The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
32. Sailing and the Experience of Learning
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CHAPTER THIRTY - TWO
Sailing and the Experience of Learning
Steven K. Wojcikiewicz & Zachary B. Mural
When you hear the term “experiential learning,” you probably think of learning that takes place outside of classrooms, such as at a summer camp, during outdoor or adventure activities, or even in the course of daily life. Classrooms are not usually associated with experiential learning. In fact, classroom learning can seem disconnected from experience. Think of the many divides between school and life, such as the difference between “book smarts” and “street smarts,” or the division between formal learning and “common sense.” This separation between school and life, and between school and experience, is one that seems deeply rooted in our culture. Because of this separation, K-12 teachers, or those thinking of becoming K-12 teachers, might not see much use in studying experiential learning.
If you are an educator, or a future educator, who believes that ideas and methods from experiential learning do not have much to offer to you, we aim to change your mind as you read this chapter. This chapter is based mainly on the ideas of John Dewey, a philosopher, psychologist, and educator who lived from the time of the Civil War into the Atomic Age. Aside from being a famous public intellectual in general (Menand, 2000), Dewey is one of the best-known writers and thinkers on the topic of education (Lagemann, 2000). He built his...
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