What Is Experiential Learning?
Learning through reflection on experience
Experiential Learning means to learn through experience and is more specifically defined as a process by which learning happens through reflection on practical experience. This process is often confused with hands-on teaching that is teacher-focused and often prescriptive and restrictive. The approach in experiential learning is learner-focused and combines practical application of knowledge and skills with reflection, which is its greatest strength. It is by means facilitated reflection that our learners are equipped with the skills to challenge what is known, to solve problems creatively and to engage in calculated risk-taking as they become co-creators of their own educational experience. This approach moves away from the classic model of the teacher at the front of the room imparting and transferring their knowledge to students. Instead it makes learning an experience that moves beyond the classroom and strives to deliver a more involved way of learning.
Why Experiential Learning works?
Experiential learning has significant teaching advantages
Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline (1990), states: “Teaching is of utmost importance to motivate people. Learning only has good effects when learners have the desire to absorb the knowledge. Therefore, experiential learning requires the showing of directions for learners.” The classic model of teaching is an out-dated model for the modern and fast-paced world we live in. Montgomery and Miller Academy has seen that the old style of teaching no longer prepares students for the way the world operates and thinks thinks this is related to the fact that traditional styles of teaching primarily because it does not teach students to think and reflect on what they have been taught. Parroting knowledge does not mean that a student is educated, which is why we have chosen to use this method of education in order to help students directly involve themselves in the experience, and then to reflect on their experiences using analytic skills, in order to gain a better understanding of the new knowledge and to retain the information for a longer time.
How is Experiential Learning is Taught?
Teaching to reflect on, not only absorb, course material
Our Educators and Facilitators at Montgomery & Miller Academy teach students not just to to absorb and learn academically but to also to reflect on the course material. This direct teacher-student interaction is carefully sculpted to allow a mentorship-like relationship and through this a better teaching relationship. The learner is often asked questions regarding the course work, an approach that differs from purely repeating facts back to the teacher, but rather focuses on direct reflection, self-interpretation and thinking skills. Often these questions are phrased in such a way as to directly relate to the learner’s own life experience and situation, thus giving the subject matter a more relatable and emotive anchor within the mind of the student. Such questions may require even real-world problem solving to further cement the learner’s understanding of the subject matter.
Admission to our Academy
Montgomery & Miller Academy is a school for all-rounders and for learners who have the potential to show leadership. Learners are required to show a significant amount of grit, intrinsic motivation, and a sense of purpose to engage with what academy offers.