Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
I have had many people reach out over the past few months asking about experiential learning in k-12 classrooms. What is experiential learning? What is an example of experiential learning? Where can I get experiential learning activities? How do you use experiential learning in the classroom?
I have even had educators reach out that are in the process of starting experiential schools. That is really exciting, and from what I'm gathering, also a little scary and chaotic for these educators.
All of the questions that I'm getting revolve around what is needed to launch experiential learning. Most are looking for a curriculum or set of resources to do the trick. This post is to make recommendations for those exact tools and resources.
I have written up a resource catalog - experiential learning starter kit - in this post that will give you everything you need to start experiential learning seamlessly right now.
The resources recommended here personalize learning and guide self-directed learners. Check them out and reach out ANYTIME with questions. Continue to follow this blog series on experiential learning for more tips and tricks.
Find if you're ready for experiential learning or if it's right for you by looking at my experiential learning questionnaire. Then, to see what experiential learning might look like in your classroom and to try out some experiential activities, check out my free (and growing) experiential learning activities library.
This starter kit includes:
Experiential Learning Activities and Tools to Get You Started
1. Resources that Personalize Learning
Experiential learning is personalized, meaning learning experiences are designed around students' unique interests, backgrounds, hobbies, learning styles, and more. Here are a few helpful tools that you can use to get to know your students and for your students to get to know themselves!
2. Student-Directed Learning Resources
As you've seen in my experiential learning blog series, student-directed learning experiences are key. How do you make learning student-directed? By giving students choices based on their personal interests and experiences. I have several student-directed learning activity tool kits that can be used over and over and over again, which are all included in the experiential learning starter kit.
If you're not in need of the entire starter kit, check out some of these smaller bundles.
3. 21st-Century Skill-Building Resources
Developing skills and competencies for life is equally as important, if not more important, than gaining content knowledge. Content can be Googled. The skills to locate information that is not Googleable is more necessary in the 21st-century for 21st-century learners.
4. Resources to Showcase Learning
"Assessments" have a different meaning in an experiential world. In my 13 years in experiential education, I can safely and accurately declare that I have never administered a test. Yes, testing might have its place, but that place is not in an experiential learning environment. It simply wouldn't make sense.
So how do I evaluate experiential learning? What are some experiential learning assessment strategies?
I hope that this has been helpful, and as always, reach out with questions. I have played around with the idea of offering a professional development course that would help educators launch experiential learning.
Follow Experiential Learning Depot on Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram for more on experiential education, and check out my TpT store for experiential learning resources.
Did you know there is an experiential learning Facebook group? Check that out - Experiential Learning Community for K12 Teachers - and join in the discussion about experiential learning ideas such as citizen science.
Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.