Does Experiential Learning Work?

There are some educators who believe that integrating ‘real-life’ experiences – which they understand as experiential learning – into school curriculum offers no discernible long-term value to our students.

One such person is John Kijinski, who teaches English at the State University of New York, Fredonia. He wrote a recent article which appeared on the Inside Higher Ed website.

Click here to read John’s article.

So, does experiential learning work?

In a few words, here’s my opinion…

I get his point, but he misunderstands what true experiential learning is. Either that or he has confused ‘real-life’ experiences as the same thing as experiential learning. They are not the same – learning by doing is not the same as experiential learning.

There is no doubt that there is a LOT of valuable learning occurring within the four walls of a classroom, but it is also true that adopting an experiential-based learning approach (one imbued with ample opportunities for reflection) not only engages students more powerfully in their learning but is a lot more fun to teach.

What do you think?

Read John’s article and post a comment below…


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