Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Experiential Learning Definitions and Models
Dorothy Justus Sluss
The term experiential learning (EL) commonly refers to active, action-based learning. That is, the individual learns through reflection on individual experiences and activities. EL may occur as the natural result of an individual experience such as learning more about playing football by playing a game of pick-up football, especially with oversized opponents. Another usage of the term refers to engaging in activities and experiences planned by an adult or more knowable other. These may occur inside or outside the classroom and are typically designed for the individual learner. For example, children might cut a pumpkin open, dissect the seeds, and examine the pulp rather than read about it, or the children might engage in pretend play as they shop in a grocery store. The focus is thus on individual learning through hands-on experiences. Many refer to this as learning by doing because the focus is on the construction of knowledge ...