New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Experiential Learning to Facilitate Transfer Between Theory and Practice in Teacher Training Program

Sylvie Viola, University of Quebec (Canada)


Students enrolled in teacher education programs are reluctant to use their theoretical knowledge in their internship. Several studies explain this problem by the exclusive use of the observations made in the internship experience by the students, the superficial acquisition of the theoretical concepts seen at the university, the small evolution of the beliefs maintained by the future teachers during their training, the bad organization of the courses-internships in the program or the use of too traditional approaches in the universities. Those findings are worrisome because the teacher program introduced in the 2000s aimed at professionalizing teachers, which would result in particular from a solid initial training focused on critical thinking and the use of research data to support their interventions in class. Professors must therefore put in place the conditions favoring this transfer in their curricula. In this research, we chose to explore active approaches in a university pedagogical context to see how they might explain the lack of transfer between theory and practice. We chose to explore experiential learning in particular because, according to the students, university professors should be consistent and serve as examples using innovative approaches similar to what they are asked to do. Also, experiential learning is an interactive teaching strategy that requires a professional attitude on the part of students that is highly recommended by program reform. Finaly, this strategy is not new in education studies and some of its principles have been widely applied in internship contexts, but not necessarily transferred to the teacher education curriculum. In the fall of 2018, four professors will use experiential learning during their course to validate the relevance of putting students in an active learning experience in order to increase their understanding of the theoretical concepts addressed in the courses. In addition, this research will examine whether experiential learning will develop in students a sense of self-confidence and a sense of self-efficacy that allows them to be tested in internship. In this poster, we will present the issues of this research, the different elements of the course, the methods of measurement, the research device and the expected results.

Keywords: Instructional Strategies, Experiential Learning, Theory-Practice Transfer;


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