As teachers and parents alike will no doubt agree, when it comes to learning it isn’t as simple as one size fits all. Naturally, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses across a broad range of subjects.
But as well as this children also have varying learning types which is why it’s hugely beneficial for teachers to mix up lesson plans, making them as engaging and as memorable as possible.
In this article, we explore the benefits of experiential learning in the classroom.
What are the 4 different learning types?
There are 4 main learning types that best describe the way a person absorbs new information. These help teachers and parents to know how best to educate children in a way that is most accessible to them.
The following learning types are as follows:
Visual – those who learn best through images, diagrams, colours, and shapes
Auditory – those who learn best through listening to the information being read aloud
Reading & writing – those who learn best through reading information and noting it down with pen and paper
Kinesthetic – those who learn best through physical movement, or through ‘doing’ such as making up a song or dance routine to incorporate new information, drawing diagrams or physically creating something
Why is experiential learning important?
Keeping in mind the 4 different learning types, we can see how important it is for teachers to vary their lessons to cater to each of these categories. Experiential learning perfectly caters to all learning types, as each can be incorporated into these styles of lessons. For example, if it’s a science lesson on the solar system, you could begin with a visual slideshow of each planet, then you could get everyone off their seats into groups to recreate the solar system in size order – with each person representing a different planet. Get each group to recite out loud the planets in their correct order, followed by reading the names and writing them down in their copybooks. From one experiential lesson, you can successfully cater to every child’s learning type within the classroom.
Different ways to introduce experiential learning within lessons
There are numerous ways for teachers to incorporate experiential learning within their lessons. The best place to begin is to focus on how to make any lesson as engaging as possible. For science lessons, you could arrange exciting experiments that the children can get involved with. For mathematics and problem solving, coding is a brilliant way to engage children in a new and innovative way. Projects with open source computers could be a great way to inspire young people to get into technology. When teaching geography, you can create interactive games using props that are typically associated with different countries – this can help to teach children about traditional cultures that differ from our own. If you need further ideas, there are plenty of resources online that can help teachers to plan experiential lessons.