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What is Experiential Education?

What is Experiential Education and why is it important to CCOAF's Mission?

A group of young people and Mystic Whaler crew member standing around a table on the deck of Mystic Whaler performing science experiments.

"Experiential education is a teaching philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities."

CCOAF's educational philosophy rests on the well-proven fact that practical application and a lived experience deepen and strengthen one’s understanding, retention, and appreciation of newly learned concepts, information, and environments. The acts of sailing and navigating a traditionally rigged tall ship such as Mystic Whaler intrinsically offer applied learning of nautical skills and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic principles. The challenge of handling such a sizeable vessel is also the perfect medium for social and emotional learning. Everyone must step out of their comfort zones and practice effective communication, efficient organization, courage, and self-discipline. Detailed below is what happens during experiential learning/education (the text is from the Association for Experiential Education).

An image that details the four fundamentals of experiential education.
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