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Friday, June 20 • 10:30am - 11:00am
CON11.09 – The off-campus classroom: Transforming learning experiences through community partnerships (Room A227)

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This session discusses an action research project in which the instructor-researcher designed and implemented a community-based teaching and learning strategy to help undergraduates achieve learning outcomes.  This research project was situated in a teacher education course centered on issues of diversity in education.  Acknowledging that there is little agreement on how to most effectively prepare preservice teachers to work with diverse learners (Cochran-Smith, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 2001), the literature also acknowledges that preservice teachers need experience working with diverse populations in order to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to assist minority students to reach their full potential (Goodlad, 1990; Phillion; Malewski, Sharma & Wang, 2009). For this reason, I was interested in (re)designing an existing diversity-oriented course around a community-based model, and then investigating from a variety of perspectives how the project was experienced. 

Data was collected from students, community partners, and the instructor and analyzed using a qualitative, open-coding approach to inform a holistic understanding of how all participants experienced the project, how community members could be incorporated as co-educators in a teacher education course, and how assumptions of student participants were challenged by the experience. The findings suggest a number of advantages to participating in a community-based learning experience, as well as ways to improve the design and implementation of community-based courses.

This session discusses the potential for transformative learning experiences when students are supported in going beyond the classroom and partnering with experts in the community. Participants will leave this session with an overview of how community-based teaching and learning can be implemented.  As well, participants will be encouraged to share and discuss their own opinions and experiences.

Friday June 20, 2014 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
A227 Duncan McArthur Hall, 511 Union Street Queen's University Kingston ON Canada

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