I Have Found A New “High Stakes” Test

As the controversy over the increase in standardized testing appears to hit its zenith with parents "opting out", governors pledging to reduce testing time in Minnesota, Florida, and Connecticut , and even noted conservative educational pundit Diane Ravitch piling on, it is worth noting that there is, in fact, a good "high stakes" educational approach out there-- … Continue reading I Have Found A New “High Stakes” Test

Principles of Deep Experiential Education: Interaction (Part 2 of 5)

In the last post, we discussed the importance of Framing in experiential education. For this blog, we'll explore another key principle that often makes the difference between shallow and deep experiential education: Interaction. In Experience and Education, John Dewey spoke of the principle of interaction this way: "The word 'interaction,' ... assigns equal rights to both … Continue reading Principles of Deep Experiential Education: Interaction (Part 2 of 5)

Principles of Deep Experiential Education: Framing (Part 1 of 5)

The Shallow and The Deep David Orr, in the forward to Teaching Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences (2013) writes about what he calls "shallow versus deep environmental education." He noted that too much of what passes as environmental education is of the shallow kind and what we need more of is "deep" … Continue reading Principles of Deep Experiential Education: Framing (Part 1 of 5)

Experiential Education in the Land of the MOOCS

"My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living." -Anais Nin With the rise of internet-based distance learning and projects such as EdX in higher education, significant questions are being asked about the viability of so-called "bricks and mortal" educational environments. If 200,000 people can sign up for a … Continue reading Experiential Education in the Land of the MOOCS

The “Learning Style” Debate (aka there is no such thing as an “visual” learner)

A growing body of research has now more or less conclusively debunked the theory that people learn in specific modalities or styles. A frequently repeated notion in teacher training and professional development circles, learning styles theory claims that students brains are hard-wired toward a specific modality (e.g. visual, kinesthetic, auditory) and that teachers need to … Continue reading The “Learning Style” Debate (aka there is no such thing as an “visual” learner)

The Science of Experiential Learning

A recent editorial in Nature argues for more experiential, informal curriculum for students in science classes. The editorial titled: "Learning in the Wild" makes the point that informal learning environments are often much more powerful and longer lasting in transfer than formal classroom curricula. They go on to note: "Indeed, researchers say, the personal and idiosyncratic … Continue reading The Science of Experiential Learning

Teaching is Listening; Learning is Talking

Teaching is listening, learning is talking. This wonderful rule of thumb, from the educator and writer, Deborah Meier, reminds us that real learning comes, in large part, from being actively involved in the educational moment. Experiential educators have long known this and frequently advocate for teaching that involves the learner and does not, as Paulo Freire … Continue reading Teaching is Listening; Learning is Talking

Future Trends in Outdoor Education

As we turn the corner away from the 00’s or the “aughts” or whatever historians will choose to call the last decade, it’s worth taking a moment to look ahead toward future trends and issues that will affect things in the outdoor education field for the next ten years or so. Future prognosticating is, of … Continue reading Future Trends in Outdoor Education