Ongiara College recognizes students as mature, adult learners and uses predominantly student-centered process models of teaching and learning: creative thought, involvement, investigation, experience, deliberation, reflection.  Didactic teaching is kept to a minimum, and is used to inspire inquiry and investigation rather than ‘transmit knowledge’.  This comes from a belief that the modern acupuncture practitioner must “be able to continuously uncover and create his/her own theories of action and use and evaluate them” and thus be a reflective practitioner.  (Della Fish describing the ‘ideal practitioner’ during a series of Education Workshops for Acupuncture Colleges in the UK) 

Theory informs practice and practice drives theory.

“Learning is a comprehensive activity in which we come to know ourselves 
and the world around us. 
 Its achievements range from merely being aware, 
to what may be called understanding and being able to explain.  
It is both the acquisition of knowledge
and the extension of the ability to learn.”

Michael Oakeshott, Philosopher

(With acknowledgement to Della Fish) 

The criteria for procedures at Ongiara College predominantly prioritize assessment of the range of understanding rather than the knowledge base.  Students are accountable for their understanding and personal response; awareness of processes involved;  evidence of reflection and critical thought; ability to adapt knowing-how to new situations (learning of transferable skills); capacity of going beyond what is offered by the teacher.

“I forget what I was taught.  I only remember what I’ve learnt.”
Patrick White, 1973 Australian Nobel Prizewinner for Literature