Have you ever found it difficult to connect to dry scientific or historical texts? Have you found your mind drifting away when listening to presentations on facts, figures, and numbers? How about your students?
If this is the case, Experiential Learning might be the answer.
This course will introduce participants to the concept and practice of experiential learning taking as a case study the amazing natural history and fascinating cultural heritage of the Canary Islands.
By leaving the classroom and going out there, through fun, outdoor activities, participants will experience the main principles and benefits of Experiential Learning – learning by doing!
Participants will examine the landscape shaped by incredible forces of nature, learn about the unique world of plants and animals, discover places of historical interest, and learn ancient skills that were almost lost to history.
By the end of this course, they will better be able to appreciate the uniqueness of the natural world and rich cultural heritage of these islands, as well as gain insight into how to apply experiential learning to make their teaching more inclusive and fun.
The course will help the participants to:
- Understand the principles of experiential learning and be able to apply them to their context;
- Make academic content more accessible to mixed-ability groups;
- Make classes more inclusive and appropriate for students with special needs;
- Experience ‘outdoor learning’ and reflect on its potential benefits/challenges;
- Experience ‘living history’ by learning ancient practical skills and making history come alive;
- Appreciate the fascinating natural history and rich cultural heritage of the Canary Islands’ variety of field trips, walking tours, and excursions.
Day 1 – Introduction to the course and to experiential learning
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- History, guiding principles, and case studies
Day 2 – Life on the coast
- Excursion to the coastal nature reserve of Malpaís de Guimar;
- Exploration of the volcanic rock formations: magmatic dikes, coastal caves, lava flows;
- Ancient technique of fishing and collecting salt from salt flats.
Day 3 – Life in the mountains
- Field trip to the mountain range of Anaga;
- Exploration of different layers of vegetation & recognition emblematic species of Canary flora;
- Discovering ancient methods of grape cultivation;
- Tasting typical canary food and local wine in a traditional restaurant.
Day 4 – Aboriginal people of the Canary Islands
- Experiential learning at the Museum of Nature and Archeology in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: how to visit a museum more exciting;
- Discovering the mysterious origins and fascinating culture of the aboriginal people.
Day 5 – The daily life of aboriginal people
- Living history: practical activities to explore the daily life of the aboriginal people;
- Learning how to do Salto de Pastor (Shepard’s Jump) – an ancient sport form;
- La Gomera’s whistling language.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.