5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School Year

5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School Year

5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School Year

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_GirlReadingBalcony-200x300 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearWhether you’re currently a student or you have long graduated, school has likely played an important role in your life in some way, shape, or form. For many people, school consists of studying, completing assignments, writing and passing exams, and moving on to the next level—whatever that next level might be. When school is approached in this way, we might be doing exactly what is needed to get that passing grade and elevating to the next step, but how much are we truly learning and retaining the material with which we’ve engaged? How much does this approach allow you to understand certain concepts and their relevance in your life beyond attaining a certain mark? How much does this inspire us as human beings to make our marks on the world?

While the value of studying, completing assignments, and getting good marks should not be downplayed and are all important markers of future success, these tasks make up a narrow view of education—almost as if schooling is simply a means to an end. In reality, life is a never-ending process of growth and learning. In order to make the most out of our educational experience and to reach our fullest potential in being able to work towards building a world in which we want ourselves and our progeny to live, we must supplement our schooling with experiential learning.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_Classroom-300x187 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearAs the name implies, experiential learning means learning through experience. More specifically, experiential learning entails doing, critical thinking, and reflecting. The four steps to experiential learning are: 1) gaining a concrete experience, 2) reflectively observing what is or isn’t working; 3) conceptualizing abstract ideas based on the reflection; and 4) active experimentation. Experiential learning is effective because whereas we only retain 5-10% of what we read or hear, we retain 75% of what we do. Therefore, experiential learning is associated with better retention of subjects taught in school and a greater appreciation for their real-world relevance.

Whether you are in grade school, college, or graduate school, a student, a parent of a student, or a teacher, you should absolutely find ways to make experiential learning a part of the educational process. As we are in the beginning of a new school year, consider the following ideas for activities to encourage experiential learning opportunities for students throughout the year, both during the school day and outside of school.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_Newspaper-300x200 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearEncourage reading/watching the news: So much goes on in the world beyond the walls of our classroom, yet students are often unaware of what is happening in their city or state let alone in other countries. Because of the nature of things that happen in the world, adults might feel inclined to shelter their children from the news. However, leaving one’s mark on the world starts with an awareness of the current state of affairs. Whether it’s politics, science, medicine, art, or popular culture, encourage students to learn more about the topics they find interesting, whether by reading or watching the news or reading blogs or magazines related to these topics. Have them research a current event related to their topic of interest and present a critical analysis that includes their understanding of the problem, potential solutions, the pros and cons of these solutions, and a plan for implementing the ideal solution. Students can also work in groups and debate these different topics.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_GirlsPainting-300x225 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearEncourage community involvement: When students have an understanding of current affairs, they are better able to determine the type of impact they want to have in their communities. It is never too early to encourage students to get involved in their community. Encouraging community involvement reinforces the message to students that they do have a voice and that they have the power to create the change they want to see. Whether it be through volunteering with a community organization, starting their own business venture, writing letters to their local politicians, getting a part-time job, or participating in an afterschool club, community involvement builds leadership skills and confidence and is an opportunity for students to put what they’ve learned in the classroom into practice.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_KidsCampfire-300x200 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearEncourage travel: Whether you take a road trip to the next town over or you take a cross-continental flight to another country, travel is a great way to immerse yourself in a new environment and to see different parts of the world up close and personal. Travel allows you the opportunity to meet new people, learn new languages, try new foods, see different landmarks and learn the history behind them, and have a greater understanding of different cultures. Travel helps students build confidence in their ability to adapt to new situations. It is also associated with better academic outcomes.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_WhereTheWorldEnds-200x300 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School Year

Encourage reading for fun: Reading for fun is associated with better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar—all important skills for being a good communicator. Reading for fun is also a great way for students to build connections between the books they’re reading, the material they’re learning in school, and their everyday lives.

Blog72_ExperientialLearning_BoyHelpingGirl-300x201 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School YearEncourage students to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with others: It is said that one of the best ways to learn. Sharing their knowledge with others is a great way for students to reinforce their understanding of a topic. It also builds communication skills and thus builds confidence. Students looking for a platform on which to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences should check out Konversai—the world’s first one-stop shop for any and all personal human knowledge. Konversai is an online platform that connects providers of knowledge with seekers of knowledge on any topic of interest via live video. Students can use Konversai not only to tutor others in academic subjects, but to teach other things that are of interest to them, whether it be art, coding, cooking, a musical instrument, a sport, a language, or an experience they’ve had. Knowledge providers on Konversai also have the option of charging for their time, so students who use the platform have the opportunity to learn financial management. All users on Konversai are encouraged to be both providers of knowledge and seekers of knowledge on any and as many topics as they wish, thereby allowing users to engage with a wide range of interests. All sessions on the platform are scheduled at times mutually convenient for both the provider and the seeker. Whether you do a session as a knowledge provider or a knowledge seeker, you are sure to leave the experience feeling enriched. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Join Konversai today!Blog72_ExperientialLearning_GirlAtComputer-300x200 5 Ways to Make Experiential Learning Part of Your School Year

Stay tuned for future blog posts about experiential learning activity ideas for different subjects.

By Pavita Singh

 

 

 

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