As you begin your internship, you are embarking on an experience that could change your life. Your internship experiences (as well as your other life experiences) hold great potential for learning and development. Sometimes this learning and development takes place automatically or without a conscious desire to learn, but most often, learning from experience takes place when we make a conscious effort to observe, reflect upon, and analyze our experiences.
Therefore, what you learn or ring away from your Internship and life experiences Is largely up to you! Taking an active role In directing your learning will make your Internship experience worthwhile and productive. You Invested a great deal of time preparing for your Internship and you are now investing a lot of time and energy into completing it successfully. Hopefully, you are now also asking yourself questions about how to make these investments payoff. How does one learn from experience? This unit will discuss theories related to learning from experience.
Learning from experience (also termed “experiential learning”) is an exciting activity and there are many speculations and theories that discuss the ways in which learning from experience (experiential learning) takes place. The question of how we learn is one that has been pondered by philosophers, scientists, educators, and learners throughout history. Questions regarding what we should learn and what we might learn have also been raised throughout time. As an Intern and a college student, one of your primary goals Is to ponder the questions regarding learning for yourself How do you learn best?
What do you think you should learn? What do you think you might learn? What do you desire to learn? What exactly is learning? How do you gain knowledge? How can you make your knowledge work for you as well as others? As an intern, you have the unique opportunity to ponder questions regarding learning, while using the foundation of your experience as a central focus for analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. For example, consider the following case study. Marl Is working on her Internship In an elementary school. Every time she works with one particular second grade student, the student behaves badly. The student
Interrupts the reading session by calling out of turn and by calling the other students in the 2nd grade class names. This interrupts the reading lesson that Maria is Selenga to give to ten small 3 group of students. It prevents the badly behaved child and the other children from learning. One afternoon, Maria asks her internship supervisor (the participating teacher) how she should handle the situation. The teacher says, “why don’t you try some behavior mod? ” “Behavior mod? ” Maria asks, feeling foolish but hiding it well. Running off to her meeting, the teacher says, “You know, behavior modification sequences.
They are often successful in these kinds of situations. I’ve got to go, see you tomorrow. ” As the teacher moves quickly down the hall, Maria stands in the hall thinking. She’s bothered by the fact that the teacher didn’t give her a longer explanation. Was she expected to know about behavior modification? Just then it hit her. She recalled learning about behavior modification in her psychology class. She didn’t remember all the details but she vaguely recalled something about a dog that salivated when a bell rang. What should Maria do next? Should she ask the teacher more about it the next day?
Should she consult her old psychology textbook? Could she look up the term using another source? Maria in fact had sold her psychology textbook so she considered waiting until the next day to ask the teacher more about the term behavior modification. However, she felt uncomfortable about the prospect of appearing unprepared. Then it dawned on her that she could go to the local library to get some information and/or check the Internet. If all else failed, she could ask the teacher for some recommended reading materials the next day. As it happened, Maria did do some research about the term hat evening.
When she arrived at her internship the following day, she was excited about what she had learned and planned to apply it to her work with the students. Luckily she ran into the supervising teacher in the coffee room that morning and discussed her plans and asked some questions based on her reading and based on her previous experiences with the children on her internship. The supervising teacher was very impressed that Maria had thought about the situation, had taken her suggestion, and had come up with some solutions, as well as questions regarding the problem.
Maria learned a great deal through this experience. She learned that she was not only committed to educating others, she also learned that she was committed to continuing to educate herself. She became more confident in her ability to research and access information. This was a skill she had often used in school but previously had little motivation to use in her everyday life. She observed and reflected upon her experience on the internship. While doing so, she pondered the question about why the student she was working with was misbehaving.