A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education in Teacher Training: Serving and Learning

Aida KOCI
2013 Revista Romaneasca pentru Educatie Multidimensionala  
In this paper, I will describe how I designed a meaningful service learning project for students in the course, "Needs Analysis and Course Design" 2 . The preparation of the students, all of whom plan to be future educators, went through 4 steps. The paper will describe the difficulties encountered in monitoring this experience, as well as the outcomes and the rationale for including the service learning project in the NACD course. Elaboration of the problem The Southeast European University is
more » ... opean University is located in an area of Macedonia where there are no special educational programs for students with special needs. There is a Department of "Defectology"[1] in Skopje (Public University of Cyril and Methodius). According to the New Law on higher education from 14.03.2008, [2] people with Special Needs can attend public schools for free; presently, however, none of these schools is physically accessible for such people. Apart from this, another problem that we, the lecturers of the course--Aida Koci and Sandra Bruno, and our students have identified is the lack of knowledge for the people with special needs; there are no places in the community where issues concerning those with special needs' access to education can be dealt with or a place where people can be informed about their needs or concerns--not only in the community but in the classrooms as well. Our students will be teaching next year and need skills to apply to a variety of situations and learning needs. Therefore, my colleague and I decided that students at the Teacher Training Department at SEEU should become familiar with the particular issues involving the education of people with special needs in order to better facilitate their teaching through service learning projects aimed at accommodating students with special needs in the classroom. Service learning is a new methodology that attempts to incorporate learning in the class room with the broader community by engaging students in organized projects where they apply skills and knowledge, critical thinking and reflection in order to meet an identified need in their community
doi:10.18662/rrem/2013.0501.06 fatcat:lic26ixasfbnvhd7dtaiz4ag7q