Experiential education is about learning by doing. There is no better way to internalize learning than through hands-on experience.
Students and teachers are together during experiential activities. Social and generational boundaries are blurred, and the very notion of going away together brings us together and makes us responsible for each other.
When you see your teachers slipping down a muddy trail, covered in grease, driving your bus, or presenting their art like everyone else, you see their humanity. Students say that after these experiential activities they feel closer and more connected to their teachers.
Experiential education is about learning socially and collaboratively. It is about the responsibility Catlin Gabel community members have to each other. Students explore how to work together toward a goal and, if they fail, figure out together where things went wrong. We often start with putting up tents!
Yes—experiential education occurs outside the classroom. We travel to a wide variety of places, some of which are remote. We meet new people and groups that exist beyond the Catlin Gabel community.
Middle school is a time when kids can safely take risks. We work together to educate kids about the difference between positive and negative risk taking. Ropes courses, adventure initiatives, and group sharing provide opportunities to try new things, accept challenges, and learn about each other.