Monday, June 12, 2006

Experiential Learning Gathering

Introductions and purpose
• Looking for hooks that will make us different? Ex ed is not new
• Part of the theme is global awareness
• Saw an opportunity for Ex ed when Andrew spoke
• Frustrating themes that reoccur in cycles…. Not new philosophy

Concerns with ‘traditional’ education
• Anything that you can teach can be taught better in a different location, the classroom is a contrived environment.
• We don’t have the time to play, to apply what has been learned in school, we have time constraints, but we can choose how we spend our time
• Teach convention to make the cogs go around
• Levels of society suggest that…?
• Schedule not creative, ridiculous, medieval, not enough time for productivity
• Difference between AP and EE - EE is authentic models that work…

Advantages of experiential learning
• EE is valuable and would be more valuable if we did more of it.. but not for all students in all situations
• Projects should fit into curriculum. Idea for project generated from philosophical base.
• Knowing that you have resources for backup, finance, idea generation is really really good.
• We have to ask kids to do things on THEIR terms, not our terms
• All learning needs to (should be) be applied at some point “application period”
• Take away what they need for their developmental stage
• Martin
• Everything is philosophy of education, if the school doesn’t have the same philosophy, then we [??]

Concerns with experiential learning
• Assessment of application period, then each person will get what they want out if…
• Project Adventure was not authentic
• Still a lot of theory that can not be experiential by itself-- cross curricular would be better
• We are talking about two different things I think, curriculum for the academic day, and EE for a project period?
• Some students are motivated to apply, some not
• This type of curriculum takes TIME, the period of time for student learning takes longer for the experience than for classroom learning, [some disagreement here] - but learning is deeper.
• At what point in a student’s education do we allow them to make choices?
• Best type would be independent study EE (experiential education), but not practical
• EE different kids get different things out of it, and not “tested” on product [is this a concern or an advantage?]
• Education is institution based . We would like to make it more liberal and student based but it happens for large groups of people. Are we a college prep school? Are we public high school? Who is our optimum graduate from NHS? How do we align or reorganize it. If we start dreaming we need to make sure that our design is unified in mission
• We need to think about integration and convenience for teachers, planning on front end so teachers can feed into it and not have to start from scratch and then not have it go anywhere.

Ideas on what learning should be like
• Everyday that passes is history … we have to teach our students how to find information and research
• Teach them about exploration
• Get them to WONDER
• Work on weakness? We need to accept the fact that we are the adults and we need to expose them to a lot of different things
• Transformative experiences that alter our world view: sewing 500 waistbands on pants a day to get $$ for college, working for three days in a sweatshop, doing laundry for a hotel.

Individual short term / long term plans
Jake: Establish exchange program this summer!
Kim: Long term: Partnerships between schools, sister schools, long term goal sister school in Mexico that can connect us in anyway we want.
Short term: to look ahead at my budget and create a proposal plan for teachers who want to do service learning to provide cash rewrite SLP for juniors
Amy: short term, percolate ideas for PP EE, edit jibberish, and apply for service learning grant
Betsy: Short term: write about tutorial and how that is already EE
Long term: If there is every such a thing as a week where different programs are happening I will work something in about stress reduction, the “m” word
Hans: I propose that we implement our short term plans and then implement our long term plans and then reconvene in the fall. Also have conversation with Andrew re: project week at end of year
Marc: Something about NHS, something there, don’t know what it is yet. I have a funny feeling that there is a place at NHS for this type of learning .. need a model? Check out Dewey! Looking for a place to put what Marc does—playing with the kids—at NHS
Katka: Short term: 3 things, math and consciously map, EE learning through my curricula, to complement the picture, I would like to offer teacher assistantship to a student in one of my classes.
Long term: Research on the philosophy of communism ideology and travel/exchange through countries.. experience the eastern block.
Jayne: All EE in my classes, I work hard at less than more, recognize students that I can take further, while working with kids on track….. figure out if this is working for individual students..

[don’t know who said this] Meet them on their own term in my curriculum? Work out time for field trips

Collective action items
• Collect ways that we are already using experiential learning in our classrooms
• Gather and share resources
o Recommendation reading by Marc:
o Experience and Education by Dewey, John!
o Changing minds by Howard Gardner
o The Communist Manifesto
o Get out educational philosophies [?]

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