The Value of Authentic Learning Experiences in Building Confidence and Teaching Skills

Submitted by Rachel Holmes on

The EDU students at EMCC strive to become future preK-12th grade teachers.  I strive to prepare my students for the reality of teaching by teaching the students to lesson plan, to provide effective instruction,  and in maintaining strong classroom management.   For the past 3 years, my students have learned the foundational skills in each area through in-class lesson plan writing and teaching their lessons to peers.  While this is valuable practice,  it is not the same as actually teaching children.   In order to provide a truly authentic teaching experience,  EDU students will create and fully facilitate the  Fall Adventures in Learning Kids Camp here at EMCC for  forty two Kinder-5th graders Oct. 5-9th from 8a-12pm. Students will write 1-3 lesson plans, teach in 50 minute blocks throughout Kids Camp, and are fully responsible to run the entire camp from check-in time to check-out time.  A pre-teaching and  a post-teaching assessment was administered to determine growth in the 3 areas. PLEASE SEE RESULTS ATTACHMENT

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
EDU221, 222, 220, 292
Assessment of the Month
Average: 4.3 (9 votes)


Peter Turner Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:45am

LOVE the idea, Rachel! This is experiential learning at its very best! I assume the pre-teaching quiz assessed confidence in planning, instruction, and classroom management. Can't wait for the results!

Erik Huntsinger Fri, 10/09/2015 - 11:12am

In reply to by Peter Turner

I agree with Pete completely.  This is a great model of experiential learning that lends itself to authentic assessment. My concern is that the pre-post assessment is a self-assessment- granted this is an important part of the process, but how can we independtly verify that they were indeed good lesson plans or that the teaching was effective without instructor (i.e., your) observation?

Jamie Lopez Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:37pm

This is awesome Rachel!  How exciting for EMCC students as well as your camp students. One thing that I have observed is that camp kids are often out of their comfort zone and as a result can test limits behaviorally. This is a fantastic way for your students to gain real life experience and problem-solve, ultimately building their confidence as future teachers. :-) I look forward to hearing the results.

Olga Tsoudis Sun, 10/18/2015 - 9:14am

Rachel, I enjoyed reading your CATS. This definitely shows that giving students the experience will improve their skills and confidence. It also shows how powerful Service Learning is for students. Olga

James Heinrich Fri, 10/07/2016 - 2:03pm

Hi, Rachel - What you provided your students is off-the-charts powerful! Learning-by-doing is the ultimate teaching tool, especially when the "project" matters so much: to help youngsters learn and have fun. One reason your CATS resonates with me is because I was part of a team that organized a get-ready-for-high-school program in the Dysart District called "The S.S. Dysart Summer Cruise Camp." Incoming freshmen took a "cruise" from 8:00 to noon every day aboard a "ship" (the school's media center) where several teachers teamed in pairs to create three activities a day that introduced students to high school life via game-based activities. Sound familiar? It should, because your CATS rocks with fun learning activities!