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It is hard to imagine an effective approach to learning that does not involve the learner in some kind of experience. The idea that knowledge, understanding, or skills could be passively absorbed is the antithesis of good teaching. This is especially true in modern approaches to education, where the goal is to actively engage students and help them to construct learning. Learners are not empty buckets or blank slates, and unless new ideas and new experiences link to previous experience, these ideas and experiences may lack meaning and context. However, if all learning is experiential, the use of the adjective “experiential” to distinguish one kind of learning from another is puzzling. The purpose of this entry is to explore this quandary and to identify the ...

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