Empowering Students through Community Engagement, Field Trips

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Experiential learning engages students in critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making in contexts that are personally relevant to them, writes Nellie Ahmed, Founder & Managing Trustee, Maria’s Public School, Guwahati, for Elets News Network (ENN).

Experiential learning does not happen within the classroom. It takes place through firsthand experience of students and helps develop skills and knowledge through engagement in experiences that connect classroom theory with civic engagement, travel, research and projects outside the confinement of class room.

It is a holistic approach to prepare students for life skills. The Experiential Learning model accents on measuring students’ performance through outcomes that comprises information, skills and approaches.

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It is essential for schools to establish a learning environment that uses a practical yet appropriate methodology to develop and implement an action plan.

Experiential learning is the simplest way to get students working either individually or in groups. Curriculums are designed to give students a chance to absorb knowledge by acting on a specific part of content in an unequivocal manner. Unlike open class discussion, content is structured to give students a chance to learn by practicing. This engagement helps them grasp knowledge better and actively.

Experiential learning is mainly great because it aids students to raise queries rather than simply find answers. For example, a project that involves students in community-based initiatives as part of a class assignment is also known as Service Learning. This aspect of education combines learning goals by integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. In this form of experiential education, learning proceeds through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to observe real issues and find deeper understanding and skills for themselves. In the process, students link personal and social development with academic and cognitive development.

Typically, community engagement is designed via collaboration between faculty and community partners to gives students experiential opportunities to learn in real world amenity and develop skills while addressing community needs.

It is one of the most significant teaching methodologies that foster personal, educational, and practical value for students to engage in sustained and substantive learning. (Views expressed by the author are her personal opinion)

Nellie Ahmed, Founder & Managing Trustee, Maria’s Public School, Guwahati

Nellie Ahmed, Founder & Managing Trustee, Maria’s Public School, Guwahati

Nellie Ahmed is an Education Futurist and Founder & Managing Trustee of Maria’s Public School, Guwahati with over 25 Years of work experience in Education Management and Small and Medium Enterprise. She loves to study and identify new and emerging trends in education. In 2015, she founded ‘The Maria’s Braveheart’ endeavour to promote Biodiversity and Environmental studies and bring learning beyond classrooms while guiding every student to stash advantageous information and build a strong foundation for righteous mind-set and broad perspective of life amongst student community.

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