Experiential Learning: (Should be) Every Perceptive Parent’s Choice

Parents, guardians, providers; whatever you call them, there’s no denying the fact that they play a huge role in the way a child grows. Everything they know and try to impart as role models comes from learned experiences. All behaviour is conditioned into us. And there’s no better way to condition something into children if not by experience. Hence, experiential learning. It fits into almost every part of our lives like a glove; both as parents and learners.

Experiential learning is a creative synonym for the term experiential education.Through it we give children a chance to learn through experiences. Individuals learn at their own pace, and experiential learning very graciously includes that factor in the learning process.

Experiential learning is not a foreign concept. It has been embedded in our system for a long time now. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher wrote, “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. There’s not a sliver of doubt that Aristotle had it right all along. And we now realise that not only is it important to help children grow creatively and academically, it also makes learning interesting and fun. Experience is a crucial part of learning. It’s a productive way of getting your child out of phone screens and into the field where they will be able to differentiate between practice and theory. It increases practical knowledge and there’s nothing like hands on practice that conditions children into learning.

Importance Of Experiential Learning

Studying becomes relatively easier when mixed with things that we already know. When children are able to correlate what they’re learning with concepts they already understand, learning becomes smooth and unhinged. Not only that, it also helps young minds participate in critical thinking and enhance their problem solving skills. Experiential learning unlocks a connection between hypothesis and practical application which is otherwise unknown to children. Along with learning, it helps in remembering important concepts and apply them dynamically.

The application of experiential learning caters to the importance of memory retention. We all know about Loci’s method of memorising things. It’s the association of a fact with a place or a task. When children themselves practice something, or experience something, their chances of remembering that particular event is more probable than when they read something. Not just children, this applies to people from all walks of life. Phil Gedart, in an article for Entrepreneur India, says that knowledge retention through traditional learning is five percent, whereas through experiential learning, it goes up to ninety percent. No questions asked, experiential learning is a smart choice that everybody needs to make.

How Do Parents Include Experiential Learning In Their Child’s Unique Growing Experience?

Parenting, at times, is like walking on eggshells with heavy feet. They are bound to break. But we have to do it, anyway. It’s the oldest trial and error effect in the book. Children are vulnerable and open to all sorts of possibilities and sometimes that is enough to give parents a scare. However, one way of dealing with that is to involve yourself in your child’s life as much as possible. Introducing them to new concepts, helping them become more aware and updated, and engaging with them whichever way possible will help them grow.

First thing you need to do is get them to vanquish anything that is of no use to them in their video games, the television, and the smart phone. You could help them install more intellectually challenging games or documentaries and TV shows. Watching and playing with them would definitely be a plus. Letting them watch while you fix things around the house or cook and letting them help is a great way to give your child real experiences. Because we can’t run on everything hypothetical when it comes to children. They need to see their parent perform real tasks.

Learning takes place from the minute children start making sense of their surroundings. And experiential learning is a great way for parents to keep their young learners active. One of the most effective ways for parents to do so would be to incorporate STEM education in their child’s daily routine. STEM is a course of study that combines four disciplines of education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and real time practices. It’s a mix that will not only inculcate academic intelligence in your child, but also make them creatively smarter. It’s essential because it personalizes learning and gives children an opportunity to enter the dimension of learning by doing.

Let them know that they can ask questions. Encourage them to question and wonder about the things around them. Take them for a visit to a science museum. Nothing in the world beats a place that can provide information in a way that doesn’t require you to put your nose in the books all the time. Along with this, documentaries are a great way to help your child understand STEM concepts.

In today’s time, everything is available at our fingertips. Take advantage of that and fish out extracurricular activities like STEM inspired games. Amazon has a line of STEM games that will make experiential learning an exciting journey for your child. To get their interest going, you can also introduce people from the same background in your extended family to your children and ask them to talk to them about what their jobs are like.

Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering and math.
- Ainissa Ramirez, American materials scientist and science communicator

In A Nutshell

With competition targeting every age group, it is essential that as parents, you provide and help your child with everything that you possibly can. Introducing experiential learning to your child, coupled with STEM can do wonders for your little one. Not only will this help your child grow, it will also give you a chance to create a special bond with them. Happy parenting!

Psst. A little something before you leave!

Thank you for taking out the time to read this blog! If you enjoyed reading it and would like to read more about parenting in the modern world, go check out these blogs as well!