Northeastern University – Seeing the Forest for the Trees


Many programs involve students in internships, capstone projects, and practicums, but if you scratch the surface you’ll see that workplace-based learning often takes place in parallel with curricular learning, not as an ongoing dialogue between scholarship and practice. Graduate students are often expected to integrate the two domains of experience on their own, without intentional dialogue to forge cognitive connections with peers and faculty, and without the integration of 360 feedback from employers. Because workplace-based learning is rarely embedded in the curriculum, the academy inadvertently reinforces binary thinking that academic learning exists in a separate sphere from the learning that takes place in “real life.”

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