Experience Counts #diglitclass

Upon researching various approaches to learning, I found myself intrigued by all six approaches.  One in particular, experiential learning, captured my full attention.  Experiential learning is an educational approach that emphasizes classroom learning  practiced in real world situations.  I like this method because it allows for the “transfer of education.”  In that journal entry Furman and Sibthorp (2013) do an excellent job explaining how implementing experiential education allows for classroom learning to become meaningful. I am also in favor of this learning approach because it can overlap with many other effective approaches, and it allows an outside global connection.

A classroom can be transformed when this approach is implemented.  It side-steps standard lecture based instruction, and involves students in a creative medium.  Since I desire to be a language arts teacher, I can see the method playing out this way.  Students could take on a “pen name” and write a biography for that said person.  The students could then write, creatively, about a chosen topic under that pseudonym.  The results could be shared in order to see a model of how writers can approach the same topic from different creative angles.  It would give the students a writing voice of their own.  This “pen named” person could be drawn upon at different intervals in the semester to check-in on the advancement of student writing.  The classroom would sound like a publishing company with various voices drawing on issues through the figurative and the literal.  There are many blogs on implementing experiential learning in a classroom.  This may seem distant from real world problems, but one thing that is missing in many publication is the fluidity of figurative language.  This could help expand students literary capabilities in the area of connotation, thereby contributing to this void found in printings, such as local newspapers.   I found this blog to be a good start for implementing experiential literature learningAnd this classroom was excellent at implementing the experiential learning method in the area of language arts.

There are many advantages and a few disadvantages to using the experiential method.  The greatest advantage is that students can relay the information that they learn to the real world.  The problems presented to the students tie in directly to professional and personal life.  A clear disadvantage is the cost and time it could take to implement experiential learning.  Many of the learning methods proscribed require a large amount of out-of-classroom work.  Shadowing professionals and working with the community require time and resources that the school might not have.  That is why it is essential to create a learning environment that is a model of real world problems and concerns.  One of the biggest advantages to implementing experiential learning in a language arts classroom is the outcome of human understanding.  By modeling real-world interaction through writing and reading student can better understand and respect their counterparts.

There are many Twitter accounts to follow that stress what I have elaborated upon: Melissa Taylor, Allison McDonald, Steven Anderson.



Author: Zane Hesting

I am an education student at Chadron State College in Nebraska. My interests include fly fishing, reading books, watching movies, hanging out with family, and exploring.

8 thoughts on “Experience Counts #diglitclass”

  1. I’d never heard of experiential learning until this class, and it’s very interesting and it’s easy to see the merits. I like your point that experiential learning must utilize resources outside the school because “it is essential to create a learning environment that is a model of real world problems and concerns.” It does these learners no good to be taught things that have no merit in the world outside the classroom, and it seems like this approach steps in front of that issue and redirects it to something more beneficial.


    1. Yes, it seems that the trick is to teach students real world issues through a fun, creative, critical format. Students can become jaded when the information presented about the real world is mundane and seemingly separate.


  2. I personally feel that when you are able to relate school work to real life experiences students are much more likely to show interest and put forth effort. I see where you say there are some drawbacks and I believe there are some classes where experimental learning may not be the best, but like everything else I think balance is key! Finding out what method works best for our students is what is going to make us better teachers!


  3. I think the language arts classroom lends itself to experiential learning especially well if we conceive of our students as practicing writers and readers and find ways for them to publish and share their work in the world outside our classroom. With so many online platforms available for publishing, that’s now easy to do!


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