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Experiential Learning in Classroom: Jasmin Kumar

Would children in business school understand the real-world environment by learning in four walls of the classroom or by including internship, and job-shadowing, opportunities in a child’s field of interest writes Jasmin Kumar, An Educationist, Author, Parenting Coach.

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Children make discoveries and experiments with knowledge first hand, instead of hearing or reading about others' experiences. Today's world is dynamic and ever-changing. Now more than ever, it is crucial that schools integrate new learning techniques to help prepare children for the future workplace. Rote and didactic learning styles have dominated the education system since the industrial revolution. With both these methods, the child plays a relatively passive role in the learning process. In more recent times, it has become common practice for teachers to integrate more active learning techniques in the classroom such as experiential learning. 

What is experiential learning? 

As the name suggests, experiential learning is the process of learning through experience. Learning through experience is not a new concept for the classroom. Notable educational psychologists such as Carl Rogers David Kolb have provided the groundwork of learning theories that focus on “learning through experience or “learning by doing.” 

“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I will learn”. ~ Benjamin Franklin 

Unlike traditional classroom situations where teachers were sage on the stage and where the instruction was highly structured, whereas in experiential learning environment, teachers are the guide on the side and the learning approach is semi-structured approach. Instruction is designed to engage students in direct experiences which are tied to real world problems and situations in which the instructor facilitates rather than directs student progress. 

How can schools/colleges promote experiential learning? Experiential learning works very well inside the classroom. One of the easiest ways to ensure students are exposed to experiential learning is by incorporating:

• Off-site school trips,

• Project-based learning into the curriculum,

• Mock-trials or debates/Case Studies

• Role-playing influential historical figures,

• Simulations/role-playing/scientific experiments

• Organising business internship,

• Community service opportunities,

• Simulations - examining the factors behind stock market fluctuations.

What are the benefits of experiential learning? Over the years, experiential learning has proven to have a wide range of benefits that contribute to a child's development.

• Grasp concepts better With E.L., students are given the opportunity to apply data in a real-world situation.

• Opportunity to be more creative With real-world content, children learn that there are multiple solutions to challenges

• Opportunity to reflect They are encouraged to analyse how their actions affected the issue, and how their outcome may have varied from other students’.

• Students’ mistakes become valuable experiences Students learn not to fear mistakes, but to value them. So help improve the child’s attitude toward learning by making them Experince, Explore, Share, Reflect, Process, Analyse, Generalise and Apply.


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