Weaving the threads of knowledge: a focus on students
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This research paper will address the process of learning in a cooperative education program from the students' perspective. Each author will consider the student's point of view from a different position. The paper builds a combined picture of the student's understanding of the placement using a constructivist interpretive methodology that concentrates on verbatim accounts of students' responses as the placement proceeds. Annerley, who has recently graduated as a social worker, will comment on the interpretations she placed on the practicum experience she had herself during her degree program. She will go on to outline her subsequent honours research into the perspectives of other students completing field placements. The importance of the student's contribution to the student/supervisor relationship will be emphasised by Lyndel, a senior researcher for the Queensland Parliament, who has recently supervised students herself in a demanding workplace. She will give her perspective on the student's need for supervision and direction. Merrelyn, as the convenor of the work placement program conducted by Griffith University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice for degree level students, will discuss her current research into what the university is able to do about how the students learn and what they learn through the placement experience. The paper will conclude with some important suggestions about innovations that the authors believe should be introduced into the culture of cooperative education in the future if it is to achieve its stated goals.
Learning Partnerships in the Global Classroom: Weaving the Threads of Knowledge