The Early Childhood SELO Pasifika Leadership programme offers bi-monthly networking meetings to participants enrolled in the programme. The purpose of the network meetings is to explore the many aspects of Pasifika cultures through hands-on learning and language. One of the key messages echoed from the participants is that they value the hands-on experience as a catalyst for people sharing knowledge and skills, but also the bringing of people together with a common purpose.
What is experiential learning?
There is a wide range of research on the value of experiential learning. Haynes (2007) describes experiential learning as learning through action, doing, through experience, through discovery and exploration. Although learning content is important, learning from the process is at the heart of experiential learning.
Kolb (1984) signaled that experiential learning contains four elements: active experimentation (doing), concrete experience (experiencing), abstract conceptualization (thinking), and reflective observation (reflective). He described each one of these elements as an essential part of the critical thinking process moving beyond rote learning. It provides a better understanding of the material and instructors can increase their enjoyment of teaching.