Have passport, will learn: History study tours and student learning and development

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 34: Higher Education on the Edge

July, 2011, 394 pages
Published by
K. Krause, M. Buckridge, C. Grimmer, & S. Purbrick-Illek
0 908557 85 X

Study tours provide students with authentic, in-context learning experiences that offer the potential for integrative cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual development. By exploring the students’ experiences from multiple perspectives, this research study investigated how an overseas study tour to historical destinations impacted on student learning and development. The study tour provided learning opportunities in the form of structured and unstructured scenarios which placed students on the edge of their usual learning patterns. The theoretical framework of the study drew upon Palmer’s (1993) integrated learning theory, the linguistic-anthropological etic-emic paradigm (Pike, 1954), Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory and Berkhofer (2008) and de Groot’s (2009) construction of History as a socio-cultural discipline. The paper provides detailed findings about how the students’ learning and development was transformed through their involvement in this experiential study tour. The study’s findings have informed the way in which students and lecturers plan, facilitate and contribute to future study tours.

Keywords: experiential learning, overseas study tours, holistic learning