Journal of Social Sciences

Creating New Spaces for Learning: Fostering Experiential and Service Learning, Journeys through the African American Past

Dolapo Adeniji-Neill

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.202.206

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, 2012

Pages 202-206

Abstract

Problem statement: Experiential education and service learning are interchangeable. They are defined as an approach to education that implicitly trusts the learner’s ability to learn through experience, rather than a movement for change that seeks to challenge mainstream education. While literature, research, communities and schools recognize the importnce of experiential education, controversies exit as to their efficacies in learning processes. Approach: Experiential education and service learning are complimentary to formal education. They create communities and enables learners to interact with the world beyond the classroom. It was upon such community building and the belief that students would gain useful knowledge that would be life fulfilling that the “Project Period” was built. It started in a small community of a 300-student 9-12 secondary school in a village in New Hampshire, United States. Results: The projects were designed to allow students to engage with community, foster curiosity, ignite critical thoughts and enable students to see the world in multi-faceted dimensions. Conclusion: Studies on experiential learning tend to focus on environmental education and outdoor programs. As indicated, experiential education can be a part of K-College curricula and can focus on the big philosophical question, such as “How do historical periods affect the past, the present and the future”?

Copyright

© 2012 Dolapo Adeniji-Neill. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.