June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Cooperative & Experiential Education
15.323.1 - 15.323.6
Cooperative Education, Internships, and Experiential Learning Should Begin in Pre-School
Cooperative Education, Internships, and Experiential Learning have been part of the vocabulary of educators for over 100 years. The birth of Cooperative Education as an important part of the education of engineers was the brainchild of Herman Schneider. His foresight in realizing that in order to fully understand what engineering was about required an immersion in the real technical world came at a time when more and more individuals were able to experience an educational system that had been relatively limited to upper class society. Suddenly there was a push to open up the doors of academia to individuals who might actually work in professions and require help in paying for that education by working professionally before they graduated. Family money, unavailable, gave way to technical jobs that could support the student’s educational costs. This gave way to a new but fully realized concept that contact between what man thought and studied with how he acted in the real world was beneficial and critical for learning to take place. What you studied and how you used that learning was critical for education.
Cooperative Education, Internships, and Experiential Learning, as important as they are, have been confined to students in college and more recently to students in high school in varying degrees. Institutions across the country have offered the various work-related areas to their students as suggested endeavors or as required activities. There has not been a national consensus to require students, especially in engineering, to gain work-related experience before they graduate. The premise of this paper is that professionals in the Cooperative Education, Internships, and Experiential Learning areas; academic administrators; government leaders; faculty; students; and parents should concentrate on a new area of focus. This focus should not be whether students need to combine the learning they gain in the classroom with the education that they gain on the job but on the other hand when that collaboration takes place. High school and college experience is like the old proverbial phrase that says that it is ridiculous to “lock the barn door after the horse has bolted.” At the end of their formal educational careers we tell students that it is important to get work experience. Perhaps that is why we do not have 100% participation. Many have bolted by then to menial jobs close to home or nothing jobs just to pay for a few college expenses. This is why When is so important.
This paper argues that we should focus our attention on dealing directly with K-12 educators and parents, especially those with children in the very early years of education, and start to formulate a concentrated plan that deals with the education of the young in all things related to the work that they will do in their later lives. The synthesis of academic learning and the work done outside the classroom and its immense value needs to be exploited.
Cooperative Education, Internships, and Experiential Learning conveyed in different terms should be begun at the earliest age possible, probably in pre-school. What once were called
Gunn, C. (2010, June), Cooperative Education, Internships, And Experiential Learning Should Begin In Pre School Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15835
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