I chose the experiential learning approach to research about, because it is the one that caught my eye first and made me the most curious!
What is experiential learning? According too UTexas, the definition is any learning that supports students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems on situations where the instructor directs and facilitates learning. Once I read this definition, I knew this was the type of learning I wanted to lean about. I believe that relating a child’s education to real world situations is crucial to their success academically as well as socially and professionally. Experiential learning teaches students the tools they will need for tackling real situations that will come across while learning to create a life for themselves. It motivates students which is so important. If a students sees a relevance in their learning, that will help keep them more engaged and focused on a goal. Below is a TedTalk that I found that shows how experiential learning helped a student become successful.
I have a certain vision of what a classroom would look like while using this specific learning approach. There would be learning visuals all around it in an organized manner, multiple group tables, and a lot of color and excitement! Yale.Edu states that while using experiential learning, classroom time is spent by:
- Case and problem based studies
- Art Projects
- Students being engaged in asking many questions
- Being curious
A classroom using this approach, I imagine, comes with a dull roar for noise from the students because of all of the conversation in groups, and a lot of hands on participation. This form of learning is great for everyone to be involved with hands on experimental education!
Another concept to think about that involves experiential learning is field trips! I love the idea of teaching children students something, and then taking them on a trip, even if it is somewhere simple like the grocery store, to see in person and to experience what they just learned about. I know that I absorb information so much better if I personally experience or see first hand what I am learning or have learned. It also helps me remember it longer. Grant Wiggins, author of an article called “Examples of Experiential Learning” in Teach Thought, wrote about how he visited Thedford Academy in Vermont. He observed a design tech course where students were learning about soil types, prior to a wetlands field trip. Learning information prior to the trip will help students be more educated on what they are seeing and it is more likely that they will be more engaged!
I am not saying that experiential learning should take up an entire students day, but I am definitely an advocate for incorporating it into every child’s education. I believe that it will allow students to use experiments as lessons for success and failure, which every student needs. As a future teacher, I will for sure be implementing experiential learning into my classroom!
Here are 3 teachers/experts that I found whom you should follow for great insight on this type of learning!
Here is a teacher blog to go follow as well.