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ERIC Number: EJ1138623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0143
Critical Experiential Education in the Honors Classroom: Animals, Society, and Education
Dolby, Nadine
Honors in Practice, v13 p71-88 2017
The role of higher education is not only to prepare students for a career: it should assist and support them as they begin an adult life, which includes contributing to society and a community, participating in a democracy, forming relationships, clarifying their values and beliefs, and finding meaning and direction in the world. However, as higher education becomes more tightly linked to job and career preparation in both the public imagination and the actual practices of institutions, students are not surprisingly focused increasingly on credentialing. Within honors classrooms and curricula, faculty have observed students becoming afraid of taking risks as they fear failure. Given the challenges inherent in today's honors classrooms, we need honors pedagogies that continue in this tradition of seeing honors classrooms as dynamic learning places that promote and encourage authentic engagement, not solely credentialing for graduate school and future careers. Nadine Dolby, an education professor, offers as one form of engaging learning--critical experiential education--the pedagogical philosophy for an honors seminar she taught in the fall of 2015--Animals, Society, and Education. The author's personal experience with volunteering with animals helped her shape the two related pedagogical components from Animals, Society, and Education that are grounded in experiential education philosophy: the use of reflection to understand how students made sense of their relationships with animals and an assignment the author specifically designed for the class called "A Day in the Life of an Animal." Although the class included other experiential education components, such as a visit with two vendors at the campus farmers' market and role-playing activities that allowed students to act out multiple worldviews different from their own, the pedagogical value of reflection and of the specific assignment might be of greatest value to honors teachers who are considering such a course.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A