What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning is a new concept that focuses on the idea that the best way to learn something is not by mugging up but by real-time experiences. As such experiences remain in mind, you can easily remember the facts for a longer period.

The key point is to create opportunities for students to have experiences based on what they learn. Teachers can help create such environments that will facilitate students to learn and experience simultaneously.


Background and Importance of Experiential Learning

David Kolb is best known for his experiential learning theory. This theory is based on 4 different stages – concrete learning, abstract conceptualization, reflective observation, and active experimentation.

In the first two stages of concrete learning and reflective observation, the major focus is on gathering all the experiences. The next focus is on transforming the experiences. As per Kolb’s research, any person can get into this cycle at any time to get this experiential learning.

Concrete learning is that stage when the learner either interprets an experience or gets to experience something new.

Next comes reflective observation. Here the learner reflects their personal experience. They try to analyze and understand the kind of experience they had.

Abstract conceptualization is the stage when the learner gets new ideas or simply adjusts their thoughts and mentality based on the kind of experience they had.

Active experimentation is the case where a learner tries to find real-life applications of the concepts they have learned. This process can go on for a lingering period or over a short time.

According to Kolb’s learners have their own way of getting into a cycle, and that these preferences form a part of the entire learning cycle.

How Central Board of Secondary education is trying to incorporate experiential learning in Indian CBSE Schools

CBSE is implementing experiential learning from the 2019-20 session. The board has guided schools not to label any student as slow or fast learners. Instead, they provide full support to help teach students based on experiences. CBSE is focusing on teaching students in such a way that it is not just limited to rote learning, which the students tend to follow after the exam is over. Education and the way of imparting it should be a fun process.

Challenges to implementation of experiential learning in India and path ahead

There are several challenges that one needs to face in experiential learning. However, the major problem is insufficient education and a lack of experienced lecturers or mentors. If the students are not paying enough attention or cannot analyze their learning or find any practical applications by themselves, it can be sort of difficult.

How parents and educators can give impetus to “ Experiential Learning.”

Parents and educators can work hand in hand to help implement the experiential form of learning. Teachers can motivate students to have a positive outlook and look at things in a particular way that can help them understand or apply this knowledge in practical ways. They would, in turn, help them have a clear concept of the ideas.


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