Experiential Learning and Self-reflection
Posted by Joanna on October 4, 2018
Experiential learning provides meaningful opportunities for ASM students to make connections and reflect upon their experiences beyond the classroom. Our middle school students spent the third week of school at Red Gate Farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts. They participated in many aspects of farm work including caring for the land and gardens, tending to the barn animals and discovering the wonders of nature in the forest. Harvesting crops, shearing sheep and repairing a garden tractor were just a few of the activities that allowed our students to become immersed in the life of a farming community. Equally important, new and returning students and faculty bonded as a group, ready to embark upon the challenges of the new school year.
Maria Montessori wrote “Life in the open air, in the sunshine, and a diet high in nutritional content coming from the produce of neighbouring fields improve the physical health, while the calm surroundings, the silence, the wonders of nature satisfy the need of the adolescent mind for reflection and meditation.” (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67)
Taking the time for self-reflection helps students to grow and contemplate what they have learned. According to Jeanine Fitzgerald who spoke to our parent community last Friday, forming deep connections with nature, community and oneself helps us to regulate our emotions and achieve a sense of balance and purpose.