If you have any experience in the educational system, you probably already have heard the term “experiential education” by now. If this is not the case, then the phrase might seem a bit abstract at a first glance and you might not realize what it exactly means. If you want to find out more about this topic, read below for everything you need to know about experiential education.
What It Is
This education is a phrase used to describe an interaction between the teacher or instructor and the student, through which the latter gains direct experience in relation to the environment and the content of the training program. Basically, it involves taking a theoretical principle and putting into a real life setting. While the presentation of information represents the theoretical part of a training course, this education represents the practical part.
Through this education, students have the opportunity to take the information learnt during training courses and use it to practice their skills in various settings related to their field of activity.
Why It Is Important
This education offers a large number of advantages to students involved in this type of activities. It ensures that students engage in an active participation and it gives them a chance to develop their skills. It also helps with building self-confidence and it teaches students how to conduct themselves in a variety of situations.
In general, experiential education modules compliment theoretical classes. Students will first learn a specific topic pertaining to their field of activity, after which they will be confronted with real life situations in which they can practice the information they have acquired. Additionally, it has been proven that new knowledge is easier to retain when it is used actively as opposed to simply studying it by reading books or sitting through lectures.
How It’s Done
There are more than one ways in which experiential education can be achieved. Some of the most common techniques are briefly described below:
• Outdoor or environmental education. This type of learning is conducted in the outdoors and it uses environmental practices as the main teaching tool.
• Cooperative learning. This type consists of bringing together varied groups of individuals so as to gain more insight into different learning styles.
• Social learning. This type of experiential education is similar to community service with learning goals incorporated in the training course.
Examples of Experiential Education
It can be implemented in a large variety of disciplines and fields. In some industries, such as the health care system or the pharmaceutical field, this type of learning is an absolute requirement, but most fields use some sort of experiential education.
Experiential education principles can be implemented in a variety of ways. For example, science students can undergo training sessions in laboratories, which will help them get accustomed to various practices and procedures. Other examples include internships, fellowships, expeditions, and educative trips.