Experiential learning as the name suggests is learning by doing. It's through experiencing concepts in day-to-day life that makes one acknowledge the benefits of experiential learning. With the help of experiential learning, a child gets a better look at the curriculum and course material they have been provided with. It showcases a big picture of the world, which is generally narrowed down due to rote learning.
Experiential learning helps a child get an in-depth insight into their talents and weaknesses, which can be gradually strengthened and reduced respectively. Handsome opportunities and leadership/21st-century skills are easily achievable if a child treads on the road of experiential learning.
Experiential learning can be better understood by an influential theory given by David Kolb, an American educational theorist. According to Kolb, experiential learning takes place in a 4 stage cycle:
1) Concrete learning,
2) Reflective observation,
3) Abstract conceptualization and
4) Active experimentation
In concrete learning, the learner encounters a fresh concept or improves on the exciting experience. In the stage of reflective observation, the learner reflects on the experience with a personal touch. In the abstract conceptualization stage, the learner forms new abstract ideas or modifies existing ideas. In the last stage, the learner applies new ideas to their surroundings and notices any modification which is needed in the next stage of experience.
To highlight the importance of experiential learning, Ezyschooling conducted a panel discussion on “Why Experiential Learning is the Only Way Forward”. The session was attended by the following expert panelists:
By experiencing theoretical ideas one not only enhances critical and logical thinking but also paves the way to a better understanding of tasks related to the idea i.e. additional knowledge on diverse topics is acquired.
Experiential learning helps a child get a closer look at real-life challenges and this way they accept their mistakes more willingly than they otherwise would.
As Dr. Beno Kurein mentioned, “It’s all about doing, reflecting, redoing, and modifying. There is no endpoint to this.”
Experiential learning has always been there as can be surmised through Mr. Ashutosh Jhureley's statement, “It’s just a glamorous name given to an old concept. It's nothing new but just the way you do things naturally. Evaluation-based or Academic Learning takes place within students’ intellect but Experiential Learning takes place in students natural environment, it helps develop Cognitive Flexibility”
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Schools and teachers have been continuously adapting themselves to these changing times. As Ms. Tarang Gaur pointed out, “B.Ed/M.Ed is not sufficient nowadays, teachers have to be technology savvy to become a better education provider.”
Teachers have been constantly adapting to new technological innovations so that they can habituate well with the era of experiential learning. And to cultivate this stellar idea of experiential learning, schools follow the given methods:
Apart from schools, there are many programs and online platforms that help teach kids the experiential way of learning. A prominent example is Moonshot Jr.
Moonshot Jr’s Innovator Program, designed for children aged 10-17, is an educational program that empowers and nurtures them to become future innovators and entrepreneurs. It incorporates Outcome-focused learning based on interest, innovative thinking, and knowledge of STEAM and hands-on entrepreneurial training.
Experiential learning touches the 3 most important aspects of the development area of a child. It brings about holistic growth by enhancing the power of Cognition, Affection, and Psychomotor abilities.
Improvement in cognition brings about critical and logical thinking; affection is enhanced by social relations and balances; psychomotor skills are developed through hands-on experience. Our panel guest, Ms. Moupia William expressed that “Experiential learning was there, is there, and will always be there.”
Through these abilities, a child’s development takes a holistic route. Experiential learning helps in improving 21st-century skills like public speaking, coding, and due to its flexible nature, it can be practiced anywhere. Thus it makes it more than a trend and it’s sure to be present in the future as well.
No doubt experiential learning helps a child in numerous ways. It is not just a theoretical concept but a way of learning which we all need to rigorously acknowledge and execute to make children future-ready.
As Ms. Gitanjali Dutta says “Children through experiential learning, start thinking out of the box. They make independent decisions by applying tools in a real-life situation.”
Listed here are few benefits that children gain from becoming experiential learners:
And in fact, technology is also paving new ways to incorporate experiential learning in childrens’ life. This was acknowledged by Ms. Meenakshi Mehra when she said, “Technology has been the backbone of experiential learning throughout online education.”
Experiential learning helps children improve by accepting their flaws and working on making them more well-rounded individuals. In this process, they grow holistically by enhancing their skills and knowledge in different day-to-day life activities as well as the theoretical ideas present in their book. This problem-solving technique will take a child to new heights.