“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey
Facilitating for a new client the other week reminded me of such a vital element within our program experiences. The Assistant Principal commented half way through the day how much he and the students were loving the activities and games they were participating in. But more importantly he commented how much he was loving the reflection opportunities that accompanied each of the activities and games. This is something that we are very purposeful about.
“What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?” -Frederick II
The fullness and richness of experiential learning means there can’t just be doing. Experiential learning is a combination of ‘learning through reflection on doing’. Like the old saying goes, it takes two to tango! Absolutely we want to offer activities and games within our programs that are engaging, challenging and fun. But without the opportunity and time to reflect on and connect to the individual and/or group teachable moments, then we aren’t living up to and embodying a commitment we make to ourselves and our client schools. That is connection to meaningful action beyond each program experience.
“Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another, to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.” -Mollie Marti
At the end of the program day we received back from the Assistant Principal mentioned at the start of this post our feedback form. The comment at the bottom read, ‘Thank you for a wonderful day. Both the students and staff enjoyed your enthusiasm and knowledge. We look forward to working with you more, in the near future’. What a privilege it is to engage, support and inspire Stage 3 students within their learning and leadership journeys. Also, what a privilege it is to be able to engage, support and inspire the teachers who will have daily contact with the leaders we encounter through our program days.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard