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Teaching Literature through Experiential Education

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What Is Experiential Eduation?

Experiential education is a philosophy that was first presented by John Dewey in his book Experience and Education (1938).  The basic idea of Dewey's philosophy states that students come to the classroom with their own experiences, which will then inform their process of learning.     

Experiential Education Today

Experiential education can be seen in many different forms today including outdoor education, service learning, action learning, and environmental learning.  Experiential education is linked to contemporary educational theories including progressive education, critical pedagogy, youth empowerment, and constructivism.  This site focuses primarily on experiential education as action learning.

Today there is an Association for Experiential Education (www.aee.org), which is a nonprofit association based in Boulder, Colorado.  The following quote comes from their website, and helps to define experiential education, "Experiential education is a philosophy and methodolgy in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values."

John Dewey

"Tell me & I'll forget;
Show me & I may remember;
Involve me & I'll understand."
                              -Chinese Proverb
 

I've found the following links useful:

Why Use Experiential Education?

It is an educator's job to create meaningful experiences for students that will keep students engaged, and excited to learn.  It is also the responsibility of the educator to allow for students to create their own meaning from experiences within the classroom.  When students leave our classrooms they will not have us to answer all of their questions, and so it is our responsibility to teach them to think critically.  It is time to teach students to ask their own questions, and to brainstorm their own answers.  It is time to create real world experiences that engage our students so that they are excited to come to school.  It is time for students to experience their own education.

What's This Site About?

I am currently enrolled in a Masters of Arts in Teaching English degree program at Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw, GA.  As an English educator, I'm excited to share the engaging resources that I've created, collected, and taught.  I believe that what I offer on this site will help to excite your students to read great literature, while also helping to promote their critical thinking skills.  Enjoy!