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Experiential Learning: Physical Education Teaching Coaching Edition

What is experiential learning in the McKay School of Education?


Professors in the McKay School do research on various topics in education, and they often invite undergraduates to be part of their research team. These students have opportunities to analyze and collaborate about research articles, design and conduct research projects, and attend research conferences. This form of learning emphasizes hands-on, practical experiences as a primary means of acquiring knowledge and skills.


Students the the PETE major can have the opportunity to be part of the PELA Project. PELA stands for PETE Experiential Learning Award. Some duties of students in PELA include:

  • Meeting weekly with team and faculty member(s)

  • Literature search, review, and synthesis

  • Preparing briefs specific to pertinent topics

  • Visiting research sites (e.g., schools) to prepare for data collection

  • Data collection, input, analysis, interpretation

  • Manuscript preparation, submission, revision, and publication (students will become co-authors)


Let's hear about some experiences with experimental learning from students in the PELA Project right now! These students do research with Drs. Barney, Pennington, Beddoes, and Prusak in the PETE department here at BYU!


Ashley Phillips:

"PELA is a great opportunity to get closer to the students and professors in the PETE program. It's an opportunity to have an insider's perspective on what the professors are doing and how to help the program and the students in it. We have the opportunity to work closely with one or two professors and the research they are doing. This is helping me prepare to further my education in a masters program and potentially a PhD program. I've enjoyed working and learning alongside my friends as we communicate and learn together how to best do research. I am learning more about PLCs right now and the importance it plays in a teaching community, and the positive impact it can have on student success. When we have our weekly meeting, we all meet together and go over what we are learning and doing, and then we get to split off into our more specialized groups. I think that this is helping me work in larger teams and can compare to what a community of teachers might do. I have loved my experience in PELA so far and am excited to continue to learn and grow and prepare myself for further education and in my teaching career."


Kamora Shelton:

I love PELA! It has been a great opportunity to learn more about research, as well as become better friends with the student and professors in my major. Right now, I am working with Dr. Barney on a few different projects. We are doing research related to SWELL classes and the effects of caring teachers. Participating in research as an undergrad student will help me in the future, because I want to further my education and get a PhD. I've loved every bit of my time in PELA and can't wait to keep learning and growing as I prepare for more education and my teaching career.


If you are interested in learning more about experiential learning or anything in the McKay School, reach out to a student ambassador here!

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