of the family as the basic foundation of any given society.

The transferability of professional concepts, principles and theories becomes apparent in both professions and each broadens the insights and perceptions of the other with the end in view of producing an architect with social sensibilities and a social worker with greater appreciation of the importance of building structures in the helping process. …

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