Experiential Learning in the Professions

By:
Prof. Keith Walker
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This paper describes the growing universal demand for well-prepared professionals in all disciplines. Society delegates to the professional schools the task of preparing its physicians, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and social workers; and the status and responsibility of these practitioners has acquired an increased sense of importance and urgency in recent years. There is evidence that the nature of professional education is changing. The traditional landscape is being altered from one in which the large research universities served as the sole agents providing pre-service professional training to one in which a variety of providers are involved – such as community clinics, affiliated organizations, or smaller colleges. Moreover, these various experiential learning programs are identified by a variety of labels, such as: preceptorship; clerkship; service learning; clinical practicum ; extended practicum; externship; clinical education; or cooperative education.

The foundational premise upon which all of these practice-based programs are based is that authentic and deep learning occur when the learner applies relevant knowledge and skills to solving real-life problems encountered by actual practitioners in the field. This paper explores the phenomena of current and emerging efforts to provide experiential learning to professionals-in-preparation from a multi-professional perspective.


Keywords: Multi-Professional Education, Professional Learning, Preceptorship, Clerkship, Extended Practicum, Clinical Education, Externship, Service Learning, Internship
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Keith Walker

Professor, Department of Educational Administration, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Professor Walker brings over thirty years of experience as a manager, teacher, minister, leader, scholar, and educational administrator in public and social sectors. His formal education has been in the disciplines of physical education, sports administration, theology, education, educational administration, and philosophy. In addition to his research work with senior educational administrators in K-12 and tertiary education, In recent years, he has worked a great deal in the areas of building the learning community and the institutionalization of change. Professor Walker is currently working on a number of manuscripts dealing with subjects such as leadership perspectives on hope, building trust, school board governance, university presidents’ responses to the new economy, adult education policy, building appreciative schools and diligent leadership. Professor Walker has recently co-authored a book on leadership for Pacific Islanders with Dr. Kabini Sanga. Dr. Walker was on sabbatical leave in 2004-2005, as visiting professor at Centre for School Leadership at the University of British Columbia and at Azusa Pacific University in California.

Ref: I06P0261