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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Ripley-Evans

Facilitating Experiential Learning

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Learning is a life long process and is not restricted to the classroom. Some of most important learning take place outside of the classroom, and some of the most critical learning take place in the home. With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves an important question, “What type of learning are our children getting, in and out of the home?”

Traditional Teaching

Very often, it can be a default for a parent to assume a more traditional teaching role with their child that creates the dynamic of teacher and learner. In this dynamic, there is often an ‘expert’ who is sharing information and a child/ren who are expected to be receptive of this information. How often do we assume this type of teaching role with our children? This type of engagement is most often of a more practical or logical nature. It is also very reliant on words, understanding and reasoning.

How much of these engagements do our children actually take in? The reality is not very much. This leads us to needing to repeat the lessons a few times which can be frustrating and potentially damaging to relationships. The truth is that these types of engagements are not very conducive to teaching the necessary lessons that we want or need our children to learn, and we need to explore an alternative process.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a learning cycle that very often takes place naturally to us and around us. It is a repetitive process that we have all experienced throughout our lives, and subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) shape who we are and how we engage with life.

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing”. It is a more hands on type of learning. Click here to watch a short video to explain this further. Having more understanding of what Experiential Learning is helps to highlight the critical nature this plays for all of us, and especially children.

Parenting Styles

A very important consideration, as we reflect on the learning experiences that our children have with us daily, is how does our parenting style help or hinder experiential learning for our children? Let’s firstly consider the broad types of parenting styles, and how they impact the type of learning experience that we provide for our children.