DORTMUND. Experiential education stands for action- and experience-oriented learning and for an intensive and lasting effect on the development of children and young people. Experiential learning programs are offered, especially on school trips, because students gain valuable social and emotional experiences. The Bundesverband Individual- und Erlebnispädagogik eV wants to anchor experience-based education even more firmly in schools.
Children and young people face major challenges, and not just because of the corona pandemic. They must assert themselves in school, family and society, meet their psychological and physical development and develop teamwork, their own values and resilience. Experiential education supports this path. Because the focus in experience-based educational work is on the key areas of personality development, social skills, values and norms as well as knowledge and abilities. Experiential education creates challenging, new situations that encourage participants to take action.
“The following applies to experiential learning: Only those who dare to do something new can learn new things. It also means that you learn to assess different situations with all possible risks and dangers and to master everyday – actually quite normal – challenges. Experiential education supports young people in shaping their own environment, taking responsibility for themselves, others and society, and developing a healthy, strong personality,” explains Reinhard Zwerger, first chairman of the Federal Association for Individual and Experiential Education
Class trips provide a good opportunity for experiential teaching. They belong to the important events of the school days, especially from an educational point of view. The students gather valuable social and emotional experiences in the group and away from their usual everyday life. Teachers and experts for experiential education accompany children and young people in developing more and more independence and convey knowledge and experiences in an extraordinary context. Children and young people need shared, professionally led activities outside of school because social learning and community interaction are the basis for successful learning, equal opportunities in education and individual positive development. The alliance for school and class trips with the campaign “Class trips, but safe”, to which the Federal Association of Individual and Experiential Education belongs as one of over 60 alliance partners, also stands for this position (www. Klassenfahrtabersicher.de).
“Neurobiological research has shown that action- and experience-oriented learning has an intensive effect on children’s development, and that learning is most effective and sustainable when personal action, active action and a balanced combination of challenges, experiences and experiences with all senses occur. Experiential education must thus make a visible, relevant contribution to the psychosocial development of children and young people,’ says Thomas Sablotny from the association’s board of directors.
The Bundesverband Individual- und Erlebnispädagogik eV now wants to further strengthen experience-based education through a consistent political discourse and give it the necessary status in the education landscape. Experiential education is the definitive answer to the problems and challenges that children and young people face today, and will continue to be in the future. It provides an answer to problems such as the dangers of loneliness, poverty, educational deficits, (perceived) lack of prospects, poor health, etc. To this end, the Confederation demands that experiential education and action-oriented learning become an integral part of school, not just in school – and class trips. Because education is a holistic task. It must not be reduced to simply conveying knowledge and purely cognitive learning processes. The focus is on the transformation of education into sustainable experiential learning through head, heart and hand. For this, experiential education must be anchored in the federal states’ education plans. In addition, government funding, including for school trips, is essential.
The Confederation’s demands appear in the position paper “Children and young people need more! Changing the education system and sustainable strengthening of society through experience-based education”. It is freely available as a PDF at https://www.bundesverband-erlebnispaedagogik.de/service/downloads.html.
“We are initiators from an experiential educational point of view and are happy to work with the integration of these concepts into the existing care and education systems. We especially consider the school to be an important learning space and collaborative partner. For stable physical and mental health and holistic education, there is a need for significantly more development and experience spaces as opposites in a time of increasing digitization, growing complexity and increasing social, economic and political uncertainties. Experiential training offers the solution to these requirements,” emphasizes Reinhard Zwerger.
Federal Association of Individual and Experiential Education eV
Reinhard Zwerger, first chairman
Phone: 0231 9999490
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