Field Experience: Experiential Learning as Complementary to the Conceptual Learning for International Students in a Graduate Teacher Education Program

Oluwatoyin Adenike Akinde, Diane Harr, Phyllis Burger


This study examined the value of field experience as a component of study for international students in a Graduate Teacher Education program at a Midwestern liberal arts university. The purpose of the field experience was to provide a contextual basis for student learning. The espoused research method included a quantitative component via survey and qualitative data, through a focus group interview and participants’ field notes. As a result, there is evidence to suggest that the field experience program, as a component of the graduate education program for international students was valuable. Participants described it as being relevant and real. As evident from the field notes, participants reflected on the opportunity for cross-cultural application of their learning, while emphasizing that the learning was palpable and reinforced their conceptual learning. Through the field experience program, participants reported that they gained in-depth insight on leadership and classroom instruction; therefore, they were able to improve their craft as educational leaders. Moreover, evidence from this study also suggests that participants were prepared to approach meaningful educational reform upon returning to their homeland, in Saudi Arabia.    


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International Journal of Higher Education
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