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Integrated Learning: Developing a Thematic Course and Internship Program in Washington DC
Unformatted Document Text:  2002, Schon 1987). Thus, some of the richest resources for learning are within the students themselves. Recall, for example, Sam’s leadership in teaching about the civil law process. Placing such students in an environment that allows them to test their presuppositions, habits, and even their biases creates high potential for learning. Students had the academic courses that gave them the background and springboard for their experiential placements. The program also provided the structure through which students were required to marry their academic and experiential knowledge. Substantial educational research, especially that which is focused on the adult learner, emphasizes the importance of the experiential model employed in the DC program (Rogers and Freiberg 1994, Chickering and Reisser 1993, Knowles 1990, Schon 1987). This research emphasizes the quality of personal involvement in experiential learning. The DC program provides an important structure through which the students’ academic experiences become the baseline from which students individually take responsibility for their own learning. The program also provided for an important structure to ensure that each student had access to relevant information and exposure to practitioners in areas of student interest, but the onus was again on the students to ensure that they took advantages of these opportunities. Research on learning thus suggests that a program such as William & Mary’s which provides the crucial link between core academic material and experiential learning ought to produce significant benefits on student learning. Students are able to take ownership over the material learned in the classroom and apply that material to their individual learning experiences in their internships and through their interactions with practitioners. The original research on which students worked as their culminating 13

Authors: Nemacheck, Christine.
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2002, Schon 1987). Thus, some of the richest resources for learning are within the
students themselves. Recall, for example, Sam’s leadership in teaching about the civil
law process. Placing such students in an environment that allows them to test their
presuppositions, habits, and even their biases creates high potential for learning. Students
had the academic courses that gave them the background and springboard for their
experiential placements. The program also provided the structure through which students
were required to marry their academic and experiential knowledge.
Substantial educational research, especially that which is focused on the adult
learner, emphasizes the importance of the experiential model employed in the DC
program (Rogers and Freiberg 1994, Chickering and Reisser 1993, Knowles 1990, Schon
1987). This research emphasizes the quality of personal involvement in experiential
learning. The DC program provides an important structure through which the students’
academic experiences become the baseline from which students individually take
responsibility for their own learning. The program also provided for an important
structure to ensure that each student had access to relevant information and exposure to
practitioners in areas of student interest, but the onus was again on the students to ensure
that they took advantages of these opportunities.
Research on learning thus suggests that a program such as William & Mary’s
which provides the crucial link between core academic material and experiential learning
ought to produce significant benefits on student learning. Students are able to take
ownership over the material learned in the classroom and apply that material to their
individual learning experiences in their internships and through their interactions with
practitioners. The original research on which students worked as their culminating
13


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