Experiential Education Helps Teenagers Think Out of the Box
Experiential Learning is a type of Learning that is based on experience and involves solving problems and making decisions in real-world situations. These kinds of Learning are more effective than traditional learning, such as lectures and textbooks.
The activity of engaging various senses such as seeing, hearing, listening and feeling to learn something new, which helps one relate, is called ‘Experiential Learning’.
It is a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage with students in direct experience and focus on increasing knowledge, developing skills, and clarifying values.
Experiential Learning is also referred to as learning through action, learning by doing, learning through experience, and learning through discovery and exploration, all of which are clearly defined by these well-known maxims:
Why is Experiential Learning so crucial in the 21st Century?
Though the concept of experiential learning has been around for decades, there’s a lot of buzz about it lately. Why? Many people are suggesting that experiential Learning is the future of Learning.
Let’s delve into some of the experiential Learning to see why this learning strategy is an optimal approach in the 21st Century.
Teaching 21st-century skills in a 19th-century learning environment is challenging.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Tofler, writer & futurist.
Also Read – Mentorship Program Experience
What activities are commonly involved in experiential learning?
Experiential Learning can become a continuous process of learning and development by adopting the basic steps of “do, reflect and apply”. There are many ways to practice this experiential learning, some of which are outlined below.
Internships: An internship is an opportunity for a student or recent graduate to gain work experience in their chosen field. An internship allows you to:
Look Beyond School Textbooks
We cannot prepare future generations with textbooks or any online variations of books alone. Learning beyond the textbooks that give a Gen-Z child an opportunity to experience and learn in a multi-sensory environment is necessary.
Experiences that also engage senses such as speech, smell, touch, and taste make learning deeper compared to traditional forms that only include seeing and listening. Some of the skills, not limited to that can be developed by going beyond school textbooks are:
The Benefits of experiential learning activities for students
Skillarthi blends Experiential Learning to enhance the learning experience and outcomes for teenagers:
Skillarthi is an experiential discovery platform exclusively designed for teenagers with an ethos- By the Teens, For the Teens, and Of the Teens. Skillarthi integrates TEENS intrinsically by providing a platform for teenagers to:
Skillarthi intends to build a safe space for teenagers. An environment is created where teenagers learn to observe, predict, understand, think critically and intensively and apply their education to solve challenges and contribute to moving society forward. This will play a critical role in transforming Gen-Z into a generation of solvers. We do not over-rely on any single method but follow an amalgamation of varied learning methods to help teenagers achieve their career goals by discovering themselves.
It connects industry-experienced mentors and learners to help them on the path of learning and discovery. The seamless experiences created at Skillarthi ties together the teenagers’ career aspirations, passions, strengths and weaknesses to help them discover themselves through our experiential learning course.
The platform focuses on the aspects of:
Starting with ‘WHY’ – A concept propagated by Simon Sinek. He shows a simple but effective model of how leaders inspire action. His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, and Tivo, which appeared to be having difficulties until a previous court victory that tripled its stock price. Watch the Video here which talks about the Golden Circle and the importance of Starting with Why.
Developing Right Brain Thinking- A concept by Dan Pink where he emphasizes the point that the future belongs to right-brain thinkers. Watch the Video: Dan Pink explains why the future will belong to right-brain thinkers. Want to know your “why”? Join the course and you can find your why with skillarthi. .
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different mind- creators & empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.” – Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.
Skillarthi Experiential Ecosystem is based on 3 Pillars:
1. Mentoring and Internships. This will also be useful for building your profile when you are planning to study abroad or in case you are taking a gap year.
2. Skill Learning Programs focus on Life Skills and Employability Skills, including Financial Literacy. Follows a hybrid approach- online, offline and innovative retreats or educational trips redefined as Skill Learning Retreats. There is an exclusive program focusing on entrepreneurship.
3. Networking and Community are one of the most integral parts of Skillarthi through the Teenverse. Join the TEENVERSE – a community exclusively for Teenagers now (Limited Slots. Free Access).
Integral Elements of Skillarthi to build teenagers:
Developing Life Skills:
In simple terms, we may say Life Skills are the ‘Skills you need to make the most out of your life.’ In 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified six critical areas of life skills:
We believe that the most important life skill is the ability and willingness to learn.
By learning new skills, we increase our understanding of the world around us and equip ourselves with the tools we need to live a more productive and fulfilling life, finding ways to cope with the challenges that life inevitably throws at us.
Most people associate learning with formal education, but Learning can, and should, be a lifelong process that enhances our understanding of the world and improves the quality of life. Your personal brand is what makes you stand out.
Creating Safe Space for maintaining Mental Health:
In an often intolerant world, having a safe space to go to is incredibly important for maintaining good mental health. A safe space is a place—physical or virtual—one can go to relax and recharge. A judgment-free zone where one can let their guard down and truly be themselves. Being a teenager is hard in the current dynamic world.
A Teenager may be under stress to be liked, do well in school, get along with their family, and make big decisions. They can’t avoid most of these pressures, and worrying about them is normal. But feeling very sad, hopeless, or worthless could be warning signs of a mental health problem. When your environment affects your stress level. A safe space is created within our ecosystem to help teenagers during their journey.
The beauty of the ‘Safe Space’ at Teenverse is that it has been conceptualized and built by Teenagers. Right from a ‘Weekly Dose of Positivity to an exclusive ‘space to vent out’ to ‘Anonymous Chats’. The Teenverse has elements where teenagers get a chance to express themselves. A supportive environment is created in the community and at experiential learning, sessions to help teenagers.
The Social Community has teenagers who understand the need of giving back to society and are there to help. Teen Members at Teenverse encourage Teenagers to drop a message on the community when they need to talk, and one of them will get in touch with them for a conversation. Expert guidance is also provided to take care of social and emotional needs for mental well-being.
Also Read: Learn how to reduce stress in 4 steps.
Some of the key aspects of Good Mental Health:
Transitioning from 4C’s to 6C’s in Learning
If one assumes that we need a new generation of students to effect positive change, then teaching the 6 C’s as a foundational set of skills is non-negotiable.
We live in a VUCA world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. To succeed and stay ahead, we need to embrace 6Cs into our learning methods to ensure students strive in the future. These 6C’s can help students thrive individually, equipping them for the future and making them perform in the VUCA world. The 6Cs include- Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking, Citizenship, and Character.
Communication is the way to convey information in a clear, concise, and helpful manner. It also necessitates attentive listening and the opportunity to express thoughts effectively. Communication serves several functions, including informing, instructing, motivating, and persuading.
The collaboration uses different personalities, talents, and knowledge to achieve the best result. The result should stand to gain a specific group or the whole Community.
In the 21st Century, a person should be able to start something unique or create something in a new way while utilizing the previous knowledge. It represents not only art but also various solutions to real-life problems. Creativity is more important in this new world. Read more about creativity and innovation is why so important.
4. Critical Thinking:
Critical thinking is the procedure of filtering, diagnosing, and questioning information/content figured out in various media and then synthesizing it in a way that is useful to an individual. It enables students to make sense of the information presented and apply it to their daily lives.
At the same time, it seems evident that humanity is ill-equipped to address the absence of social collaboration and a crisis of commercial Creativity. If the role of education and Learning is to ensure that students are ready to “change” the world, and not merely “exist” in it, then perhaps we need to consider Citizenship and Character as a welcome addition to the original 4C’s. We need to transition from the 4Cs approach to 6Cs to make a more substantial impact.
This is the section where different authors highlight various skills. Miller mentions culture as one of the 6 C’s, while Michael Fullan says citizenship. When we look closer, we see that they are not so dissimilar and complement one another. Individuals must be aware of those surrounding them, including culture and Community.
Understanding the importance of human connectivity in a technologically advanced world, according to Miller, is a necessary skill to teach children. Fullan emphasizes character education as the final C. It entails a school’s commitment to assisting students in becoming responsible, caring, and contributing citizens.
Check out here the publication of Forbes, how experiential education helps in the workplace.
Peer Learning is an integral part of Skillarthi:
At Skillarthi, we follow a peer learning model to enhance the learning experience. It’s a learning technique that promotes collaboration and teamwork to gain knowledge. Indeed, it is the learners who, from a concept and different information, must answer a problem without the intervention of a teacher.
Each learner is both a recipient and donor of knowledge. All learners work together to find a solution to a given problem. Individual skills acquired before or during the teamwork are then shared amongst all teammates.
Also called “horizontal” Learning, the mentor does not teach something. However, they can help learners during the process if necessary.
Peer Learning comes straight from Harvard University, specifically from physicist and professor Eric Mazur. He decided to work on a new learning technique when he discovered that his students could successfully solve a problem but failed to understand a concept.
Why Peer Learning is critical:
- Peer Feedback Loops
- Gain New Perspectives
Benefits of Peer Learning:
- More Personalized learning experience
- Active Learning
- Improved Efficiency
- Better Learning Outcomes
- Better Organization Skills
- Build Great Connections
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.”
― Richard Branson
Productivity & Time Management:
Being productive often ranks highly on the to-do list of almost everyone. One of the most commonly cited regrets amongst adults today is not learning how to be productive from a young age. A teenager should try to have a more productive lifestyle to create an impact in the future.
Productivity is not just an action but it’s a habit or should we say it’s even a way of life. Mastering productivity often takes time and effort. A teenager should start learning about productivity from an early age to be able to slowly master the art of being productive by the time he or she is an adult.
It isn’t just preparation for adulthood. Teens have plenty of responsibilities and concerns to juggle. Growing up isn’t easy, and teens have to learn to manage school, extracurriculars, a social life, and lofty ambitions. All of this could be overwhelming without proper time management. However, by learning how to be productive, teenagers could effectively manage these responsibilities. As a result, teens could avoid the common anxiety and stress of growing up, thus focusing on succeeding in life instead.
3 simple Productivity Tips for Teens are:
- Sleep Well on time
- Use a Productivity tool like Pomodoro.
In order to get more done and be more productive, good time management skills are essential. We all have days that are less productive, but our overall productivity should be high from one day to the next. How do we ensure this is the case?
To come up with a strategy for time management, you need to:
- know yourself
- understand your personality
- prioritize and organize
- be self-disciplined
- have a good grasp of which methods of organization work best for you in terms of scheduling your time
- Assess how spend your day and time
- Determine your priorities
- Plan, schedule & organize
- Avoid distractions- both from electronics and people. Are you reading this on your mobile
- Take Breaks
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Kolb's experiential learning theory?
Kolb’s experiential learning theory works on two levels: a four-stage learning cycle and four separate learning styles. Much of Kolb’s theory is concerned with the learner’s internal cognitive processes.
2. What are the four stages of Kolb's learning cycle?
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Style Theory is typically represented by a four-stage learning cycle in which the learner ‘touches all the bases.
The four levels of Kolb’s are Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization, and Active Experimentation.
3. Who benefits most from Experiential Learning?
The answer is students. They become more creative as a result of experiential learning. They actively seek ways to apply their knowledge and put their theories to the test. Students can make many mistakes and learn from them in hands-on learning environments.
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