From: Jakob Schulze
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Date: 09 Dec 1996
The most important thing for me was, that I didnt just learn from books. The practicum as well as the structure of the seminar allowed us to connect theory and practice. What we read about communities of learners, we performed as a group. When we read or discussed about kids behavior and learning, we didnt refer to encapsulated theoretical knowledge, but to our own experience. That was very impressing.
Beside learning some concepts of educational psychology, I was engaged more deeply. I came to question the traditional patterns of education and to search for alternatives. I learnt about the opportunities that informal learning provides to supplement the traditional learning settings, as well as the limitations of this approach. I experienced the problems and chances that arise from individual differences.
The practicum gave me the chance to improve my interpersonal skills, i.e. to deal with the kids. here learning ranges from being more relaxed when chatting and playing with the kids, to making information understandable for kids of different ages. In the practicum I could also experience the efficiency of different strategies of guidance to validate theoretical reflections.
Although often frustrating, it was great to experience all the problems that a new project inevitably encounters during the first weeks, and to take an active role trying to solve them. It was encouraging to see that all of us developed (not necessarily similar) ideas of what we were doing with the kids.
Finally, I got an idea of the significance of ethnic issues for education as well as for other areas of every-day life. In Germany this topic does seem to have great importance.