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Quick Chat: Education from the Ground Up

February 22,2016

Non-traditional school makes for a different sort of field placement for Werklund pre-service teachers

House under construction in Airdrie is the classroom for high school students and Werklund pre-service teachers

Courtney Holst and Erica Rozema with instructor Amy Burns in the home being constructed by students last year

February 22, 2016 - This week, more than four hundred Werklund School of Education second year undergraduate students have headed back to their final practicum placements.

The hands-on experiences afford the pre-service teachers the opportunity to build lesson plans, engage students at various levels, and really find their places as the leaders they are becoming in schools all over the region.

For most of us, the image that probably comes to mind of a practicum student is that of a young man or woman in a traditional classroom in a mainstream school, using the typical instruments of learning, teaching classes in familiar subjects in a familiar fashion.

But an increasing number of schools are changing the idea of what a classroom can and should look like, and for Werklund students, non-traditional field placements are quickly becoming a sought-after practicum experience.

One such program in which Werklund students are engaged is the Building Futures program, run by the Rocky View School District, where the school day begins in the unlikeliest of places—the garage of a home under construction.

In this Quick Chat, Werklund Field Experience Directors Amy Burns and Trisha Danyluk discuss the trends in experiential learning, and the benefits of these non-traditional field placements for their students.