Experiential Learning

Experiences are a source of spiritual growth and greater knowledge. Discover the components of a successful experiential learning program and explore our journeys to the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Experiential Learning at WaterfallMake Life Your Classroom with Experiential Learning

For many, the concept of “school” can elicit mixed feelings, but when we delve deeper into the realm of education, we find learning encompasses so much more.

Learning is a joy. We feel it when our mind lights up with new knowledge and and we feel it when we begin to understand more about the world around us and about ourselves.

With experiential learning, even daily routines are transformed into rich opportunities for personal growth and enlightenment.

What Is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is based on the premise that learning isn’t restricted to a classroom – life is the classroom.

At the heart of experiential learning is the idea that lived experiences are the source for growth and greater knowledge. And when woven together, experience and intellect can create a learning opportunity exponentially more powerful than either could on its own.

Experiential educators help cultivate an environment susceptible to a successful learning experience. Some environments include:

  • Guided spiritual journeys
  • Outdoor education programs
  • Study abroad programs
  • On-the-job training
  • Community-based travel
  • Service learning projects
  • Internships and volunteer opportunities

In other settings, as in many therapeutic approaches, the educator and learner create a “curriculum” that works on experiences that have already taken place. In both cases, the learner stands to benefit from a profound growth experience.

Key Scholars of Experiential Learning

  • Paulo Freire: Brazilian philosopher, teacher, and advocate for social change, who is best known for his influence on adult learning techniques.
  • John Dewey: One of the most influential philosophers of progressive education, democracy and community in the early 20th century.
  • Maria Montessori: Best known for her educational techniques popularized by “Montessori Schools” that apply her theories in free thinking, independence, psychological development and imagination.
  • David Kolb: Developed the Experiential Learning Model (ELM) along with Ron Fry, and founded EBLSI.
  • Rudolf Steiner: Founder of anthroposophy, and the highly artistic, spiritual, “Waldorf” schools well-known around the world.

Take Part in Experiential Learning

To take part in experiential learning, there are just two key elements: your openness to the experience, and a guide to help distill the knowledge you seek (and knowledge you might not be seeking but find anyway).

Experiential learning can be an important tool in our spiritual development as well.

Pachamama Journeys Embodies the Ultimate in Experiential Learning

One of the greatest experiences can be immersing yourself into another culture, and seeking knowledge of another way of living, through an indigenous communities’ cuisine, habits, community, and home. We can find meaning and depth by accepting a new morning routine as our own, and relishing in our new surroundings. Our daily routines are given greater meaning when we allow ourselves to learn from them.

Deep in the Amazon, there are infinite possibilities for experiential learning. Whether it’s connecting with Achuar communities, exploring the rainforest, engaging in the lively atmosphere of small towns or discovering the wealth of the Amazon’s natural resources and wildlife- there is a beauty and depth in learning through experience.

Our Pachamama Journeys to Ecuador incorporate experiential learning as a key component of cultural exchange and spiritual growth. Throughout the year, Pachamama Journeys embarks on trips to Ecuador. The journeys are an essential component of cultural exchange and spiritual growth. And as a Journey participant, you’ll immerse yourself in a radically different culture, while experienced local guides support you to cultivate greater knowledge through a Journey of rich experiences.

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