Facilitate Experiential Learning

Facilitate Experiential Learning
Experiential Learning

Don't Force Group Work, Facilitate Experiential Learning

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By James Salsich, an 8th grade language arts teacher at Plainfield Central School in Plainfield, Conn., and Justin McGlamery, the founder of Focus Your Locus Teambuilding Training and Development

"We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." —John Dewey

Most students do not know how to work in small groups, nor do they understand the value of this way of learning. Educators know that collaboration and all its different facets hold essential skills for our students' future, yet too often, group work falls into one of two extremes: teacher-led small groups with minimal room for error for students or student-led small groups, which is often equivalent to crossing our fingers and hoping it works. Group work is frequently poorly framed or modeled and is therefore ineffective. Both students and teachers realize that not much learning is taking place and want little to do with it. Experiential learning can change that.

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