The Guided Experience Approach™
Based on the most advanced research on learning, The Guided Experience Approach™ will allow you to teach the way human beings learn most naturally and is ideal for the integration of technology. This is teaching at its best and is urgently needed in schools, in the home, and in our communities.
With the Guided Experience Approach™, the world becomes your curriculum.
The elements that follow are essential to the Guided Experience Approach™ and to natural learning. Specific elements are essential, but are ongoing and order is determined by need and natural interactions. The Guided Experience Approach™ begins with understanding the changes in the teacher’s role which now include creating and supporting a coherent culture and community.
Build and maintain a functioning community by fostering healthy relationships.
Because research confirms the essential need for positive relationships, the Guided Experience Approach™ requires ongoing attention to building and maintaining healthy relationships between students, teachers and students, and among the adults that guide and manage the learning environment.
Healthy routines, procedures, and communication skills need to be established and continually monitored by the entire community, group or class. Communication begins with practicing communication skills such as listening, speaking one’s truth, and making personal and group decisions. Building relationship begins with mastering a process called the Ordered Sharing™.
Use Active Processing of Experience throughout.
Because the research suggests that expertise evolves due to multiple interactions or experiences, the teacher’s role with academics changes as well. Active Processing asks teachers to support and challenge student thinking and students are continually invited to present evidence regarding their own progress and mastery.
The teacher’s role now moves away from primarily providing information to facilitating higher order thinking skills that invite decision making, self-regulation, planning, engagement of working memory, and critical analysis, among others. Teachers, have to continually facilitate student learning and engagement. This approach to teaching requires ongoing feedback as students apply and engage expertise gleaned not only from teachers but other sources, experts, and peers. We call this Active Processing of Experience.
Initially, mastering the Guided Experience Approach™ should begin with the following order. Only after mastering each of the elements above and below will this approach to teaching and learning become more natural and automatic.
Begin a new concept, idea, or topic with a Multisensory Immersive Experience.
Because research demonstrates the essential need for sensory experiences, the Guided Experience Approach™ requires what we call a Multisensory Immersive Experience (M.I.E.). The M.I.E. is an experience (either actual or simulated) that presents how the subject under study is related to life and a living context.
Following the M.I.E., Students Generate their own Unique Questions.
Because research suggests that motivation is the driving force behind Natural Learning, students must be free to ask and work on unique questions of their own (“actor centered” adaptive questions).
Actor (learner) centered adaptive questions are sparked by the multisensory immersive experience (M.I.E.). Teachers support and guide students in generating their own questions, pooling those questions, choosing the questions to pursue in depth, and in then working alone or with others to research the questions.
Students Research Their Own Questions.
Because research tells us that the perception/action cycle includes interaction with what is known by others, student led research is an important component of the Guided Experience Approach™.
Once students have chosen the question to investigate, they actively research what is known using experts and expert modeling. Technology is essential for this component but the major resources can be found in many places. If teachers are highly specialized they are available for this role as are experts on-line.
Students Consolidate and Synthesize New Knowledge by Crating a Product
Because research tells us that consolidation of what has been learned is essential and should include multiple iterations of the material being studied, students design and/or create a product that consolidates new information, learned skills, and other evidence of mastery for a live audience.
Products that consolidate mastery can include presentations (include modeling and active audience participation or interaction), creating a display, video, model or other clear evidence of mastery.
Live Feedback based on Performance.
Because research tells us that feedback beyond the classroom is essential to dynamic learning. Therefore products, performances, or displays provided as evidence of mastery are presented for feedback from teacher(s), peers, and other experts.
Feedback is processed for future exploration in order to deepen the current topic or lead to new questions and a new Guided Experience Cycle.
To learn more, go to: Teaching with Natural Learning