At Wright Frame of Mind Children’s Foundation, we strive to provide greater access to unforgettable and life changing experiences, which we believe, go hand in hand with literacy and social development. Our goal for the 2019/2020 school year is to provide up to 20 students with an Experiential Learning opportunity.
What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential learning [EL], also referred to as extra-curricular activities, is an intentionally collaborative approach to teaching that benefits not only the student but also the community in which the learning takes place. Experiential learning often highlights and gives meaning to the skills taught in the classroom and is often student centered and flexible. Through EL initiatives, knowledge and skills are developed. Learners actively participate in an experience which they may create or initiate; reflect on the experience to derive meaning from it; and then are encouraged to apply their learning to their decisions and actions in various aspects of their lives.
Experiential Learning is reciprocal, responsive, evokes reflection and ultimately
promotes growth. In a collective sense, EL serves as a catalyst to transform and allows
possibilities to unfold!
Examples of Experiential Learning:
Field Trips: Field trips help facilitate fast and efficient learning. Through real-life
connections and hands on experiences of concepts taught in the classroom, field trips reify abstract knowledge. It also awakens student’s interest to learn and gain more information.
Educational/Technological Applications [eLearning]: Educational applications combine education with entertainment. Educational apps offer content from various curriculum topics which allow children to develop skills away from the classroom. This form of experiential learning helps children to progress at a faster rate, improve their ability to use technology and prepares children for our global economy.
Community programs: Programs that are connected to the interests and strengths that children possess increases personal development through a sense of efficacy, personal identity and moral development. Through involvement in programs, children develop leadership skills, interpersonal / intrapersonal skills and also literacy skills; fundamental skills that intersect and spark a lifelong love for learning.
Why invest in EL?
Experiential learning is an impactful learning model that allows for direct, hands-on engagement. Designed with th holistic developmental domains in mind, experiential learning engages students’ emotions and also enhances their knowledge and skills.
In the book "Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children authors Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff advocate for changing the education systems of many countries around the world, including the United States. They say modern schools need to help people develop a broader set of skills than just reading and math. Those skills all begin with the letter C.
Six Critical Skills for Today’s Global Economy
- Collaboration: the ability to work with others, to have social-emotional control, and to form communities.
- Communication: the ability to develop strong reading, writing, listening and language skills.
- Content: competencies in subject areas, but also in learning to learn.
- Critical thinking: the ability to gather information intelligently and to weigh evidence.
- Creative innovation: the ability to use information in new ways and to solve problems.
- Confidence: the ability to learn from failure and to persist in a problem.
Experiential Learning has the power to bring these 21 st century skills to life!