Experiential education is a learning philosophy that is studied, practiced and valued around the world. It is about creating opportunities for direct experiences and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people’s capacity to contribute to their communities.
Experiential education occurs when 4-H members are:
Able to look at their experience critically and reflect on it.
Encouraged to apply this new information to their lives.
Meaningfully engaged and participate fully.
Able to reflect on what was useful or important in what they just experienced.
In many countries, including Canada, our commitment to experiential education is reflected in the 4-H Motto: “Learn To Do By Doing”.
As a 4-H club leader you can facilitate experiential education by:
- Thinking about what you want members to achieve from an activity
- Planning activities that allow members to try things out and gain hands-on experience
- Observing members experiences and taking note of what’s working
- Setting aside time for reflection with your members and listening carefully to their comments and thoughts.
- Asking open-ended questions to encourage members to share their perspectives and experiences.