In broad terms, the implementation of experiential learning (EL) aims at:
- Enhancing students’ learning by connecting theory with experience and thought with action;
- Assisting students to understand the relevance of their respective academic disciplines to the real world;
- Developing a richer context for students’ learning;
- Exposing students to social and global issues; and
- Cultivating students with critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills.
Education at its best is a process of teaching people to explore ideas about themselves and the world in which they live, to ask questions about the experience called living and to embrace ambiguity, to notice the unusual without fear and to look upon the ordinary with new eyes.
Learning Outcomes (LOs)
More specifically, students are expected to have attained the following LOs after completion of the EL programmes in our Faculty.
1. Planning, pedagogy and problem solving
- Design, conduct, complete and present EL projects on identified issues independently and collaboratively;
- Develop abilities in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem-solving, creativity and other ‘learning to learn’ skills;
- Prepare a service task/deliverable(s) in response to an ill-defined problem using a consultative and constructive approach that draws on research and practice; and
- Develop and contribute experience to a wider community.
2. Social and global issues
- Identify, investigate and understand more about issues related to social, economic, political, environmental and cultural developments in Hong Kong and beyond; and,
- Develop a role as a local, national and global citizen.
3. Supporting stakeholders and beneficiaries
- Develop teaching and learning resources that cater for the diverse needs of stakeholders across a range of EL projects;
- Plan and implement projects which promote stakeholders’ and beneficiaries’ capacities;
- Work collaboratively with staff and members of partner schools/organisations to ensure a satisfactory outcome to tasks and projects; and
- Develop a better understanding of the ethical issues surrounding EL.
4. Professional conduct and reflection
- Develop and display critical reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of own practices;
- Propose and implement changes as a result of these reflections to ensure ongoing personal and professional development; and,
- Write a reflective response that shows your appreciation of, and engagement with an ill-defined and of the contribution of consultation and research to the deeper understanding of the problem and its solution; and
- Conduct themselves professionally when engaged with stakeholders and beneficiaries during the EL period.
Joining an experiential learning program is not just something about teaching, but it’s about cooperating with students from various streams, communicating with people from totally different cultural backgrounds, doing curriculum planning, thinking about how to make social service sustainable and most importantly reflecting on who we are.
(Sherman Yau, BA&BEd(LangEd)-CHI student)