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(About) Internship Projects: Adult Education Students at Concordia University

Riva Heft: Internship Instructor

Poster Session Presenters

Mr. Paul Arseneault. Internet as an Educational Resource for Teachers.

Mr. Eric Dufresne. Labour Education and a collective agreement for vocational teachers.

Ms. Sandra Georgescu. Communication Skills Training for Out-patients Suffering from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness.

Mrs. Dana Kausilas. Hiring for Competencies: Activities for Interviewers.

Mrs. Annuta Pinchuk. In-service: Meeting the past through today's generation.

Ms. Renata Scheib. Meditation Workshop For Actors : "Expanding Your Creative Expression".

Ms. Jennifer Silverman. Introduction to Employee Self- Evaluations, Awareness and Comprehension: A Workshop for Continuing Professional Development.

Ms. Lydia Tawil. Workshops as a Tool to Assess the Needs of French Second Language Adult Learners.

The process and results of Internship projects undertaken by students in the Adult Education Program, Department of Education at Concordia University were presented at a multi poster session. This Internship consists of two three-credit, project-based courses during which each student articulates, develops and implements a supervised Special Project for the benefit of a Host Institution, a provider of adult education. Supervision is provided on-site by a member of the Host Institution and in a seminar setting throughout the course of two academic terms by the Internship instructor. A primary goal of the Internship is to provide students with an experience that links theory with practice in a real life situation. Most of the Internship students are adult educators working in diverse settings such as hospitals, school boards, community centres and the private sector.

The topics presented were as varied as the institutions and agencies that sponsored them. Students located a Host Institution, a project advisor who is a member of that Host Institution and together a Special Project was articulated for the benefit of the Host Institution. Phase 1 of the Internship required the student, with the assistance of the internship instructor and project advisor, to delineate the objectives of the Special Project, describe the Host Institute and its role as a provider of adult education and examine the topic area by conducting a review of current literature. In Phase 2, the project delineated in Phase 1 was implemented. A product of the Special Project was a Final Report, including a history of the Host Institution, a review of the literature in the area relevant for each Special Project and details of the implementation process of the Special Project. Other products reflected the unique character of the Special Projects and included manuals for instructional materials and workshops, tools for a Human Resources department and recommendations for articles for a collective agreement for vocational education teachers working in the Québec public school system.

This poster session presentation provided the students with an opportunity to be an integral part of a public experience at an important conference in their field of study. This will add a significant dimension of professionalism to the Internship experience of its participants.

The following pages represent a brief summary of the Special Projects as written by each individual student. A bibliography is included at the end containing selected references cited in these pages.

Riva Heft

Concordia University

Intern Mr. Paul Arseneault.
Title of Special Project Internet as an Educational Resource for Teachers
Host Institution Commission Scolaire Marguerite Bougeoys, Pavillion Boilleau

This project was designed for teachers with little or no knowledge of personal computers or the Internet. The purpose was to demonstrate the use of computers as a tool for teaching. The demand on the public school system to create and develop programs with technology in mind is an ever-increasing reality in the technological era western society finds itself.

An interview of the eighteen participating teachers was held at the host institution: Pavillon Boilleau of the Commission Scolaire Marguerite Bougeoys located in city of LaSalle, Québec, Canada. The purpose of the interviews was to establish the level of knowledge the teachers had of computers and what they would like to learn related to this subject. As a result of the interviews it was discovered that two groups of learners would be participating. The first group demonstrated a novice level of computer use and hardware related topics. The second group demonstrated a beginner's level. What the participating teachers requested of the course was to be taught three aspects of computer use. The first was Word Processing, the second was computer software / hardware interrelation and finally how to use the Internet as an educational resource.

With the results of the interviews I was able to create three modules for this program: Module one Computer Hardware / Software interrelation, module two Word processing using Microsoft Word 97 and module three the Internet. An example of how the Word processing module was taught is as follows: all the teachers were sitting in front of a computer during the course, this was done to offer the teachers as much exposure to computers as possible. Ensuring that the course outline kept the teachers interested they were taught how to make individual class schedules for their students, reading assignments, exams and what modules would be taught during the semester. They were also taught how to make course handouts incorporating Clip Art to make their handouts more appealing to the reader. How to incorporate a table of contents into their documents automatically by the word processor. During class, the actual hands on experience the teachers received was ninety five percent of the course time. This hands on experience had a profound impact on these teachers they now feel comfortable with computers and several of the teachers have stated that they intend to buy or continue learning about computers.

This special project was successful for two reasons. The first reason is because the teachers learned how to use computers in the everyday aspects of their jobs. The second reason is, I have gained a large amount of valuable experience on how to develop teaching programs for teachers. This teaching experience has matured my competencies as an adult educator to a much higher degree of professionalism than I had previously.

Intern Mr. Eric Dufresne
Title of Special Project Labour Education and a collective agreement for vocational teachers
Host Institution Riverside Park Technology Centre

For the Special Project the intern took the opportunity to reflect on the issues of labour education at his host institution, Riverside Park Technology Centre (RPTC). The project advisor and the intern articulated some issues of labour education for the Special Project as these apply to the collective agreement and impact on the staff at RPTC. Three parties are implicated: the union - Lakeshore Teacher's Association (LTA), the individual teacher and the administrators at centre and board levels from the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

The uniqueness of the vocational technology sector at Riverside Park Technology Centre cannot be perceived in the same manner as the youth sector for the following reasons. The working environment consists of a working day from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The school year is twelve months long and there are twelve technologies offered at the centre. Each of these technologies has it's own particular needs and challenges. The vocational technology sector has no specific body of knowledge or official protocol directly related to the daily struggles of running the different programs.

The combination of the obligatory guidelines, teachers' responsibilities, the centre's mission, the responsibility towards the community, school policies and the Collective Agreement E 1 creates a structure where the educator can achieve his or her goal of teaching. But sometimes, misunderstandings occur in the daily life of a centre due to the different contractual status of teaching staff. Knowledge of governing policies from the Human Resources Department and the legal implications of successful and unsuccessful grievances can narrow down the misinterpretations of the collective agreement by any involved parties.

The issues of labour education are on going and dynamic and reflect the diverse relationships within the working environment. The importance of gathering information for future collective agreements will become more evident as the teachers move into an interim period of negotiations. Discussions relating to the local collective agreement for the vocational technology sector will not realistically take place until the fall of 1999 at the earliest. The transition from the old Montreal Teachers Association's (MTA) collective agreement to the new and unfamiliar LTA's collective agreement has been quite challenging for the new LTA members and the administrators at RPTC.

From being a senior representative of the MTA in 1998, the intern has become a senior representative of the LTA in 1999. Thus, the intern has become responsible for informing the membership of the new modifications affecting this working environment within the collective agreement. In light of the real work situations experienced and witnessed at RPTC, it seemed appropriate as a learner and practitioner of adult education that the intern undertakes the design and implementation of activities around some issues of labour education.

Intern Sandra Georgescu
Title of Special Project Communication Skills Training for Out-patients Suffering from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness
Host Institution Angrignon Adult Education Centre, Douglas Hospital

A Communication Skills Training (CST) program for the out-patients of the Douglas Hospital was an effort to enhance the patients' capacity to adapt to society and become more autonomous while undergoing the process of deinstitutionalization.

Clients from Contact Centre (Community Vocational Organization affiliated with the Douglas Hospital) who participated in this training program are of medium to high intellectual functioning and suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. They are sufficiently autonomous to commute by themselves, engage in a variety of structured activities and hold part-time to full time employment. Notwithstanding these abilities, they display inappropriate social and communicative behaviours such as but not limited to, the lack of eye contact, withdrawal, and aggression, and mute or unintelligible speech, (Hersen & Bellack, 1976; Goldsmith & McFall, 1975; Sylph et al., 1977). Personal observation by the author corroborated these findings.

Past literature on Social Skills Training (SST) and Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) indicated a need for such a program for outpatients with severe and persistent mental illness (Bachrach, 1992; Ragis, 1998; Liberman et al., 1986; Odom & McConnel, 1992).

A literature review and research project in psychology and education lay the foundation for the design of a CST program. The overall objective of this program was the instruction of communication skills through the following topics: definition of communication, ownership of

statements, active listening, disclosing information, assertive communication, negotiation, saying and accepting "no", and the expression of difficult feelings, (Adler & Towne, 1993; Johnson, 1997).

The teaching method included ten, three-hour sessions of formal instruction and discussion, modeling, role-plays, practice/rehearsal and homework assignments. In order to overcome past shortcomings of generalization of behaviour (skill) across contexts and situations

(Falloon et al., 1977; Liberman et al., 1986; Odom & McConnell, 1992), the implementation of this CST program was carried out at the clients' work site, in accordance with the recommendations of Liberman et al.(1986).

Due to the limited amount of time and resources available, the clients were unable to appropriately transfer the learning of new skills to novel examples and situations. The final outcome is presently inconclusive. However, it is safe to infer that more practice time per topic, (three times as much), would be of greater benefit for this population.


Intern Dana Kausilas
Title of Special Project Hiring for Competencies: Activities for Interviewers
Host Institution Concordia University, Department of Human Resources

Competencies is a concept that has caught the attention of Human Resource practitioners in the last couple of years (Kochanski, 1997). Over the last two decades, research has systematically linked about 20 competencies to effective and superior performance in the workplace (Boyatzis, 1982; Spencer & Spencer, 1993). This evidence has prompted many organizations to look at incorporating competencies into their various Human Resource functions such as: hiring, career development, salary administration, performance appraisal.

This project aimed at helping the Human Resources department of one such organization- Concordia University-understand the implications of incorporating a formal, competency-based approach into their operations. To accomplish this objective, one Human Resource function was chosen for a pilot study-that of "hiring". Recent literature on interview practices gave prominent importance to identifying competencies required for an open position (Berman, 1997; Spencer & Spencer, 1993; Taylor & O'Driscoll, 1995). Using the models suggested in this literature as a guide, a three-part program was developed for interviewers, which focused on competencies. The program requires that interviewers implement three principal activities. The first is to identify the competencies required for the open position. This is done with an updated job description and a generic dictionary of competencies. The interviewers indicate, on a form provided, the competencies that are required to accomplish the major job responsibilities and their relative importance to the job. Secondly, interviewers must develop up to three questions for each competency identified. They can use sample questions provided to formulate questions that elicit responses that tap either past behaviors the candidate has actually performed, or future behaviors the candidate would intend to undertake. The third activity requires that interviewers record and rate the responses provided by the candidate on forms developed for this purpose. The interviewers use a 5-point rating scale to indicate the extent to which the candidate's actual or intended actions correspond to a mastery of the competency being measures.

The program provides interviewers with a procedure that guides their actions when hiring, as well as a framework which highlights the training they need to receive, formally or informally, to master the skill of hiring for competencies.

Intern Annuta Pinchuk
Title of Special Project In-service: Meeting the past through today's generation
Host Institution Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

I never realized how important the topic of genocide is today. This is no longer just a Jewish issue to me. It belongs to everyone. The importance in educating every generation of people, young, old and never, never forgetting, is crucial. I myself have turned a blind eye to the genocide around the world. My own personal growth in learning about the Holocaust has progressed, but is still very far from complete. I had difficulty reading certain material. The cold hard facts on genocide were not so upsetting, and neither were the different critical opinions offered. However, I read many different books with tearful texts in them, with personal stories from survivors and their families. I would wander off with these readings for hours before "getting back on topic" to the academic analysis of genocide. I had difficulty comprehending the actual horrors that people and their families went through. I know about it, but for comfort reasons I block it to continue on with my life. The brutality is beyond my scope. I had never before realized the many branches of Holocaust education that touch our lives today, like the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre or countless newspaper clippings and magazine articles and TV news stories that keep coming up about the Holocaust, stories I never really noticed before. I also never realized the shocking extent of "Holocaust revisionism" or the fact that genocide is not given the adequate attention it deserves as a secondary school topic. I now realize the necessity to teach every and all generations the basic lesson of the Holocaust: human life is precarious and fragile.

From one generation to another but what does that mean? Now a new generation is emerging and the old are dying. Soon there will no longer be Holocaust survivors, and I watch in horror as young people have grown accustomed to hatred, anger, and racism. They have not grown more tolerant, and I fear the lessons we must learn from the Holocaust will be lost to future generations. This is why I think it so absolutely crucial to teach an integrated genocide unit in secondary schools--- "lest we forget."

Intern Renata Scheib
Title of Special Project Meditation Workshop For Actors : "Expanding Your Creative Expression"
Host Institution The Montreal School of Performing Arts

The purpose of this Special Project was to design a meditation workshop for actors of the Host Institution, The Montreal School of Performing Arts. The workshop was designed to teach students the skills necessary to allow them to further explore and heighten their creative expression as actors. In addition, the new workshop would provide an opportunity for the acting school to expand their program curriculum.

After having consulted with the Artistic Director and Director of The Montreal School of Performing Arts, it was identified that a meditation workshop would serve the following two purposes. 1) It would be useful to the students in achieving their goals and 2) it would increase the services to clients of the institution. This generated the possibility for greater enrollment, as the school would be able to offer the public at large as well as current students a wider selection of courses.

A needs assessment questionnaire was distributed to the student / actor population in order to evaluate if in fact there was a need and/or interest in having the meditation workshop available. The response was very positive from everyone, and the results indicated such a need.

A search of the literature on meditation and its benefits was conducted using Harrison (Jr.) & Musial (1978), Janowiak & Hackman (1994) and Malloy (1998). A proposal was submitted to the acting school that served as a basis for the design of the technical side of the workshop that was grounded in the work of Caffarella (1994).

The workshop design consisted of 8 sessions of 1 1/2 hours each. Throughout each session various meditation techniques were demonstrated to students and were later performed by them. These techniques enabled them to reduce stress, balance energies, and shift consciousness to enhance concentration and focus. Effectively, they were able to use these meditation methods learned in class to their advantage when having to develop character roles, auditioning, or performing on stage or film.

To conclude, I feel that the workshop was successful not only in helping the students achieve personal growth as performers, but also as human beings. And finally, my involvement in this Special Project has proved invaluable, as it has given me the opportunity to further develop myself as an adult education facilitator.

Intern Jennifer Silverman
Title of Special Project: Introduction to Employee Self- Evaluations, Awareness and Comprehension: A Workshop for Continuing Professional Development
Host Institution Pharmaprix Head Office, Montreal

This special project was developed to inform Pharmaprix employees and management on the necessity and importance of self-evaluations. The development of this workshop was in response to a training need identified at the host institution: Pharmaprix Head Office.

After consulting with the Director of Training at Pharmaprix head office, and identifying the absence of an company sponsored course on employee self-evaluation, it was proposed that such a course in the form of a workshop be developed and pilot tested on-site in one Pharmaprix store.

A needs assessment survey was conducted with the employees of Pharmaprix who would form the pilot test population, to measure and determine how they have been evaluated in the past and how they would like to be evaluated in the future.

The workshop was developed by conducting research on employee appraisals and self-evaluations. "Research has shown that performance review discussions based on self-review prove to be more productive and satisfying than traditional manager-initiated appraisal discussions" (Meyer in London, 1997, p.43). Using London (1997) and Caffarella (1994) as sources for the content, a workshop on employee self-evaluation was developed.

This learning activity was developed as a participatory educational training session to 1) demonstrate the importance of employee appraisals, 2) illustrate that employees can take responsibility for their own job performance and 3) break the barriers that stand between management and the employees.

A workbook was also developed for the employees to use as a guide, a tool and a resource. A Workshop for Continuing Professional Development: Self-Evaluations, Awareness & Comprehension: Introduction to Company Employee Self­Evaluations was created to help Pharmaprix employees understand that self-evaluations are productive tools to the employee appraisal process.

This workshop was successful since it responded to a demand for a more efficient appraisal process. It is expected that this will benefit all the parties involved; management and staff. Another reason for its success is the amount of knowledge and experience I have gathered in the employee-training field. This has become a valuable experience that has allowed me to enhance my skills and achieve a goal of personal and professional growth.

Intern Lydia Tawil
Title of Special Project Workshops as a Tool to Assess the Needs of French Second Language Adult Learners
Host Institution Centre d'Éducation des Adultes de LaSalle Pavillon Boileau (C. É. A. L)

In today's society, reading and writing are basic needs. We must try to educate our population in order to eliminate the word ''illiteracy'' from our vocabulary. For this, we must start right here in Canada.

The learning process varies from one person to another. In fact, it is believed that educators should try to adapt their teaching methods to the needs of their students. For literacy learners, things may get somewhat complex. They learn to read in five stages: 1) pre-reading,

2) decoding, 3) fluency, 4) learning the new, multiple viewpoints, and finally 5) construction and reconstruction.

It is more difficult for students who do not know the Roman alphabet to acquire French or English literacy skills. The population for this Special Project was students from non-Roman alphabet countries. Low levels of education characterize these adults, in this case less than a grade 10 education or no education at all. They have great difficulty learning a new language. When they complete their learning program they will not be able to go any further because of the absence of available programs. Pavillon Boileau does not provide more than the basic level in literacy programs. For the directors at Pavillon Boileau, it was important to seek possible solutions for some current illiterate students.

In order to help them proceed to the next level of the acquisition of reading and writing skills the creation of various phonetics and literacy workshops was undertaken. These workshops sought to gather information on the students' abilities to learn as well as their learning plateaux. By building on what the learner already knew, their self-esteem was enhanced as was their motivation to learn and their confidence as learners. Using real life situations the students felt more at ease. In this way they learned more quickly, more efficiently and with a sense of personal accomplishment.


Adler, B.A. & Towne, N. (1993). Looking out/looking in. Ireland, LA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

Bachrach, L. L. (1992). "Psychosocial rehabilitation and psychiatry in the care of long term-patients". American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(11), 1455-1463.

Caffarella, R. (1994) Planning Better Programs for Adult Learners; A Practical Guide for Educators, Trainers and Staff Developers. San Francisco. Jossey Bass Publishers.

Falloon, I. R. H., Lindley, P., McDonald, R. & Marks, I. M. (1977). "Social skills training of outpatient groups: A controlled study of rehearsal and homework". British Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 599-609.

Goldsmith, J. B. & McFall, R. M. (1975). "Development and evaluation of an interpersonal skill-training program for psychiatric inpatients". Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 84(1), 51-58.

Harrison, A. (Jr.); Musial, D. (1978). Other Ways, Other Means: Altered Awareness Activities for Receptive Learning. Santa Monica, California: Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc.

Hersen, M. & Bellack, A. (1976). "A multiple-baseline analysis of social skills training in chronic schizophrenia". Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 9, 239-245.

Janowiak, J.; Hackman, R. (1994). "Meditation and College Students' Self-Actualization and Rated Stress". Psychological Reports, v.75, p. 1007-1010.

Johnson, S. L. (1197). Therapist's Guide to Clinical Intervention: The 1-2-3s of Treatment Planning. San Diego, CA.: Academic Press.

Liberman, R. P., Mueser, K. T., Wallace, H. E., Eckman, T. & Massel, H. K. (1986). "Training skills in the psychiatrically disabled: Learning coping and competence". Schizophrenia Bulletin, 12, 631-646.

London M. (1997). Job Feedback: Giving, Seeking, and Using Feedback for Performance Improvement

Malloy, J. (1998). www.meditationcenter.com. Sacramento, California: Worldwide Online Meditation Center.

Odom, S. L. & McConnell, S. R. (1992). "Improving social competence: an applied behavior analysis perspective". Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25(2), 239-244.

Ragins, M. (1998). "Changing from a medical model to a psychosocial rehabilitation mode" [WWW]. The Journal [On-line serial], 5(3).

Available Internet: www.mhsource.com/hy/j53.html.

Sylph, J. A., Ross, H. E. & Kedward, H. B. (1977). "Social disability in chronic psychiatric patients". American Journal of Psychiatry, 134(12), 1391-1394.

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Prepared August 3, 1999 by the ACÉÉA/CASAE Internet Working Group