What is Experiential Education?
Over the past few decades, as educators have become increasingly aware that people do not all learn the same way, a child-centered and challenge-based method of hands-on instruction was born: experiential education .
Experiential education is one of the instructional cornerstones of Ridge and Valley Charter School. We focus on developing the individual talents, passions and needs of each child. We strive to empower each student's unique natural gifts and expand that awareness into the larger mission of a developing a wholesome community of learners, where each is sensitive to and willing to include their peers' diversity and contributions to the group dynamic.
We encourage children to see themselves as a joyful part of an inspiring and awesome universe and to recognize that everything in the universe is interconnected. We hope this perspective instills in students a motivating sense of purpose and place-a motivation they can share with others. Toward that end, our teachers are facilitators or guides to creative activities, games, and subject matter, incorporating curriculum into a spirit of respect, reverence and the freedom of exploration.
How will Experiential Education be expressed?
Outdoor exploration, individual study, and group project time is an important part of weekly scheduling. To some extent, day-to-day activities are a reflection of students' personal plans, needs and preferences. Children are encouraged to offer their opinions, contributions and self-motivation. In addition to traditional subject material, we encourage active participation in music, art, health, dance, performance, hiking, hands-on scientific experiments, carpentry, wandering and wondering, gardening, cooking, photography, portfolio work, and many other fascinating areas. The staff is skilled in these creative teaching arenas and continues to develop curriculum based on the abilities and personal intentions of the students, while maintaining all New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards.