Experiential Learning Opportunities at Centre High Campus
Centre High believes that we must prepare our children to understand, live, and work in today’s world, one that is complex, multi-cultured, multi-linguistic, rapidly changing, and inter-connected. In shaping these citizens, we must equip them with the skills, attitudes, resiliency, and habits of mind that will allow them to engage broadly, apply knowledge, care for their global community and embrace its diversity of culture and norm. To accomplish these ends, the Centre High staff intends to carry all students and teachers alike beyond the expectations, norms, and approaches that education has offered in the past. Perhaps more importantly now than ever before, students must master a range of skills to ensure they are well prepared to face a complex world in conflicted times. To accomplish these goals Centre High and its staff continue to push the boundaries of learning and teaching designed to meet the growing needs of our students as they prepare for the next steps of their lives, involvement in their community, business, careers and post-secondary opportunities. To better meet the challenges of our complex and diverse group of learners Centre High has implemented into its courses “experiential learning” opportunities. Experiential learning is a method of educating through first-hand experience. Skills, knowledge, and experience are acquired outside of the traditional academic classroom setting and may include internships, studies abroad, field trips, field research, and service-learning projects.
The concept of experiential learning is not something new to education and was first explored by John Dewey and Jean Piaget, among others. It was made popular by education theorist David A. Kolb, who, along with John Fry, developed the experiential learning theory, which is based on the idea that learning is a process whereby knowledge is created through transformation of experience. It is based on four main elements which operate in a continuous cycle during the learning experience:
- Concrete experience
- Reflective observation
- Abstract conceptualization
- Active experimentation
- Criteria for Experiential-Learning Assignments
Centre High teachers are continually working together to develop and implement experiential-learning assignments that may vary from teacher to teacher or subject to subject, but generally follow the following criteria:
- The project should be personally meaningful and have some significance to the student
- Students should have opportunities to reflect on and discuss their learning experience throughout the process of the assignment
- The experience should involve the student's whole person, including the senses, personality, and emotions
- Previous knowledge on the subject matter should be acknowledged
In looking at Alberta Education’s “Inspiring Education”, there are 3’E’s of education for the 21st century. Teachers at Centre High are infusing these 3 ‘E’s into their courses, building experiential learning activities that allow students to actively explore the skills and attributes to be successful lifelong learners, leaders and global citizens.
Ethical Citizen: We want students to discover issues that matter to them on a personal, local and global level, in their schools and communities. We want them to be able to approach all situations with an open mind, and act fairly with empathy and respect diversity. To accomplish this, we compel our students to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Entrepreneurial Spirit: We know that our students need a space that allows them to take risks, plan, look for opportunities, and research without the fear of making mistakes. And when students are put into real life situations that require them to make decisions as a team, they become engaged and engagement unlocks learning.
Engaged thinker: We want students to have skills that will help them to navigate transitions in their lives, so that they are able to work collaboratively, think critically, innovate and problem solve given any situation they may face.
Come join us and explore your future at Centre High!