Eight Principles Of Experiential Learning

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Experiential learning is learning through action, doing, experiences, discovery and exploration, which is used by educators to teach students in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values (Gentry, 1990). For experiential learning to take place, there are eight principles that has to be present: direct and purposeful experiences, appropriately challenging the clients, natural consequences, client-based changes, present and future relevance, synthesis and reflection, personal responsibility and clients become actively engaged (Priest & Gass, 2005). These eight principles will be discussed and implemented on an outdoor adventure program designed for children between the ages of nine and twelve. They will be divided into two…show more content…
Experiences are the origin of change and growth, and methodologies place the participants as close as possible to the origin, experiences (Priest & Gass, 2005). Catayas (2013), states that direct and purposeful experiences can be achieved with activities like preparing meals, making a piece of furniture, doing a PowerPoint presentation or a laboratory experiment, delivering a speech or taking a trip. The mental levels between the children is quite big so the levels of activities must differ. The children between the ages of nine and ten will build constructive items such as towers, while the children between the ages of eleven and twelve will do simple laboratory experiments.
Priest and Gass (2005), state that adventure programs focus on appropriately challenging the participants. This means that people are placed outside of their comfort zones and into a state of dissonance where there is perceived risk and they must use their competence, resulting in growth, either negative or positive. For positive growth to take place, both perceived and real risks must motivate the participants (Priest & Gass, 2005). To challenge participants (the children) appropriately, the activities must be easy, yet present some risk, but only to some point to encourage the children to actively
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These type of changes begin as appropriate to each of the participants and progress throughout the program at its own pace until it meets the participants’ needs. Participants make personal investments in choosing the type and level of their experiences (Priest & Gass, 2005). From the natural consequences of the activities mentioned above, the children will experience client-based changes, changes they can only experience by themselves, that are determined by them and not by the facilitators.
The changes mentioned in the previous paragraph are meant to have present and future relevance for the participants of a program. The program will help the children to resolve the uncertainty of an adventure experience and will also help them to use this in their daily lives, improving as far as they go in life (Priest & Gass, 2005).
Elements of change include synthesis and reflection and it enhance internalization of change since change is not always an automatic result. Reflection in adventure programs can happen through individual and group discussions, experiences and a few creative activities like drawing or writing in a journal (Priest & Gass,
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