We believe children learn by doing and benefit enormously from hands-on experiences. Whether inside the classroom or outside, experiential learning at Catlin Gabel is participatory. Experiential learning happens in the classrooms and during trips off campus. Experiential learning is how kids learn. When children are exposed to a new problem or idea they need to work it through their senses to make it their own. We are constructivists and this theory guides our curriculum and instruction. Students construct their own learning vs. the traditional model of “Open Head, Pour in Knowledge.”
Experiential education is a pedagogical process by which educators engage students through a cycle of direct experience, reflection, analysis and experimentation. It encourages deep learning, inspires personal growth and promotes active citizenship.
Lower School Experiential Days is an inquiry immersion week when children and teachers work in small, multi-grade-level groups and venture beyond the classroom to share hands-on experiences such as hiking, photography, culture studies, dramatics, fishing, and cooking. Deep learning and multi-age relationships are hallmarks of the week. The social context of learning cannot be underestimated.