Take Action Through Experiential Learning

Take Action Through Experiential Learning

The powerful practices are how we build student engagement in community and in learning, through research-based culturally responsive practices in classrooms and schools.


All school stakeholders (administrators, teachers, students, parents, and partners):

  1. know we can make a difference in our communities, and actively seek or create opportunities for individual and collective action
  2. position youth to lead, imagine alternatives, identify possibilities
  3. see youth, community members, and families as assets from which to draw strength and expertise
  4. build bridges and collaborate with various individuals and groups connected to or impacted by an issue of public concern
  5. learn about, analyze, and interrogate systemic issues and take participatory and justice-oriented actions.

Classroom Indicators

Students say/show/feel:

  • they are regularly encouraged to make change and use their voice within their schools, communities, and the world.
  • they have opportunities to work with peers to investigate and take action on relevant topics of study as part of classroom instruction across most/all content areas
  • they are experienced in action research: interviews, polls, focus groups, surveys, and round table discussions
  • practiced in identifying and learning from experts, stakeholders, representatives and elected officials while investigating an issue
  • they analyze root causes of social, political, environmental, and economic issues related to the class discipline of study

Teachers say/show/feel that:

  • curriculum and instruction includes learning, research, and action on issues relevant to the discipline and students’ lived experience
  • it is important that course content and skills are deepened through learning experiences that connect students to experts, elected officials, community members, and groups with knowledge and perspective on areas of study
  • it is an important part of their own professional development to improve how they help students lead, co-construct, make decisions, and take action as part of classroom instruction
  • they ensure students and their communities and families knowledge and perspective is an asset and valuable resource to classroom curriculum and instruction
  • they are not expected to be experts or know how to solve issues or take action, but rather focus on co-facilitating investigation, solution ideation, and action as co-learners with students

Schoolwide Culture and Leadership Indicators

School leaders and School leadership teams Departments ILT’s, LSC’s, SVC’s, etc (Youth, Adult, Intergenerational)

  • regularly encourage students to make change and use their voice within their schools, communities, and world
  • are informed and aware of issues important to students and their families
  • encourage experiential learning and civic action projects in all content areas and grade levels
  • provide resources and protected time and space for teachers and students to collaborate and plan for experiential learning
  • support teachers in connecting with individuals and groups that have experience and expertise in instructional and investigative topics of study across grades and content areas

Experiential Learning in Action