Meaning and concept :

‘I hear, I forget

I see, I remember

I do and I understand ‘

-Confucius (450 BC)

‘Tell me and I forget,

teach me and I remember,

involve me and I will learn.’

-Benjamin Franklin (1715).

  • Meaning and concept of Experiential Learning (ExL)
  • The cycle of ExL
  • Features of ExL

Experiential learning (ExL) is a very old concept and has been practiced in Indian Gurukul System from a very long time ago where the students learn values, various tasks and skills under the guidance of their gurus through experience or through discovery.

Aristotle also spoke of it around 350 BC when he wrote ‘For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

The concept of ExL in education was first explored by John Dewey, kurt Lewin, Kurt Hahn, and Jean Piaget. It was made popular by David A. Kolb.

Experiential Learning an immersive methodology which is participant focused. It is learner centered. In this approach the teacher or educator purpose fully involve his students in an experience which leads to the situation where students reflect in order to gain knowledge. It develops their skill and clarify values.

ExL can also be referred to a learning that is gained by experience or learning by doing or learning while action, learning through action, learning through discovery or learning by experience.  It is a way or approach of learning where students are involved in teaching learning process willingly.

ExL is the process of learning where a person involves in a work or task and after completing that task, he reflectively observes over the process to make it more efficient, productive, useful and effective. He abstractly conceptualizes new concepts or new ideas, new methods or modify any existing concept to form a new conclusion. And further applies his new ideas or method in the real world setting and thereby creating newer experience. Thus, it becomes a cycle which is given hereunder:

Features of Experiential Learning:

Experiential learning is:

  • Combination of direct experience with focused reflection.
  • Built on past knowledge and experiences.
  • An active involvement in meaningful construction.
  • collaboration and exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Experiential learning is a pedagogy to:

  • Make educational environment student centric
  • Let students control their learning
  • Enable students to think critically, evaluate, make decisions, and construct knowledge
  • Make learning experience cooperative, collaborative and independent
  • Bridge gap between theory and practice

 It is not:

  • Simply doing too many activities in a class,
  • Taking students out for a visit without
  • Any specific learning aims
  • Utilizing expensive resource for learning
  • Watching video in a smart class

Thus, we can conclude that experiential learning is a process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experiences. Experiential learning is an active self-directed process that can be applied not only in the group setting but in everyday life.

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