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Experiential Learning

Experiential Psychology
Psychological aspects of experience, experiential learning, & experiential education

James Neill
Last updated:
06 Oct 2004

  • William James is generally touted as the father of experiential psychology.  In the philosophical world, Edmund Husserl (who developed phenomenology) is touted as the father of the "philosophy of experience" - or at least the modern father.

  • Since experience is subjective, psychological methods which seek to elicit and understand subjective experience need to be used.  Thus, the use of psychological questionnaires and interviews are commonly used in research into experiential education programs.

  • Human beings have an unusually large brain, much of which is dedicated to learning and making adaptations to survive and thrive.  Thus, whilst all animals learn from experience (even plants do!), experiential learning in humans is a particularly complex and interesting phenomenon.