What is experiential learning
Experience is an excellent teacher, but the fees are high.
Corrie ten boom
Experiential learning or experience-based learning as a form situated learning describes a didactic model based on the assumption that only a direct, practical examination of a subject enables an individual to learn effectively and meaningfully. In this model, learning presupposes a concrete experience with a real character outside of artificially created learning environments such as in educational institutions, so that the learner as the doer is the focus.
The importance of learning through experience also applies in particular to school, because wherever children experience new areas of factual or social realities, they have to gain experience of how to deal with them and what these experiences mean in their life context. School is therefore also a central place for experiential learning, so that the school has to open up ways to gain new experiences in areas in which it cannot build on the children's self-evident experiences. Since children on the one hand cannot have experience in all areas of life and on the other hand they already have experience in some areas, the school must pay particular attention to combining new knowledge with the existing pool of experience. It is not just about the application of the newly acquired knowledge, but about the question of what “sense” this new knowledge makes for the individual child, that is, about embedding it in those contexts of meaning that are significant for a child and those with his or her individual life experiences are closely related. The traditional school often runs the risk of mistaking the sense that adults ascribe to something as the sense that children associate with it, i. In other words, schools are relatively inexperienced in grasping the individual meaning of children and including them in their work, i.e. in grasping knowledge against the individual background of experiences of children.
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