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Experiential Learning in a Humanities Class.

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Experiential learning, or learning by doing, fits newer conceptions about the process of learning. John Dewey's emphasis on experience as the key to real learning, Paulo Freire's criticism of the "banking concept" of education, and David Kolb's description of the cycle of experiential learning have changed the conception of learning. This paper discusses the General Education program at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, which is built around a four-course interdisciplinary humanities sequence which claims as its signature a faculty teaching circle on experiential learning. The paper explains that each week all faculty teaching in sections of a particular humanities course meet to discuss the upcoming lecture and readings and plan strategies to teach the significant concepts--the circle grew out of a desire to examine and change the learning environment so that students could become more actively engaged in discussing ideas, reading texts, and forming new concepts. The paper describes the teaching circle: how it was organized, its activities; its goals for experiential learning, and the use of experiential teaching strategies. It finds that this teaching circle led its participants to reflect about how educators teach and what it means for students and teachers. (Contains a 6-item bibliography. An assignment is appended.) (NKA)

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Author:McGlinn, Jeanne M.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Sep 25, 1999
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