PROJECT-BASED / Experiential LEARNING
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
— Benjamin Franklin
Everyone learns best from direct personal experience.
Experiential activities are among the most powerful teaching and learning tools available. Experiential learning creates self-initiative, an intention to learn and results in active and applied learning.
Project-based learning at ACLC offers these advantages:
- Learners are actively involved in the experience
- Learners reflect on the experience
- Learners develop and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience
- Learners develop and use decision-making and problem-solving skills to apply the understanding gained from the experience.
The process of experiential learning at ACLC results in:
changes in understanding, feelings or skills
helps learners understand ideas and concepts at a deeper level
prepares them to make more-informed judgments in choices and actions.
Depth & Breadth — As a project-based learning center that spans middle and high school, ACLC provides multiple opportunities for individual, partner and group experiences that encourage research, depth of knowledge, mastery of concepts and motivation for continued learning.
Process — Work on projects is initiated by asking "Driving Questions" that help frame the substance of the content and determine the direction of research and discovery. Learners are supported by facilitators to produce high quality work through established checkpoints that provide them with the opportunity for feedback and revision throughout the process.
Benefits — Experiential learning provides clear benefits like: increased critical thinking skills, greater problem-solving abilities, deeper understanding, better preparation for higher education and real work situations, more developed collaborative skills, and an enhanced desire to learn (because it's more interesting and fun!).
According to the Buck Institute of Education, a non-profit research institute on the forefront of PBL:
"...students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations."
ACLC's projects are California Standards and Common Core-based, and include hands-on, interactive, and differentiated activities so that learners attain mastery of objectives.