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Guest Blog about Experiential Learning

Dr. Rachel Schechter shares her expert opinion in Moonshot Junior’s article: Expert Opinion: How Experiential Learning Can Improve Kid’s Learning

Article Introduction

Children have a natural and instinctive tendency to discover, learn and try out new things. They are very curious about the world around them and especially things that seem unfamiliar to them. This desire towards learning can be advantageous in schools as well as at homes to maximize their academic development, but only when it is carried out properly. 

While preschoolers are inquisitive, they are also very active physically and mentally. It is not always easy to gather their attention if they’re not interested in something. So, what is the way to make these topics interesting to them? The answer is experiential learning.

Now, what is experiential learning? It is a learning method that focuses on experiencing, exploring, creating, and interacting with the people and world around you. This learning method applies to children as well as adults. Experiential learning doesn’t always focus on structured patterns, rather allows children to learn naturally and at their own pace. 

Experiential learning involves outdoor play, creative & imaginative play, art forms such as dance & music, and community activities as well as exploring the environment and nature. 

Expert Contribution

Dr. Rachel Schechter, Edtech Learning Sciences & Evaluation Expert, has over 10 years of experience in developing informal and formal educational programs. She helps teams apply Learning Sciences and leverage data-driven technology to accelerate students’ growth (and sales). 

With a Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University and M.Ed. in Arts Education from Harvard University, Rachel brings a unique perspective about how to support equity, diversity, inclusion while accelerating learning.

Rachel said “Learning by doing” is one of the most natural human learning processes that begins from the moment we are born. As educators and administrators focus on accelerating learning this year, we can maximize experiential learning by integrating two complementary Learning Sciences principles: authenticity and deliberate practice.

Experiential learning that is authentic uses real-world, culturally relevant problems for students to reflect on, analyze, and make decisions about. When students see their lives in the learning experience, it strengthens their sense of belonging and their motivation for learning.

Accelerate skill development during experiential learning by deliberately focusing on the academic skill outcomes you are aiming for. This promotes the possibility of learning specific skills from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes.

Put students in groups to “learn by doing” together, and you have a collaborative, SEL-infused, skill-packed, and engaging learning boost.