Experiential Learning

For this blog I chose to explore the idea of “experiential learning.” This is a topic I’ve always been a fan of because of how often people actually partake in this learning. Whether we have noticed or not, in our lifetime we use this type of learning everyday and for many different reasons. From the time we fell when we were a baby, to now when we do something for the first time. In this video below, they put this type of learning in great terms. It stats that once we see our mistakes from something we did, we learn from them naturally and that’s a great thing to incorporate into our teaching styles. It can be used when you are learning something completely new, but can also be used when you just want to become better at a certain thing.

In football we do this type of learning every single day at practice. The saying “practice makes perfect” is really a quote that can derived from experiential learning. The more you practice something, or experience something, you will become much better at it. But if you are just reading about what to do in a football game, then go out and try and perform it without ever doing it, it won’t be easy. The same goes with schooling. You can read all the information about something in a text book, but by doing it and experimenting with this ideas, you’ll retain that information easier because that’s what you’ve been doing in life this whole time without even noticing.

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Photo CC: http://nahar-is.org/index.php/experiential-learning/

In the photo above we see students in the field with their teacher actually experiencing what could be taught. When we were all younger, field trips were always something we could all appreciate. If you can get the funding from your school, it’s important to bring your students out and let them learn by doing.

According to this pdf from Northern Illinois University, there are certain steps that go into this specific type of learning. The first being experiencing: This means the students will do the experience the instructor asks, but the instructor will provide little to no help. Following this, the students will share and reflect on the experience. They will share the observations and experiences with their peers and this information can be used in the future. Next, students will process what they have experienced and analyze this information and use it for the next time they experience something like this. Following the process phase, students then generalize their experience and ask themselves how they can connect it with real life problems they will face. The last phase of this process is application. They will apply this information to similar experiences and hopefully handle these experiences with great success. I love this type of learning and believe it should be a key element in all teachers classes.

Here is a great blog thread I found on this topic.

Expert teachers I follow and post great information for us all to use to build our minds as future educators.

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