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From Site Unseen to Experiential Learning: Religious Studies in the “Discover Chicago” Model

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This paper examines David Kolb’s theory of experiential learning and its usefulness in developing religious studies courses in a ‘Discover Chicago’ program, wherein students spend an intensive ‘immersion’ week before the start of the autumn quarter touring, researching, interviewing, discussing, and analyzing a variety of phenomena in the Chicago metropolitan area. Then, during the quarter, they critically revisit issues raised by the immersion week, probing more deeply and letting their initial impressions take on more mature reflective forms by engaging in extensive reading and systematically relating text with experience. Finally, research projects are developed, being outgrowths of the activities of the summer week and the readings and discussions from the first part of the quarter.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: DePaul University

Publication date: June 1, 1998


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