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Towards a new paradigm in experiential learning: lessons learned from kindergarten

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to compare two radically different approaches of experiential learning, enabling four usually missing dimensions in experiential learning to be revealed. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The data in this paper are drawn from a five-year action research involving more than 70 students and another action research run in kindergartens for more than ten years. Findings ‐ To reveal the power of experiential learning ‐ the authors name it complex experiential learning ‐ one needs to be compliant with four principles: the conditions for the experience to emerge comes from the participants themselves; the multiplicity principle; the dual epistemological authenticity principle; and the complexity principle. Research limitations/implications ‐ It would be valuable to gather longitudinal data to explore how the perspective of participants on the impact of these four principles varies over time. Practical implications ‐ Any experiential workshop, run under the rules of the four discovered principles, reveals a higher learning outcome. Originality/value ‐ Limited research on experiential learning research properly addresses the question of how which type of experience will be the most likely to produce expected learning effects.

Keywords: Complexity; Education; Experiential learning; Management education; Managers; Nursery education

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 16, 2012


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