Experiential Learning


As I’ve mentioned before my superpower is smashing things together and finding the awesome new things amongst the wreckage. I call it x-roads (crossroads). I don’t need to dig that deep for this post because the items are very closely related.

Experiential Learning has been a concept for a while, and it’s a big theme for those following the Path of the Postmodern Cleric. Let’s define and expand the concept here.


For decades some employers and teachers have believed in the informal concept of “hands-on” learning. Aristotle introduced the idea that somethings must be learned that way. Kolb now has a formal theory of experiential learning.

As opposed to rote or didactic, the process of discovery makes learning more fun and more likely to stick.

Another advantage is that you might learn something unintended, but more valuable, and it might be something nearly impossible to describe to someone.

Another advantage is that most of us need to learn concepts that we may be resistant to. A teacher can’t force you to grasp a concept if its opposite to your beliefs, but when you go through a process that brings you to that conclusion you don’t need to be convinced.

For more details I recommend two resources, both sadly written by men who’ve past away. One is “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and the other is a weekend course by Brian Klemmer and Associates.


Step 2 of the process is unpacking the lesson in the experience.

We need to set in a quiet place with God and look for his purpose in it. It helps to think in the context of a relationship. Often the lesson is about who God is or how he sees you. Exploring that relationship will open doors to feel more peace, and unlock greater learning as you move forward.

Bonus Material:

The sooner you can teach what you’ve learned to someone else the more likely you are to retain it.

Time invested in learning how you learn, aside from experiences, will also pay dividends. Which of your senses best imparts knowledge to you? Eyes? Ears? Are you better with facts and figures or do you need to know why you should learn it before your brain will attempt to grasp it?

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