Applying John Dewey's Theory of Education to Infuse Experiential Learning in an Introduction to Human Services Course

By Kalkbrenner, Michael T.; Horton-Parker, Radha J. | Journal of Human Services, Fall 2016 | Go to article overview

Applying John Dewey's Theory of Education to Infuse Experiential Learning in an Introduction to Human Services Course


Kalkbrenner, Michael T., Horton-Parker, Radha J., Journal of Human Services


Abstract

Teaching an introductory human services course is challenging, as educators must provide an overview of effective practice in a highly diverse field. Researchers conducted a review of all of the prior editions of the Journal of Human Services (JHS) to identify previous research on experiential learning strategies in human services education. This brief note examines the pedagogical practice of experiential learning and the application of John Dewey's theory for successfully training students in an Introduction to Human Services course.

Introduction

Human Services (HS) professionals are generalists who assume a variety of roles while working with clients in widely diverse settings (Neukrug, 2017). Teaching the Introduction to Human Services course can be challenging, as educators are faced with the task of providing an overview of a diverse field that requires hands-on learning (Haynes, 2005; Neukrug, 2017). Experiential learning has been found to be effective in meaningfully facilitating students' deeper understanding of content in such courses (McAuliffe, 2011). The purpose of this brief report is to provide an overview of how John Dewey's (1933) theory of experiential learning that was used as a theoretical framework to teach the Introduction to Human Services course.

The current researchers first began investigating the breadth of literature about recommendations for implementing experiential learning pedagogy in human services education by conducting a review of all published editions of the Journal of Human Services (JHS), formerly referred to as Human Services Education. The purpose of this search was to determine the breadth of existing research related to experiential learning strategies that can be applied in the Introduction to Human Services Course. The researchers found that active learning pedagogy in human services dates back almost 30 years.

The importance of incorporating active learning pedagogy into HS education first appeared in JHS with Brittingham and McKinney's (1987) discussion detailing the benefits of infusing active learning strategies into HS education. Researchers emphasized the importance of hands-on classroom activities for preparing students to translate theory into practice (Brittingham & McKinney, 1987). During the following 25 years, a variety of articles about active and experiential learning were published in JHS (Desmond & Stahl, 2011; Hagen, 1996; Hagen, 1992). Particular emphasis was placed upon methods and pedagogies for incorporating service learning and cooperative learning into HS education (Desmond & Stahl, 2011; Hagen, 1996; Hagen, 1992). However, there did not appear to be any previous research in JHS that specifically addressed a theoretical framework for integrating experiential learning pedagogy into HS education.

John Dewey's theory of education has been referred to as "perhaps the most influential account of learner-engaged, experienced based education" (McAuliffe, 2011, p. 15). Dewey hypothesized that the major purpose of education was to facilitate students' development of reflexive thinking in order to promote the betterment of society (Dewey, 1933). When faced with a problem, reflexive thinkers have the cognitive capacity to evaluate the situation from multiple perspectives and to critically evaluate information (McAuliffe, 2011). Dewey (as cited in McAuliffe, 2011) believed that experiential education was essential, as students develop reflexive thinking skills by engaging in cooperative learning activities which require critical thinking and considering multiple courses of action.

Implications for HS: Applying Dewey's Theory in an Introduction to Human Services Course

John Dewey's theory of experiential learning was utilized as a theoretical framework to teach a 15-week Introduction to Human Services course at a Research-Intensive university. The remainder of this brief report includes an explanation of how the major components of Dewey's theory were utilized as a theoretical framework for teaching the introductory HS course. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Applying John Dewey's Theory of Education to Infuse Experiential Learning in an Introduction to Human Services Course
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.