How Experiential Learning is the Way for Kids to Comprehend Better?

Suppose you want to learn to untie a knot or to swim. Would it make sense to first tie your hands behind your back and then teach you to do either of these? By making it more difficult, you might turn out to be better at those things but is it really necessary?
Sounds pretty idiotic, doesn’t it?
But then, isn’t that what conventional education is doing right now?

 

Today’s education systems try to cram as much information as they can down the students’ throats through boring lectures and even worse assignments. Just as some of these systems around the world were catching on and realising that education needed a paradigm shift into something that was more involved, the pandemic hit us. This thrust everyone into a digitally advanced age, where we saw teachers struggling to get used to it and children easily grasping the essentials.

 

Digital learning is here to stay and with it, the same issues of conventional learning also exist.

 

Enter Experiential Learning…

So, why is experiential learning necessary in this new phase of education?

 

1. Attention Span

Forget your kids, how long can you sit at an office meeting fully concentrating on every word that the others speak? 20 minutes? 15? Even lesser? Now think about your kids. The last thing they want to do is listen to someone giving a speech because that’s what it is to them. To make it worse, they are in the comfort of their homes. So, if a student’s attention isn’t caught in the first few seconds, they’ll most probably zone out for the rest of the class.
A table detailing the attention span in minutes for different ages.
Experiential learning is different. Using stories that they can relate to and quoting problems that they face grabs their attention because they realise that this affects them.

 

2. Building Collaborative Skills

Being stuck at homes, kids are not able to socialise. In the long run, this could affect their ability to interact or work in groups, or even to casually hold a conversation with people.
Experiential Learning focuses on imbibing the qualities that promote coordination and teamwork. This makes the learning process a lot more fun and efficient, as the students will help each other grow.
Two kids paintign together
Working together, and having fun while at it is important.

3. Fun Learning = Fast Learning

We all know that a person truly learns a concept when they can clearly understand the ‘why’ behind it. Neuroscience has also discovered that being closely associated with the concept further increases their understanding of it.
Experiential Learning gives more importance to the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ or the ‘how’. This approach gives the student a much deeper grasp of the concept and through this, they figure out the rest on their own.

 

So, now that YOU have understood the ‘why’ behind it… let’s move onto the ‘how’. Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it out by yourself.
David A. Kolb, an educational theorist, published his Model of Experiential Learning in 1984. To this day, it stands as a comprehensive guide to teachers around the globe. Fundamentally, it consists of four key components:

 

Classes Are Curated With Actual ExperiencesExperience, Experiential Learning

Learning becomes involved when the students feel that what is taught in class directly improves their lives. Thus, if chemistry was taught in relation to cooking, chances are they will recall it when they go back home and see their parents cooking.

 

An Interaction  Takes Place after a Concept ExplanationReflective observation, design thinking

Asking open-ended questions that encourage the student to openly think about the newly learnt concept facilitates them to observe it from different perspectives, thereby increasing their understanding of it. Basically, it encourages thinking beyond textbooks.

 

It Enhances VisualizationAbstract conceptualization, imagination power

Once the concept is explained, the student should be able to visualise it clearly. A distinct visual image helps the student remember remember it for a very long time. When faced with a situation where they need to remember this concept, the image will make it far easier to recall the entire concept.

 

Tests Conducted to Analyse Kid’s Learning and Not Grades!Active experimentation, experiential learning, learning, kids, innovation

It is said that a person retains 75% of something that they did, compared to a mere 5% of something that they heard. Needless to say, this difference is huge. Thus, parents can test their kids on various topics by mixing it with daily activities such as Physics through cricket.

Online learning also helps in giving personal attention to each child by the teacher. Children are quick learners, their brain is mouldable and innocent, and hence when learning is made children-friendly, they learn, experiment, execute, and keep moving forward!

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