The Residency in Hospital and Health Administration as Experiential Learning


  • George R. Wren


" It is presumed that almost all readers of this paper are familiar with on-the-job experiential learning in education for business. Originally all education for business was on-the-job. The future businessman learned as an apprentice in his father’s or relative’s or friend’s business, perhaps in some cases building on a classical education. This on-the-job training may have been supplemented by some readings or classroom work in a nearby school if available and appropriate. But as the demands increased for the successful operation of a business, more and more didactic work became necessary for future businessmen and finally schools became the major site for their education. Schools offered practical training in business procedures, sometimes with on-the-job training experiences with local business, commercial, or manufacturing enterprises. When formalized, this became “distributive or cooperative business education”. But even when the business education had no such on-the-job component, it was highly oriented to practical howit- is-done learning. The business was brought into the classroom. Practice sets existed not only for accounting but for most aspects of business. An article I read recently in a philatelic journal on business school stamps (i.e., facsimile postage and revenue stamps used by students to learn the proper handling, amounts, and cancellation of stamps in business procedures) gives evidence of those early days of truly experiential learning in business. [1, p. 358] The increasing sophistication of business administration led to the disappearance of most on- the-job learning in business. By the time studies of American business education by Gordon and Howell for the Ford Foundation [2] and Pierson et al for the Carnegie Corporation [3] were published in 1959, on-the-job components in collegiate and university education for business had all but disappeared. Gordon and Howell state “A few schools stress part- time work concurrently with formal education.” They give the City College of New York as an example of this. [4,p.372] Pierson also mentions CCNY as well as Cincinnati, Drexel and Northeastern, writing "