One wonders what children learn in a camp on field trips or school excursions cannot be taught in a classroom and the answer that keeps surfacing is that experiential learning can never be replaced.
Virtual reality may be able to create an experience but will never be able to replace the real world. In the present time, teachers are also learning different ways to teach. In this paradigm, schools have realised that they have many more teachers than they thought. While physical distancing may well be possible, it is the opposite of emotional distancing. As a corollary of what is happening, teachers are connecting directly with the children.
Emotional distancing within families is emerging but nothing has stopped people from connecting with each other. This emotional distancing needs to be reversed. While schools have been focussing on various tools and techniques (such as smart classrooms, robotics labs etc.) in order to make knowledge more relevant and allow the children to experience concepts in order to make them clear in their heads, other aspects are also being focussed upon.
Teachers are learning new ways to implement learning without any kind of feedback or assignments. A large part of experiential learning is how seamlessly families have transitioned along with the teachers and the children into the whole world of online education.
Children have parents and grandparents who are filling in the gap of the teachers who are there to guide through online classes but unfortunately cannot be present in person with the child. Skills such as archery are being taught through videos where teachers are also innovating continuously. Be it google classrooms or mentoring students on zoom online classes, teachers have become tech-savvy and they are working harder than ever.
Children are learning compassion, love and values through their different set of teachers at home. Experiential methodologies were always there but schools are just realizing its strength, that is mobilizing resources and manpower to make the child into a perfect human being.
The contributor of the article is – Dr. Kartikay Saini – Chairman, Scottish High International School, Gurugram.