In no particular order…
Number One: Experience+Process+Understanding+Application=Experiential Learning. IN OTHER WORDS Experience without processing and reflection is just experience, not experiential education. In order for experience to become more than just a moment in time, we must go through a process that allows us to reflect on the experience, learn from the experience, understanding the application to our broader world, and apply our learning to future experiences.
Number Two: The best experiential educators don’t just wing-it, they plan and learn for whatever comes their way. YOU can learn too. Those camp counselors, teachers, or youth workers who seem to be the most spontaneous in the moment tend to have learned games, stories, dances, or texts. Those educators who seem to always know what to do have learned about, trained for, experienced, or thought through different scenarios.
Number Three: Experiential Education is not limited to a particular setting. Experiential Education can be used anywhere at virtually any time. Making meaning from experience can take place in a classroom, at home, playing sports, in nature, at camp or in a place of worship. However, it doesn’t just happen, we need to take the time for reflection and process.
Consider checking out:
The Association for Experiential Education: www.aee.org
The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education: www.infed.org
The Institute for Informal Jewish Education: www.brandeis.edu/ije