Preschool children have an instinctive desire to learn, discover and try new things. Their natural curiosity is attracted to anything they are unfamiliar with, so that makes children interested in trying everything. This interest in learning can be taken advantage of in schools and at home to maximize a child’s development, but only when done properly.
While preschoolers are naturally curious, they are also very active, mentally and physically. Oftentimes, they have difficulty paying attention to things they are uninterested in. So is there a way to make almost any topic instantly intriguing to children? The answer lies in experiential learning.
What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential learning is a method of learning where children actively participate in the learning process. It makes lessons personal to children by including them in the instructing process. Classes become fun activities for children in this way. For example, instead of the traditional approach of teaching them about cutting fruit, children would cut fruit themselves under adult supervision in the experiential learning approach.
What are the benefits?
Learning and growth happens quickest when a child is able to devote their full attention to a topic, especially if that topic poses an age-appropriate challenge. Experiential learning offers a fun alternative to traditional classroom teaching that can improve the following areas of growth and learning:
Memory retention: Children gain a deeper understanding of content when allowed to act on it, and when they are fully interested in the content. This causes synapses (nerves in the brain) to create stronger connections when a child associates motor functions to new information, which leads to higher memory retention.
Experiential learning demands effort and attention, simply by being an activity that children can participate in. Therefore, the lesson becomes a more personalized exercise of hands-on exploration.
Life-skill development: Practical knowledge is typically gained when children encounter obstacles and are given the opportunity to develop their problem-solving skills to overcome these challenges. Allowing preschoolers to actively participate in daily processes can establish life skills that will benefit their future growth and learning.
Emotional growth: Experiential learning gives children a sense of accomplishment that will develop their self-esteem and fuel their desire to learn. When they take ownership of a situation, with help from adults, children learn how to follow their ambitions without being afraid to try something new or struggle at first.
How Carpe Diem Uses Experiential Learning
At Carpe Diem Private Preschools, our educators utilize experiential learning to teach more effectively, and combine it with traditional interdisciplinary approaches to assist each child in reaching their greatest learning potential. Our unique teaching system challenges children with exciting projects that teaches them how to set goals, while also developing knowledge across multiple domains of learning.