(On the Road to) Becoming Expert
Opportunities to gain sustained practical experience in real-world settings are invaluable for the development of reflective, skilled and confident practitioners. Yet, aside from structured field education, it is often a challenge to create sustainable, meaningful practice experiences for higher education students in the human service fields.
This presentation introduces participants to an innovative approach to work-integrated learning for Youth Work students undertaking a specialised subject focussing on risk-based interventions with young people. Students from RMIT University’s Youth Work program are able to gain direct, sustained, experience and on-going employment in a ‘risk and driving’ program for secondary students conducted in 180 schools across the state of Victoria, Australia. The ‘Fit To Drive’ program involves small group discussion workshops, facilitated by the trained second and third year students, where the 16 - 18 year-old school students explore their attitudes, beliefs and experiences in relation to driving, undertake problem-solving and decision-making exercises in relation to driving situations and work with their peers to adopt safer practices. The Youth Work students are required to learn and implement high – level group facilitation knowledge and skills, and to build on these skills through practice, reflection, supervision and support of the program’s training and supervision practitioners. This presentation will explore the challenges and innovative approaches in the development of the curriculum and teaching methods.
Keywords: Youth Work Education, Learning in Context, Levels of Learning, Curriculum Design, Facilitated Group Work
Kerry Anne Montero
Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work), School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning