At the heart of all that we do, from our volunteering programmes, to enterprise training and our educational courses is ‘experiential learning’, the idea that we best learn through ‘doing’ and that by helping people to learn through experience we empower them to not only learn for themselves but to develop as individuals, to become wiser!!
Tell me and I will forget,
David Kolb: Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development 1984 outlines ideas on Experiential Learning that have formed the bedrock of work experience modules in education in the UK forming, as it does, a compelling model of how we learn.
His book is far more than the ideas currently adopted in FE Colleges around the country. Kolb grounds his book with a thorough overview of the subject through the (global) lenses of philosophy, psychology and religion. His ideas spring from millennia of experience through diverse cultures, times and thinking.
The book argues not only that we learn through experience, or rather by reflecting on experience to formulate more efficient strategies to improve on any experience that we have, but that it is a process that leads to personal development, even wisdom.
There is a huge amount of literature building on Kolb’s ideas much of which is focussed on specific applications- Special Needs, Autism, Dyslexia and Adult education in particular.
Experiential learning can influence the student's motivation, knowledge transfer, creativity, self-confidence and how may be created learning opportunities, which can influence development of metacognitive skills, practical and independent work skills, exploratory skills and efficient learning through non-formal activities.
The AWdF has always operated on the principles of Experiential Learning and they are embedded in all of our processes.
We want to build on Kolb’s model of Experiential Learning by reflecting on our own experience of adopting this approach with the many thousands of young people who have been through our projects from many different backgrounds and cultures over several decades.
Of particular focus is the following: