The ‘E’ is for experiential learning and experiential learning is very similar to constructivist learning. There are two thoughts though when it comes to defining what experiential learning is:
As Stephen Brookfield (1983: 16) has commented, writers in the field of experiential learning have tended to use the term in two contrasting senses. On the one hand the term is used to describe the sort of learning undertaken by students who are given a chance to acquire and apply knowledge, skills and feelings in an immediate and relevant setting. (From infed)
The other position taken on experiential learning is one that believes that experiential learning is learning that results from the direct participation in a certain event or events. I personally agree with this statement but we can’t expect every event a student goes through the bring about positive or effective learning if we don’t help them understand how they have learned from the experience. I think therefore that it is about teaching students to recognise the outcomes achieved and skills or knowledge gained from an event when it may not be completely explicit. This can be done effectively through ongoing reflection.
The video below presents a great perspective of what experiential learning is in its purest form.[youtube http://youtu.be/Ou-ZC6JPmWA]
What do you learn from the simplest experience? An experience I’ve learned from that is certainly not simple is the experience of finding a new house to rent and the moving in etc. I learned a lot about being organised, assertive, persistent, patient and many other skills. Its not academic knowledge and skills but experiential learning can be foundational in learning the skills that help in the increased development of academic knowledge and skills in the future.
How can you ensure your students students learn from every situation and event that they experience? Would love to hear everyones ideas.