Contemporary Review of Work Experience

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‘Learning through experience is the normal, common place approach to learning, and we take it for granted.' Miller and Boud (1996)

After my work experience at Franklin College and St Mary's school, I whole heartedly agree with this statement. During my life I have taken my experiences for granted for example throughout my academic career and vocational encounters I haven't really reflected on them. Swedish research that was later developed by Marton, Hounsell and Entwistle (1997) suggested that there were two types of learning – deep or surface learning. Whenever I have looked back at my experiences, I have looked at it at surface value rather than from a deep view; Piaget (1971) defines the deep view as ‘people who are willing to change their existing knowledge-the cognitive structure-in order to accommodate the new idea.' In the past I haven't been willing to change my knowledge, just add to it which leads to surface learning. In order for me to deepen my learning I produced a learning contract which included learning outcomes in it for me to achieve; a learning log from which I could ‘reflect' upon and as Moon (1999) says ‘A learning journal is essentially a vehicle for reflection.' So this was an important component of my experience. The first stage was to plan for my experience and for it to be successful I had to plan well because ‘effective planning is at the heart of effective teaching and learning.' Gower (1997) I had to produce an initial proposal where I put forward potential career area that I could work in. I then had to submit a work placement details form, and this involved me ringing Toll Bar school and agreeing the placement which initially seemed easy; I managed to speak to someone who worked in the department and they said it would be fine but would ring me back to confirm this; I received no phone call so rang them on numerous occasions only to be told every time that the P.E department weren't available and that they would get back to me....
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