Last week a number of teachers from across all areas of the College had the opportunity to encounter, understand and begin to apply Experiential Education (or ‘ExpEd’) practices at a special workshop conducted by the Glengarry Leadership Team and the Scots Research Centre. Staff began the day in the blackness of the basement of the Main Building, simulating the caving activity boys undertake at Glengarry. They were guided through a modified version of the Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle – framing, immersion, direct debriefing, bridge-building and assimilating – and shown how an outdoors experience such as caving can be powerfully connected to other curriculum areas, discussing Plato’s conception of the cave and listening to poetry on the nature of darkness and light in Christian formation.
Staff then participated in interactive sessions exploring the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of ExpEd at Scots, before exploring ways of embedding it in their own practice. Hearing from exemplars such as Mr Phil Atkinson’s Year 9 Mathematics Fishing Hike, Year 10 Australian Business Week and the Vanuatu Mission Trip, we had the opportunity to imagine the rich possibilities for transformative learning experiences which we could provide for our boys. A number of pilot programs are now taking shape to test and refine our model of ExpEd, while wider training and conference programs are being developed to further enrich our collective understanding of ExpEd.