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READY, SET, ACTION: EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

A. West
Quantico | February 6, 2020

Elementary students laser-focused while watching a theater performance.
Elementary students laser-focused while watching a theater performance. | Photo: A. West

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” – John Dewey. With this quote in mind, the drama and global studies classes at Quantico embarked on an experiential learning path. Taking the show literally on the road, drama students performed for the elementary students at Crossroads. Ms. Angela West, the drama teacher, coordinated with Mrs. Cynthia Kight, a third grade teacher, and had her students perform a folktale called the Mexican Trio. The school’s assistant principal, Mrs. Carricia Simpson, was very supportive of the joint project and expressed her desire for the older kids to form a mentorship with the younger students.

The drama students also performed for a select group of middle school students to promote arts awareness and participation in the performing arts.

Additionally, the performing arts are making their way into the core content curriculum. During a recent lesson on Greek Civilization, students were asked to research a famous Greek philosopher, find one of his most powerful philosophies, and then philosophize to others! Ms. West, the global studies teacher, explains: “There is a big push right now for experiential learning, as well as humanistic learning. I’m always looking for ways that those areas can be incorporated into the classroom. It is an essential part of 21st century teaching and learning.”

Cael Owens philosophizing like Socrates in a global studies class. Erin Belanger passionately spouting out the ideas of Plato. Iileah Davis and Cat Coronado holding up an imaginary tree.
Cael Owens philosophizing like Socrates in a global studies class. Erin Belanger passionately spouting out the ideas of Plato. Iileah Davis and Cat Coronado holding up an imaginary tree. | Photo: A. West

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