Magda’s Experience

Translated and adapted from the Introduction section of Magdalena Spata’s Practical Work Report to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe – Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Sozialpädagogik und Erwachsenenbildung in 2004.

In the last Semesters, two important thematic focus have emerged for my studies. The first is the field in learning process in adult education that explores how teaching and learning in a course develop. How do the course leader and the participants behave? What differences exist in each institution? Until recently, I have not had the chance to apply my theoretical knowledge and orientate myself towards practical examples. I have often visited adult education courses, for example in high school or language schools, but I have not taken up the role as a course leader and observe the teaching nd learning process. The practical work enables me to gain this experiences. The second focus is comparative intercultural teaching and learning, and therefore I made up my mind to conduct my practical work abroad. Of course, I had to carefully choose in which country to go. Eventually, I decided to go to “the third world”. This far I only experience much about Europe. How the education system and how teaching and learning go about, and where differences lie with our own system, in countries of the third world, I had no idea yet. How different is life, and what is the meaning of education there?

I contacted a small institute named LPTM (Lembaga Profesi Teknik dan Manajemen) in Makassar, Indonesia (on the island of Sulawesi), which offers a variety of further education programs, amongst others also German as a foreign language. This institute has pursued contacts with practicants and volunteers from Germany since six months before, to gain some collaboration. Before me, there were only two other volunteers (one for German course and the other for English course). For the institute, it was a new experience to work with foreigners, which was a challenge for all the employees of the institute. I chose this institute because I had a very good impression from the Director, Mr Baharuddin Abidin, that I can depend on local help and that I would be in good hands in his support. Besides, I have also noticed that I can help the institute and that they will need every support that is there. For me, the country and especially the island Sulawesi was very impressive, because there was no big tourism, and the location is rarely visited by foreigners, which means that I was able to live directly with Indonesians and therefore was able to learn more about the people and the culture. My motivation was also increased because I could go after my personal interest. This working field could establish my focus, because I could on one side experience teaching and learning process very closely and on the other side research comparative intercultural teaching and learning. After thorough contact with the Director and pertaining preparation to the strange land, I began my working practice in LPTM Makassar starting from 2nd February 2004. My main task was as a course leader for a German language course. This leads to my central scientific interest in the German course: It goes around the question of how a course in different institutes and adult education (here specifically in the third world) take place, how the teaching and learning event is explained.

  • How is the course organised?
  • How is the course conducted?
  • What is relevant in a course?
  • What are the tasks of a course leader? (What will my tasks be?)
  • What will a course achieve, what are the goals of the course, what are the goals of the participants?
  • Which possibilities are achieved by the course and what interests exist in this field?
  • And as a comparative: What do other institution offer? Which possibilities do they have?

I followed this questions during the practical work and will present my results in this report. I would first describe the institute and then describe my activities. In the main section, I will also explain the problems I faced, which emerged during my practical work. My most difficulties and fears lay in the preparation of a seminar. A question came up about how such plan and execution process in another country should look, especially how I as a practicant should overcome such a challenge independently. This question is connected to a questionnaire, which was developed in in the beginning of the practical work and includes a reflection of the literature on teaching and learning research.

 

 

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