In 2014, one of my mentors, Mr. Bruce Saunders of Wilmington Ohio introduced me to the concept of Experiential Learning as he was the principal of a private school in Wilmington Ohio called Experiential Academy.
I was so intrigued by the concept and the more I think about it, I believe this is something that more schools should implement. Too many students don’t understand and cannot comprehend what is being taught to them. They are memorizing their work and regurgitating it on the exams. Well in order for students to understand what they are doing in schools, I believe the solution to that issue is experiential learning.
Experiential learning is a process of learning whereby students are introduced to the subjects in real life scenarios and they not only observe the areas of the subjects but they also gain experience and an understanding by a hands on approach.
Forms of Experiential Training
There are some schools that have field trips as part of their curriculum but they are not as frequent as they should be. When a school implements experiential learning, field trips will be a frequent part of the curriculum. The more field trips that students participate in, the more students become familiar with their studies. Some students may not even have to study but rather they will remember what they observe on the field trips. I know there are some subjects such as Mathematics that will be challenge to have a field trip.
Internship allows students to gain hands on experience in their subjects. I would encourage particularly Colleges and Universities to have internship as a requirement for students before they graduate. Too many students are graduating and don’t have the practical training in their field. An internship is a way to get that experience and will also give students an opportunity to decide if that is the field they really want to be in.
Experiential Learning can transform our education system
I am not an educator but I believe experiential learning can transform our education system and in so doing the entire country will be better off. Too many of our students have issues understanding what is being taught them and some of them don’t even understand the importance of the subject. However, experiential learning can aid students in their learning. I believe some of the students that are failing have an opportunity to pass because they will remember what they see and that is a significant part of experiential learning. Some teachers spend too many hours in the classrooms teaching and what they are teaching is going through one ear of the students and coming out of the other ear but if they engage in experiential learning, I know they will see a difference in the performance of students.
I believe an effective way of learning is by observation and a hands on approach. When you observe things, you tend to remember more and understand the subject better. Too many times students either progressed from one grade to the next or even graduated but they do not appreciate or understand fully what they have learned. Experiential Learning will engage students and will allow them to think and understand their lessons.
I end with the famous quote from Confucius “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”