Here at Synergy Education, we talk a lot about experiential learning and how you can use it to help in your personal growth and development. We understand that from outside the sphere of personal development, that phrase may not mean much.
For us, it’s one of the many cornerstones of our courses. We developed this guide to help you understand what experiential learning is, how it’s different from other methods of education, and how it’s used for you to become your best self.
Our courses are designed to help you move beyond your current constraints and become the person you were meant to be, and experiential learning is one of our most effective methods.
What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential education is an ancient concept that goes back to the days of Aristotle, but its current form dates to the 1970s. At its simplest, the idea of experiential learning is to learn by doing. If you want to learn how to cook, you don’t sit and read books. You stand in front of a stove and begin the recipe.
Will there be mistakes? Yes, but we learn just as much from our mistakes as we do from our successes. It’s a hands-on teaching approach that brings the teacher out from in front of the classroom and becomes actively involved in the learning process.
The focus isn’t on the teacher, but the student. You learn more through experience than you do through reading books and or watching a video. These are still important tools, but it’s the hands-on approach that separates experiential learning from other forms of education.
Elements of Experiential Education
If a person wants to learn via experiential education, then there must be a drive and willingness to participate. A student can sit in a class, read books and listen to teachers all day, but learn nothing if they don’t want to.
In order for experiential learning to be effective, you must be actively involved. There’s no sitting on the sidelines. Gathering knowledge with motivation occurs naturally, especially when you’re working hands-on.
You must also be willing to reflect on the experience. What did I do wrong? What did I do right? Where could I have improved? Reflection is a vital aspect of the learning process. It’s only through reflection on our actions that we can learn from them.
Once reflection is done, the capacity to use analytical thinking and conceptualization of the experience helps solidify the learning process. Looking at your actions like an observer to determine proficiency and methods of improvement.
The final element is to create new ideas learned from the experience. For example, learning that what you did was inefficient and doing it a different way may make it easier and faster. The elements are a constant cycle, and you never stop learning. Even the most adept masters can find new methods and learn from others.
Implementing Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is more than learning by doing. Every person has untapped potential just waiting to burst forth. It is different for every person. There are various styles of experiential learning that can be adapted to the needs of the individual.
- Experiencing – This is the most straightforward. You engage with the material and feel connected with it. If you’re comfortable expressing your emotion, then this is the method for you.
- Balancing – Human resources personnel often enjoy the balancing style. It’s about finding out the differences in people and connecting with them. It’s perfect for resourceful people that can adapt to changing situations.
- Initiating – This is for people that are naturally assertive and believe in the idea you learn just as much from failure as you do success. You’re an achiever and grab opportunities when they come along.
- Analyzing – Scientists are particularly adept at this style. It’s for people who are methodical and precise. You want to minimize mistakes by planning ahead and have a big picture viewpoint. Logic is your standard way of thinking and you analyze data and details.
- Acting – You are fearless and commit to your goals and deadlines. You’re able to implement plans without abundant resources. These people tend to be outgoing and enjoy the learning process.
- Deciding – Are you direct and accountable? Deciding is your style. You’re committed to the project, find solutions to problems and set goals.
- Imagining – Writers and other creatives naturally fit into the imagining learning style. They tend to be empathic and trusting. You love generating new ideas and developing a vision of the future. Life is your canvas, and you’re ready to create the picture.
- Reflecting – If you prefer to work behind the scenes and let others take the stage, then reflecting is your learning path. Patience is your virtue, and you have an open mind. Reflective people look at things from many viewpoints to identify issues. You’re not a wallflower, but instead, prefer the accolades and attention be directed elsewhere.
- Thinking – People with this style are controlled and skeptical. Much like the analyzing style, you prefer using logic and qualitative data to make your decisions. You can communicate your ideas and be independent.
Melding the Learning Experience and Style
Experiential learning is about hands-on learning using your preferred learning style. It takes a qualified leader to bring this two together and create an environment for you to become your best self.
Synergy Education has professionals with years of experience. We can help you with personal growth and leadership development by using experiential learning and other tools.
Our courses are designed to bring about the best in you, identify problem areas and help you overcome your difficulties. It’s a truly life-changing experience.
Join Synergy Education Today
Our core curriculum develops your inner self through thoughtful teaching by our expert instructors. Hundreds of people have had their lives improved and developed a path for success through our teachings.
Experiential learning is a cornerstone of our education services, but it is only part of a greater whole. If you want to learn more about what we can do for you or your employees, please contact us today.