It's too easy to point out Confucius' saying that ends with "I do and I understand". But it's also true! Learners must be highly involved in experiential teaching strategies to be successful 21st century citizens.

Archive for November, 2011

Experiential Learning: The 5 W’s starting with What

Experiential learning is what the word sounds like – experiencing. Do I have to   remind you of platitudes about ” ,,, is the best teacher” and Confucius’ saying that headlines the blog in the first place?

More specifically it speaks to lesson design by a teacher who is first of all largely willing to forego his sage -on-the-stage role in favor of “guide-on-the-side” where he creates opportunities, activities, situations, that force the learner to take charge, somehow, of their learning and even direct it to their own end.

Let’s use an experience to show what it can be. I had a new social studies teacher who was anxious to show me how he had mastered PowerPoint in his teaching. This was a time when using PowerPoint was pretty much state of the art technologically embedded instruction. (more…)

Playing Cowboys and Indians in Your Lesson Design

All right.  I promise no more war story-biographies in the foreseeable future of this blog. But let me remind you that the FIRST post invited you to send me your lesson and unit design ideas and that is the mission and purpose of this blog: That we form a community of creators! That we empower each other to settle for nothing less than quality, creative, highly involving, teaching that is also effective.

By effective, let’s face it, nowadays a lesson or a unit has to have value on many levels. For sure, where possible, we want the lesson to be “fun” and involving. But  fun and involvement doesn’t cut it anymore if we can’t link the time spent and the energy invested to showing that the kids have taken something educationally valuable from it. (more…)

Madison Avenue Flim Flam???!!!

I promised I would minimize the war story biography entries. Just one more! And you will see why I am including it!

Roll the clock forward a few years later. By now, I had begun to hit a stride that had become very successful. Simply put I had discovered and begun to refine simulation and role-play as the main weapon in my instructional arsenal.

Weapon connotes an us-versus-them metaphor doesn’t it? I regret that. What I mean is that these kinds of instructional strategies, best umbrella-ed under the category of EXPERIENTIAL were just flat out so very effective.

By effective I mean I could engage most any learner any time to actively participate in the learning at hand. I had given a measure of ownership / empowerment to even the poorest academically prepared student to feel success in mastering material and in transferring their learning into some serious skills building too. (more…)