What is Experiential Education?
Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand. ~Chinese Proverb
Experiential education is a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities.
Definitions and descriptions from the Association of Experiential Education
At Tucker Leadership Lab this means:
- Professional Facilitators lead groups through carefully chosen experiences that supported by reflection, critical analysis and application to everyday life.
- Throughout the experiential learning process, the learner is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, experimenting, being curious, solving problems, assuming responsibility, being creative, and constructing meaning.
- The results of the learning are personal and form the basis for future experience and learning.
- Relationships are developed and nurtured: learner to self, learner to others and learner to the world at large.
- Just like in everyday life, participants may experience success, failure, adventure, risk-taking and uncertainty, because the outcomes of experience cannot totally be predicted.
- The Facilitator’s primary roles include setting suitable experiences, posing problems, setting boundaries, supporting learners, insuring physical and emotional safety, and facilitating the learning process.
- The design of the TLL experience includes the possibility to learn from natural consequences, mistakes and successes.
- Many “soft skills” of teamwork and leadership are difficult to learn by just reading or hearing about them. By using an experiential model TLL Facilitators give participants a safe "lab" environment to identify the desired skills, practice them, and then apply these abilities back into their everyday lives.