Experiential Learning

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:

  1. Case and problem based studies
  2. Experiments
  3. Art Projects
  4. Simulations
  5. Students being engaged in asking many questions
  6. Investigation
  7. 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!


Photo CC: Noble High School

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!

  1. @ROMlearning
  2. @JulieWedgwood
  3. @servicejunkie

Here is a teacher blog to go follow as well.




12 thoughts on “Experiential Learning

  1. littlebrainfood says:

    I believe that experimental learning would be a great approach to use in your classroom. Although many of the approaches be got to choose from this week would all be ideal to use in a classroom I see this one being more important than others. Experimental learning is the way learning should be, I think anyways. Nowadays we go to school, learn about subjects that we may or may not remember tomorrow or even the next week, and then talk with some friends. If we had more experimental learning in our classrooms and used some of the things you mentioned above, we could have all sorts of children eager to get to school and discover new things. Children are constantly learning and if we take advantage of this while their young we can start them on a great path towards passionate learning! I also found that TED talk video to be awesome! I love that the boy knew he had a crazy idea, but still didn’t give up on it. If more children were able to learn about things they were passionate or at least relate back to real-world, we could have a whole new future of educators!
    Thanks for sharing!


    • haleyhanks says:

      Yes, it is so important that students are excited about going to school and about what they are learning about! I am really looking forward to implementing some of the ideas I am finding that involve experiential learning into my future classroom. 🙂


      • littlebrainfood says:

        That’s so great. I love that we were able to learn about all these different approaches and then all of our classmates doing different ones so we could discover what they found too. Hopefully experimental learning works well in your future classroom… if not there are many other approaches to use too!!
        Take care!


  2. mackennamarie says:

    You have some really great points! I chose to do this type of learning as well and didn’t realize that field trips were a part of this learning style. I think that is very interesting. It totally makes sense that they are included though and has made me realize in younger kids they would really benefit from this type of learning, making sure to spark their interest young and starting a solid foundation for them.


  3. courtneyhaywood says:

    I think any time a student is able to tie learning in with real life it is beneficial for them! Just like for this class, allowing us to get real experience with our PLN’s and working with blogs! I think it would be great to allow for experiential learning in the classroom frequently! Science classes in college expect it for credit so why not keep it up throughout all of schools?


  4. ashlynhansondiglit says:

    Wow! Experiential learning sounds like my type of education! What better way to learn something than to experience it first-hand? As a student growing up, experiments, activities, and field trips were always my favorite. Even though there was no reading, note-taking, or tests to study for during them, it is these experiences that I remember the most and retain the most information from. While it is difficult to make things like this happen during the entire school day on a regular basis, I would agree that it is absolutely beneficial when incorporated in the classroom!


  5. alondramunoz says:

    Thanks for sharing! A lot of students now a days need that hands on learning method to fully grasp what they are being taught. I think it is great that you found people to follow on twitter that can potentially help you implement this in your classroom.


  6. ryanlmosier says:

    Experiential learning wasn’t really making too much sense until you made the comment about a field trip to the grocery store. Motivation is a big factor with these learning styles because if students aren’t motivated then they wont learn. I do feel like the application to life is a major motivator.


  7. mikahlaferguson says:

    I agree that many of the students that are coming up need experiential learning style. I was one of those students and I still am. I feel like I learn quicker if I am able to experiment and experience whatever was to happen. Many people learn from their mistakes and I feel like students do as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s