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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experiential Learning in a Traditional Classroom; Experiential Pedagogy, Traditional Pedagogy, and Student Preference
by Roberts, Frederic P., M.A., Prescott College, 2016, 125; 10172473
Abstract (Summary)

Experiential learning theory, student driven learning methods, and brain research related to learning and memory support the use of experientially based learning activities in a traditional classroom. It is the author’s opinion, however, that teachers rarely make use of such activities, termed Learning Games in this paper, as a means to help students learn, retain, and recall material presented in the classroom. Reasons include a lack of training and a perceived limit of time for the inclusion of experientially based teaching techniques. Others argue that experiential learning resembles unguided learning and places undue demands on student working memory that can hinder effective learning. This paper presents support for the use of Learning Games, activities developed by the author based on research and the value of ‘fun’, ‘play’, and ‘games’, to enhance the learning process. Significance of the study is to increase the acceptance of experiential learning in a traditional classroom, to dispel preconceived notions, and to expand on a teacher’s diversity of teaching techniques to offer more opportunities for student learning. A mixed methods research design is used to evaluate student preference to experiential learning pedagogy to that of traditional classroom instruction. The results showed no significant difference in student preference between experiential and traditional pedagogy. Possible reasons include factors related to the school’s culture and traditions, student demographics, teacher inexperience, and classroom environment. Heuristic inquiry reveals the researcher’s teaching philosophy and methods incongruent to the research setting.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thomas, Loren
Commitee: Battiato, Christina, Cox Caniglia, Noel
School: Prescott College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Brain based learning, Experiential education, Experiential learning, Learning games, Play, Unguided learning
Publication Number: 10172473
ISBN: 978-1-369-27239-0
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