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In addressing the theory-practice divide, this research provides valuable insight into preservice teachers’ (PSTs) learning through an experiential learning (EL) framework during teacher education. Utilizing an interpretivist approach, this study aims at providing insight on how PSTs link the manner in which they learned during teacher education to how they teach during school placement. Evidence suggested participants valued faciliating enjoyable and meaningful learning experiences for their students in the course of learning through an EL approach. Learning through an experiential approach provided the PSTs with confidence in what to teach. However, the PSTs also assumed their own students would have similar responses to the learning experiences they had themselves when completing tasks during teacher education. PSTs were limited in their ability to recognize student learning and in understanding student capacity for progression. Implications of the findings for teacher education are discussed.
Dillon is with the Carnegie Faculty, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom, Tannehill is with the Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. O’Sullivan is with the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.