In terms of educational trends, one of the most prominent educational concepts right now floating around in both secondary education and higher education is the concept of experiential learning. Born from the hearth of hands-on learning, experiential learning is quite simply learning by doing. Job experience, internships, and field trips all play a role in experiential learning, but perhaps the most critical aspect of experiential learning is the self-reflection the student engages in once they are done with an experience. Although various educational theories come and go in the world of academe, one model that few can argue with is the validity of experiential learning.
As Woodlynde students enter the spring season and final three months of school, summer approaches and so does a world of educational and experiential opportunity. Although our students are very worthy of a well-deserved mental break, the summer is a great time for students to engage in a variety of experiential learning opportunities. From Landmark College’s Summer Program to the University of the Arts music and design programs, the traditional summer academic program model is usually a great place for students to engage in career-focused study and activities that will hopefully prepare them for the path they will one day take.
I could drone on and on about the importance of experiential learning and summer programs. I could speak at length about the role of jobs and internships as well. But more importantly than anything is this: experience breeds independence and self-advocacy. In my opinion, Woodlynde School does a fantastic job of preparing students for college and post-secondary education in a number of ways, but the personal, extracurricular experiences that each and every student has before they graduate are what adds to that independence that is so critical for success in college. So as spring begins and summer looms on the horizon, take a moment to think about those camps, jobs, and internships that could spark the flame of interest and independence that lies within each and every student.
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in Grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language-or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.