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TVETipedia Glossary

Find and compare definitions of key terms in TVET


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Experiential learning

Participatory training can also be described as ‘learning by doing’ or ‘experiential learning’. As is evident from these terms, action and ‘experiencing’ by participants form the starting point of their learning. The ‘theory’ provided by the trainer in the form of lectures and presentations is kept to the minimum and done at the end rather than at the beginning of a session. The students or participants first participate in an action or a practical exercise. They, then, share their feelings or observations on what they did. Finally, they analyze and draw learning points and conclusions from the exercise for use later in real life.

The idea that experiences are generated through our ongoing interactions and engagement with the world around us, and learning is an inevitable product of experience. This theory of learning is different from cognitive and behavioural learning theories as it takes a more holistic approach. It considers the role that all of our experiences play in our learning, including our emotions, cognition and environmental factors.

Experiential learning is a process that develops knowledge, skills and attitudes based on consciously thinking about an experience. Thus, it involves direct and active personal experience combined with reflection and feedback.

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