Experiential Education

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From left, first-graders Devlin Griffin, 7, Kollin Coleman, 8, and Ledger Hardy, 7, wait nervously to determine whether the "nest" they engineered with aluminum foil will support the weight of a raw egg in a "tree" of paper towel rolls made by science teacher Julie Neidhardt. In Julie Neidhardt's science lab at Hutchens Elementary School in Mobile, Ala., Neidhardt teaches kindergarteners and first graders basic concepts in physics, genetics, biology and ecology through experiments with chicken eggs, Thursday, April 26, 2018.
First graders Devlin Griffin, Kollin Coleman, and Ledger Hardy wait nervously to determine whether the “nest” they engineered with aluminum foil will support the weight of a raw egg in a “tree” of paper towel rolls. The exercise was part of an inquiry-based science lesson last year at Hutchens Elementary School in Mobile, Ala.
Meggan Haller/Keyhole Photo for Education Week
Teaching Students Learn More From Inquiry-Based Teaching, International Study Finds
A experiment involving 17,000 students in four countries finds gains for inquiry-, or problem-based teaching over traditional approaches.
Sarah D. Sparks, October 8, 2019
5 min read
Student Achievement Opinion Don't Force Group Work, Facilitate Experiential Learning
Students often find group work frustrating, divisive and unsuccessful. Experiential learning principles frame group activities to be engaging, meaningful, and effective.
Contributing Blogger, November 15, 2018
7 min read
College & Workforce Readiness How School-Business Partnerships Can Boost Experiential Learning
A report on business-education partnerships offers insight for K-12 educators as they seek to provide experiential learning, especially in career and technical education programs.
Catherine Gewertz, July 7, 2017
2 min read
School & District Management Opinion Democratic School Communities in Unexpected Places
If we want to build a broad, majority coalition for democratic educational reform with a strong emphasis on communities, we need to look in places that are not part of the conventional progressive horizon.
Harry C. Boyte, March 14, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Experiential Education Should Be Apart from Schools and Colleges
David Randall, Communications Director of the National Association of Scholars, makes his third set of comments in our discussion about his report. He agrees that civic learning can never be reduced to only those things that can be learned in a classroom. But he thinks citizenship and experiential education should take place out of school.
Harry C. Boyte, February 14, 2017
4 min read
Early Childhood Video A Little Preschool in the Woods
At Audubon Nature Preschool in Chevy Chase, Md., a “classroom” can be a pond, a bamboo forest, a meadow, or a garden. That’s because Audubon is a “nature preschool”—one of a growing number of preprimary schools around the country where children spend all or part of their days outdoors and in all kinds of weather.
January 19, 2017
Teaching Video Using America's National Parks as Classrooms
America's national parks have been called the country's "largest classroom," in part because they provide millions of hours in free educational programming every year. The National Park Service has worked to encourage "experiential learning" through the creation of hundreds of lesson plans, virtual resources for schools, and professional development for teachers. Their "place based" learning programs — in subjects such as ecology, history, and geology — have academic, developmental, and health benefits. Sustaining such programming takes on greater importance, parks advocates say, in the midst of ongoing funding challenges and a need to draw more and more diverse visitors to parks facilities and programs. In this PBS NewsHour segment, Education Week correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco.
November 23, 2016
Teaching Opinion National Parks at 100: Outdoor Classrooms for Experiential Learning
Our national parks offer educational opportunities to narrow the "experience gap," write Milton Chen and U.S. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
Milton Chen & Jonathan B. Jarvis, August 25, 2016
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Against Field Day: Experiential Education Shouldn't be a One Day Event
To be meaningful and worthwhile, "field experiences" should be coherent within students learning, thoughtfully planned, and provide opportunities for reflection and feedback.
John T. McCrann, June 21, 2016
4 min read
International Opinion Education Abroad: Six Things You Need to Know About Experiential Learning
To increase the number of students studying abroad, we should encourage experiential learning opportunities alongside the traditional semester and yearlong programs.
Christine A. Farrugia, May 16, 2016
7 min read
The R. W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, which opens this month, is already being used as a site for collaborative work between students and professors.
The R. W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, which opens this month, is already being used as a site for collaborative work between students and professors.
Dave Roback/The Republican of Springfield/AP
Teaching Opinion The Power of Experiential Learning
Experiential learning can inspire and prepare today's students for jobs that have yet to be invented, writes Hampshire College president Jonathan Lash.
Jonathan Lash, April 12, 2016
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Learning by Doing: The Case for Experiential Education
Students learn better when they are actively engaged in the learning process. This is a lesson that I have learned time and time again on outdoor trips, and one that was reinforced on the survival skills course from which we just returned.
John T. McCrann, February 25, 2016
4 min read
Education Opinion School Starts Again; Complicated Feelings and High Hopes
Perhaps in schools of the future, with experiential learning and creative problem-solving at the heart of the curriculum, kids will await the end of summer as a time to return to an experience that will so honor their needs and nature as to make the prospect of school actually seem better than vacation.
Peter Gow, September 3, 2013
4 min read
Education Bay Studies
A Oakland, California-based environmental group has developed an online curriculum designed to help teachers incorporate “experiential” conservation activities into their lessons.
Craig Stone, March 23, 2006
1 min read