Experiential education in teacher education.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
Educators using an Experiential approach to teaching and learning have over a long period of time been promoting the benefits of this style of teaching. Research based on the practical experience of educators using this approach in the United States has indicated that; - pupils/students tend to have a much more positive relationship with teachers and are more interested in what they're learning; the learning environment is considered safe and is learner-centred; - the teacher / facilitators role is much more complex and requires individuals to be able to move quickly between three different modes of operating, giving direction, working co-operatively, and promoting self direction in learners; - experiential education is process oriented, is active and dynamic and is based on a set of working principles. The author has been involved over the last 4 years in developing an experiential process for teacher education and this approach is the focus of this study. The authors professional studies tutor group were given a written survey while two co-tutors were interviewed to gather information on their experience with this approach to teacher education. The results of these surveys and interviews are considered in the light of what characterises this experiential learning approach for teacher education and explores how this differs from mainstream teaching and learning. Because the literature on competency based teacher education and experiential education is extremely limited the author has relied on anecdotal evidence and experiential practice and has sought the views of students and colleagues The study promotes the principles of experiential education and puts forward a case for the use of these practices as key tools for teaching. It also highlights some of the problems faced by beginning teachers wanting to use this approach when they start their teaching career. Experiential education does conflict with many of the traditional practices that currently exist in schools and tertiary institutions. This provides both challenges and obstacles for those who adopt this approach to teaching and learning.