These resources are made available thanks to the commitment and involvement of partners from across Ontario.

Click here to access French language resources.

For information on getting involved with developing OCTE resources, visit the secondary panel page.

< Back to Category List

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning has an important role in every grade, subject, and program and is appropriate for every child, youth, and adult learner. It is an inquiry-based, pedagogical approach that provides opportunities for learners to co-construct their learning by:

  • participating in rich experiences connected to a community outside of school;
  • reflecting on those experiences to derive meaning; then,
  • applying their learning to influence their decisions and actions in various aspects of their lives.

Collectively, these three components are referred to as the Experiential Learning Cycle.

The experience can involve local, national, or global communities and:

  • being physically present (an on-site experience);
  • being present through the use of digital tools and technologies (a virtual experience); or,
  • a combination of the two (a blended experience).

During experiential learning opportunities, the emphasis is on the relationships between and among students, teachers, and community members, not the physical location. The experience is not limited to the school or a physical location within proximity to the school. It has the power to provide authentic, dynamic, and engaging learning experiences because it opens the door to elevated teaching and learning opportunities and invites teachers and students to build relationships at the local, national and/or global levels.

Experiential learning makes an important contribution to improving student achievement and promoting well-being. When they are fully engaged in multiple and varied experiential learning opportunities - early and often - children, youth and adult learners develop:

  • a deeper understanding of expectations from the Ontario curriculum and the Kindergarten Program;
  • the global competencies and an appreciation of their interconnectedness; and,
  • the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind to become competent and confident education and career/life planners.

Experiential learning enhances relevance, promotes engagement, and contributes to improved achievement, and the promotion of well-being and equitable outcomes for all students.

(Adapted from Community Connected Experiential Learning, 2016, pg 7-10)