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What is POE?
FOR WORK AND LEARNING
POE differs from traditional approaches because it formally integrates work experience with classroom study, theory with practice and- in the case of practice-oriented colleges and universities- the liberal arts with professional education. POE includes campus-based programs, such as co-operative education, as well as lifelong learning in the workplace, such as through action learning.
Because the half-life of knowledge grows shorter every year, the ability to keep learning from experience has become an increasingly critical competency. Traditionally, work and classroom learning have been separated by time and space. POE overcomes these boundaries. Trained to continuously reflect on experience and integrate that experience with theory, learners prepare themselves to actively learn wherever they go.
"The premise of practice-oriented education is that each of the three traditional forms of learning -- liberal arts education, professional education, and practical experience -- can contribute to the others. It is animated by the belief that learning should expand our understanding, widen our experience, increase our skills, and elevate our spirits."
—Richard Freeland, NU President
(Chronicle of Higher Education, February 19, 1999)
"Learning can be acquired in the midst of experience and dedicated to the task at hand, it can be collective such that it becomes everyone's responsibility, and it should free learners to reflect upon the underlying assumptions of their practice."
— Joe Raelin, Knowles Chair
(Work-Based Learning, Prentice-Hall, 2000)
For more information on the historical context of POE, please click here.