Of all the things that might be said about experiential education, the one thing that is unassailably true is that you can't find out by defining it. Come with me and visit in a classroom where a community of young ones are learning about their world. Though the images are mine, the words are John Holt's…he says it far better then I could ever say!!
The child is curious.
He wants to make sense out of things,
find out how things work,
gain competence and control over himself and his environment,
do what he can see other people doing.
He is open, receptive and perceptive.
He does not shut himself off from the strange confused complicated world around him.
He is experimental.
He does not merely observe the world around him
but tastes, touches, hefts, bends, breaks it.
He is bold.
He is not afraid to make mistakes;
and he is patient.
He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance and suspense.
He does not have to have instant meaning in any new situation.
He is willing and able to wait for meaning to come to him- even if it comes very…slowly…which it usually does.
" I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity; an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial and above all, compassion."