Broad Impact of Experiential Education • Kara McCrimmon

“Learning by doing” is core to experiential education. Cobscook Experiential Program’s hands-on experiences allow for reflection and skill growth, yielding academic knowledge and much more. Here’s a glimpse: Cobscook’s fall expedition focused on regional history in the 1600’s. Students explored Salem, MA to understand what led to the Salem Witch Trials; learned from the Wampanoag people about their history and experiences today; explored the economic factors driving Europeans to colonize North America; and visited Plimoth Plantation, a hands-on living history site.

Back in the classroom, we integrated language arts with this recent exploration of 1600’s history by staging a dramatic reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Learning that this play was going to be performed in St. John, NB, Cobscook students decided to raise funds for an overnight trip. They organized and ran a community pizza night, which generated enough money to travel to St. John, go out to dinner, see the play, and visit the New Brunswick museum. For some of these students, this journey included their first time dressing up to go out to dinner and a play.

Experiential education is often characterized as occurring in the wilderness. Our recent dive into regional history, however, exemplified how experiential education can be applied to a range of subjects through hands-on explorations of culture and history, too. Through the trip to Massachusetts, reading of The Crucible, and visit to St. John, students learned not only about the history of this region, but also the valuable life skills of fundraising, organizing events, and collaboratively working toward a common goal.

The 2019-20 school year will be CCLC’s 10th year of this program and applications are encouraged from any student who wants experiential education to be core to their high school experience. For more information, click here or call 207-733-2233.