The Jared phenomenon: Intergenerational learning in a teacher education context

April 12, 2011


Karen Brennan, Anthony Clarke


While student teachers have essentially unfettered access to the expertise of university instructors and practicum supervisors during their teacher education program, this study explores the potential of employing recent graduates as a source of expertise that current student teachers might draw upon during their program. Over the course of three years, the authors employed recent graduates to facilitate instruction in an experimental 12-month after-degree BEd option at the University of British Columbia. Through the use of surveys and interviews, the authors demonstrate that graduate involvement is a special case of intergenerational learning that they refer to as the Jared Phenomenon. Their analysis offers five characteristics that define the phenomenon, outlines the contexts in which this definition is applicable, and points to a set of dilemmas that arise from its application. They recommend the judicious use of recent graduates as instructors for current students as an important and underutilised resource in teacher education.

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