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Course Information

Instructor Info:Karen Warren
Office Extension x5470
TA Info:Garrett van Horne
Ali Gibbs
Daniel Krasner
Lauren Grabarek
Tika Lifton-Herman
Elena Zerin
Rhys Szal
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Thursday
01:00 PM - 05:00 PM Yurt LECTURE

This course will offer an overview of the theoretical tenets of experiential education and how they can be applied in a variety of settings, including the outdoors,and alternative and traditional classrooms. Topics to be addressed include current issues in experiential education, oppression and empowerment in education, teaching experientially, creative expression, and the historical and philosophical basis of experiential education. The course format will include readings, discussion, guest speakers, field experiences, and individual research and presentations on experiential education. An emphasis of the course will be for students to develop curricula based on experiential learning by creating student facilitated workshops and gaining exposure to experiential education methodology currently employed in the local area. The course is designed for Division II and III level students. 5-College students will be graded pass/fail.

Evaluation Criteria:

OPRA 208


Criteria and Expectations


1.  ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION:  The foundation of this course rests on engaged participation from all involved therefore consistent, high quality participation in all aspects of the course is expected.  Students missing more than one large group class and one focus group time will not receive an evaluation (or Five College pass).


2.  FOCUS GROUPS:  Each student will participate in a focus group consisting EE classmates.  This group will meet once a week, for at least an hour, during a regularly scheduled meeting time.  The purpose of this group will be to discuss readings, practice individual facilitation skills, process large group experiences, develop a smaller learning community, plan for student presentations, and to foster discussions about individual EE interests.


3.  SHADOWING EXPERIENCE:  Students will create a shadowing experience by finding a local educator and observing their teaching techniques.  The shadowing experience is designed to introduce you to experiential methods your shadowed teacher might use.  This should happen before the sixth class, which is dedicated to the processing of these experiences.  A list of potential schools, education centers, and contacts is available.  A 3-5 page reflective paper on your shadowing experience will be due by the 6th class.


4.  FACILITATION:  Students will be responsible for facilitating different aspects of the class sessions in creative and interesting ways.  The facilitation possibilities are noted on the schedule.


5.  TEACHING PRACTICUM:  Together we will create a teaching experience in which we will practice and develop our experiential facilitation skills.  We will work with kids from a local school or agency.


6.  STUDENT DIRECTED CONTENT CLASS:  This project will be an integration of your understanding about experiential education.  It will attempt to answer some of the compelling questions that arose for you in class.  You will be able to create an experiential learning situation for yourself (and possibly others) that draws on the experiential education theory you have gained in class. The project can be done collectively with other class members or in small groups.


7.  EVALUATION:  Evaluation of learning and performance within the class will be done through an on-going peer evaluation process.  Each student will be paired with someone within their focus group and will be responsible for participating in feedback discussions.  During the first class there will be time to meet with your co-evaluator to set up criteria and guidelines for the semester.  Mid-course and end of the semester evaluations will happen in the large group setting.