Abstract

Recently there has been a surge of research in the field of Experiential Education. Experiential Education is defined differently by many people, however, the central idea is the same: students learn through experiences. Although this theory of education is supported by many, it is not heavily researched or utilized in classroom settings. The goal of this study was to apply the theory of Experiential Education to a classroom experience and reflect on its value. This research aims to measure Experiential Education’s impact on creating a positive and supportive classroom environment, fostering relationships, and improving communication between students. The study was performed with the use of various teambuilding activities and multiple student groups.

The program designed by the researcher was carried out in twelve classrooms of GSD 101 students at Eastern Kentucky University in the Fall semester of 2015. Participants were led through a program that encouraged collaboration, team work, communication, relationship building, and reflection. After delivering the program, the researcher received overwhelming positive feedback to support the implementation of this type of program for these groups of students. The outcome of this research was a great success and will be replicated again in the Fall of 2016. The following is a description and reflection of the program designed as well as current research supporting its validity.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2016

Mentor

Adrienne Fike

Department/Professional Affiliation

Campus Recreation

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

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