Excellence through action : an experiential learning project

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Phelan, Michael
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2003
Students often claim that schooling and education is irrelevant. Questioning subject matter, methodology and objectives, they want to know why they need to learn what professionals deliver. From a naIve and immature view of the world youth feel powerless to change a system that forces knowledge on them through methods that are contrary to their nature. This project examines the effects of an educational system based on theory and practices of experiential education. An experiential based approach was chosen because the nature ofthis teaching style matches the natural learning style of young people. Relevancy and natural consequences are foundational concepts that bring educational material to life and nurture actualization on personal and collective levels. The cornerstone of this project is a case study of eleven high school students who were directly involved in all aspects of attempting to effect change in a global context. Their mission was to plan, produce, and finalize videos that would be used to assist community associations in Costa Rica in promoting their causes and services. Assessment, reflection, and final analysis of the project were facilitated through the qualitative methods of individual and group discussion, journals, focus question responses, observation notes accumulated by chaperones, and video documentation. The results were overwhelming, in fact unanimous, in identifying the power of the relation of experiential curriculum delivered in a relevant and directly consequential manner to the efficiency and quality of student learning. When students are given control over their learning and use decisionmaking and problem solving techniques in a process that produces real change internally and externally, they feel empowered and internalize habits and concepts associated with lifelong learning.
vii, 122 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Experiential learning , Active learning