Experiential Learning in my opinion is the knowledge and intelligence one gains from experience. Education is important.
Most of us agree with this phrase, even if we never say it or do not want to believe it. The moment we were able to babble and understand a couple of words been said to us, begins the long journey of been talked at, going to school and been taught factual information. We are The Future. We are the Future Generation, the Better Generation. We are Tomorrows Leaders.
But tell me, how can we lead a world we do not know? We spend most of our days holed up in classrooms, neck deep in a vast amount of books. Weekends & holidays, that’s what we get and we are supposed to spend them with the family. We know nothing yet. We are still too young, not in years but in mind. We know nothing of the world and its happenings.
How can we? When we are not even given the chance to learn about it. How many schools have ever taken their pupils to homeless shelters to show them the lives of those less fortunate than they are? We have less than enough knowledge of how to deal with the world problems. Do they ever teach us how to manage a tax, mortgage, or any other life situation? We are here to learn, so why not teach us what we need to survive or even make a difference. I never really knew about global warming and its dangers until I read about it. What is their excuse? We are taught with ignorance. Facts we have not witnessed and information we cannot prove.
Then we move on to higher education, more like higher facts. Jam-packed information we can supposedly use to improve our one track career. “Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” David Kolb, a Professor of Organizational Behaviour in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, defines experiential learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.
Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience.” In 1975, Kolb and Roger Fry developed the “Experiential Learning Cycle” Classroom based courses where we sit and listen to uninspiring teachers talk with no interest or passion, our brains effectively shut off and go to sleep. Counting down the time to our release, to when the lecture finally ends. This is not just conjecture. In our brains, there is something called the reticular activating system. Its job is to filter all the information we are receiving and decide what we should focus our attention on at any particular moment.
It is at the heart of the reason why experiential learning is such an effective means of learning as opposed to classroom learning. I agree that some schools are trying now, school trips outside the country that is not just focused on more facts. Work experiences with different range of the work industries. But some is not enough, more is required. Or we end up with highly educated individuals with very little knowledge of how to apply their knowledge in a work place or their life in general. Without someone to help make a difference because they have very little idea on how to make a difference or because they have not been prepared for it.
We can change all that. Implement Experiential Education a subject. Twice a week of visiting places where we can aquire knowledge of what we require, to live and make the world better. We can create this change if we try.