The experiential learning process is a learning method that places focus on hands-on learning experiences and active participation. It’s defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.
Many schools recognise it as the method that leaves the longest-lasting impact on pupils, and encourages them to pursue independent growth. At The Perse School Singapore, we believe that this approach fosters active engagement and promotes a deep understanding of academic concepts. Involving pupils in the experiential learning process is one of our core teaching methods.
Understanding Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is a process through which pupils develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting. It differs from rote learning in that it is more about learning by doing rather than by memorisation. It’s an interactive and dynamic process that challenges pupils to venture outside their comfort zones and engage directly with the subject matter.
Central to experiential learning is the four-stage experiential learning cycle proposed by David Kolb. Kolb’s experiential learning model describes four stages of the experiential learning process: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation.
A Concrete Experience is a pupil experiencing an activity. Reflective Observation involves them reflecting on what they’ve just been through. Abstract Conceptualisation is when they draw conclusions and learn from their reflection. Finally, Active Experimentation is when they put this into practice in new situations.
A common example of the process is learning to ride a bike. A learner first interacts with a bicycle by trying, and likely failing to ride it. This is their Concrete Experience. After they’ve experienced this, they have a chance for Reflective Observation, where they think about what they’re doing right and wrong. Following this, they can come up with a mental image of how a bike should be ridden, forming the Abstract Conceptualisation stage. And finally, once they think they can do it better, they get back onto the bike and engage in Active Experimentation, where they put what they’ve learnt into practice. Repeat this process several times, and they’ll soon be riding without issue.
However, they likely weren’t alone during this process. If you’ve taught your child how to ride a bike, and have put them through these steps, you’ll know how important it is to have a guiding hand behind them. A learner needs a good teacher to encourage and put them on the right path before they can engage in experiential learning on their own. That’s where The Perse School Singapore comes in.
The Perse School Singapore’s Engagement with Experiential Learning
The Perse School Singapore wholeheartedly integrates experiential learning into the curriculum. We understand the importance of encouraging learning styles that help encourage further growth in our pupils. This experiential education method can be seen in the learning approach our pupils use.
For example, during Science lessons, pupils actively participate in immersive, hands-on experiments that breathe life into the concepts they’re studying. This approach encourages pupils to understand the practical application of scientific theories within everyday situations. Pupils also participate in regular field trips, which allow them to head out into the world and form experiences outside of a classroom setting.
Furthermore, the presence of our subject-specific teachers helps narrow down the skills that Pupils need to develop for each subject. Being able to cater to each pupil’s preferred learning styles can greatly enhance their education. By having a specialist in each subject, it becomes easier to ensure pupils are developing the appropriate skill sets to truly excel in them.
Impact of Experiential Learning on Pupils’ Development
The Perse School Singapore’s unique approach to integrating experiential learning has seen tremendous results in the personal and academic growth of its pupils. Pupils pursue their personal growth by engaging in hands-on experiences, connecting theory and practice, and reflecting on personal experiences. Pupils participate in group activities and projects which teach them how to communicate and collaborate with each other. Through this, we help pupils develop critical thinking and self-awareness.
It has been observed that experiential learning enhances the retention of knowledge. By linking theoretical concepts to real-world contexts, pupils are more likely to remember and understand the information. This approach not only encourages a deeper understanding of the material but also helps in long-term growth.
By allowing pupils to explore their interests and engage with subjects in a dynamic way, experiential learning also fosters enthusiasm and motivation in pupils. They become eager to learn and explore, transforming learning from a passive chore to an active pursuit of knowledge.
Through this approach, we aim to provide a holistic, balanced education that goes beyond academic excellence to develop well-rounded individuals prepared for the world outside the classroom.
The Value of a Nurturing Environment for Experiential Learning
The Perse School Singapore offers a nurturing environment that greatly enhances the effectiveness of experiential learning. With a small capacity of 290 children and a class size ratio of 1:24, the school fosters an intimate, personalised learning experience. Each pupil receives individual attention, further promoting their engagement with the learning process.
The school’s unique facilities are all aimed at creating an environment that pupils can truly engage in. We have well-equipped Science Laboratories, and weekly science lessons provide opportunities for pupils to conduct experiments and involve themselves in these hands-on processes—which are key to experiential learning.
There are also rooms catered to the creative arts, such as dedicated music rooms with optional one-on-one instrument lessons, as well as art studios with specialised teachers holding classes weekly. And when they need a peaceful moment, pupils can take advantage of our reading rooms and other quiet spaces, to further their own learning at their own pace.
Experiential learning opportunities at The Perse School Singapore
Experiential learning at The Perse School Singapore goes beyond textbook studies, providing a well-rounded, engaging education that fosters academic excellence and personal growth. We aspire to cultivate these values in our pupils and provide quality education to each and every one.
Admissions are open all year-round. We invite you to learn more about The Perse School Singapore and its unique approach to education. Our commitment is to provide an engaging learning environment where your child can thrive, grow, and excel. Your child’s future starts here.