Experiential learning is the process of learning through experiences. More specifically it is learning through reflection of doing. Experiential learning is learning that supports allows students to see and experience first hand how the real world is. Throughout experiential learning students are able to get more than hands on experience because in addition to hands on learning the students also get to reflect on their product.
By participating and engaging in these real world experiences students are able to:
- Deepen their knowledge through repeatedly acting and then reflecting on it.
- Develop skills through practice and reflections.
- Support the construction of new understandings.
- Extend their learning as they bring their learning back to the classroom.
Why is experienced based learning good?
It teaches kids the competencies they need for real world success.
It motivates students.
It creates self-directed learners.
How does it work?
There are three aspects to experiential based learning:
- Knowledge: The concepts, facts, and information acquired through formal learning and past experiences.
- Activity: The application of knowledge to a real world setting.
- Reflection: The analysis and synthesis of knowledge and activity to create new knowledge.
The experiences are carefully chosen based on student skill and to maximize learning potential. The learner is actively engaged in prosing questions, investigating, experimenting, being curious, solving problems, and applying their knowledge. Reflection on learning during and after a student’s experiences is an important part of the learning process. Learners are engaged intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically which produces a perception that the learning task is authentic. I think the most important part of this type of learning is that relationships are developed and nurtured: learner to self, learner to others, and learner to the world.
The website that I found this information on is a college website, but I think a lot of the points brought up can be used in an elementary education setting. I think the website puts their perspective on experiential learning is mature, but can be brought down to a younger level. The teacher is supposed to be more of a facilitator, and in a younger level I think it would translate.