Experiential education is the essence of our teen adventure tours, student travel, and Hawaii summer programs for high-school and middle-school students. Experiential learning emphasizes learning through real-life, hands-on experiences. Rather than learning about the world by simply reading from a text book, the learning process is accelerated and reinforced by being immersed in the actual experience.
Personal experience motivates and enhances learning in ways not possible in conventional teaching. Experiential learning, or learning by doing, accelerates the learning process by using critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in the teaching module. Students retain far more information, and can reproduce what they have learned with greater success, when they are able to experience what they are being taught, rather than simply reading about it. They are, in essence, living the lesson.
Group work promotes healthy personal and social development, contributing to a greater awareness of, and appreciation for, the needs and contributions of others. Cooperation is key as students learn to effectively problem solve.
Skills-focused learning, group problem solving, team building, and residential living foster an optimistic sense of both interdependence and self-reliance, and motivate leadership development. Students develop effective communication and decision making skills, learning to tap into their personal strengths, identify opportunities for growth, and clarify a life purpose.
Outdoor adventure has numerous educational benefits. Participation in enjoyable activities in the outdoors with peers and supportive leaders contributes to a positive attitude toward education. Being personally involved in their own experience (and the resulting outcomes) motivates curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. Participants are more engaged as active learners as they work together to complete scenarios that simulate real-life situations.
Successful completion of appropriate challenges in the outdoors teaches students to manage risk and overcome personal fears and apprehensions, thus increasing confidence and self-esteem. There is a further intrinsic satisfaction of enjoying these activities away from the familiarity of family and school.
Immersion in the rich outdoor environment of Hawaii’s Big Island makes a significant contribution toward a student being excited about learning. Opportunities abound for the study of earth sciences, environmental education, biological evolution and diversity, history, language, culture and other curriculum areas.
Focused reflection is another key component of experiential learning. Exploring together, students address real world issues, followed by immediate reflection that includes directed discussions and dialogue of the day’s lessons and events. This fosters sensitivity to the environment and a global sense of responsibility as students learn to better manage real life issues. Daily journaling reinforces the learning process.
For most students, this experience will prove to be the catalyst that inspires them to dream, and to take action on fulfilling those dreams. They will begin seeing doors opening to opportunities far beyond anything they might have imagined possible.
Please join us in exploring the Big Island! It will change your life.
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