Implementing the Experiential Learning Model in 4-H programming – Part 1

Over a series of articles, we will break down and explore each of the five steps of the Experiential Learning Model.

Are you familiar with the Experiential Learning Model? If not, this series of articles on the Experiential Learning Model will help you to learn about experiential learning and how to implement it into your programming efforts. The learning model isn’t difficult to use, it just take some intentional planning. Read on to explore more about experiential learning!

So, what is experiential learning? As explained by the Oregon State University Extension Service, experiential learning is the act of combining activities with questions to help youth learn. Experiential Learning helps youth to be engaged in their own experiences. Rather than telling youth what they should learn and how they should feel about an experience, they have the opportunity to discover their own learning through a guided process.

Over a series of articles, each of the five steps of the Experiential Learning Model will be explored. According to an article written by Joy Jordan and Marilyn Norman titled “Using an Experiential Learning Model in 4-H,” 4-H has adopted a process that allows youth to learn through a carefully planned “doing” experience that is followed by leader-led discussion using purposeful questions.

The Experiential Learning Model includes five specific steps:

  1. Experience – youth do an activity
  2. Share – youth describe their experience, often we can use the five sense to elaborate on the experience
  3. Process – youth relate the experience to life skills, goals, and/or objectives
  4. Generalize – youth make a connecting between their experience and the world around them, they create relationships, find similarities and differences
  5. Apply – youth apply what they learned throughout the experience to other situations or     experiences in their lives; often this is described by using identified life skills

A quick Google image search may help you to visualize this model. For more information about the Experiential Learning Model you can watch for our series of news articles.

Be sure to visit Implementing the Experiential Learning Model in 4-H Programming - Part 2 (“Experience or Do”), Part 3 (“Reflect- Share and Process”) and Part 4 (“apply”) to learn more.

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