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Experience Centered Curriculum - A Complete Guide

A curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning "gives broad and varied experience of information, skills, attitudes, and enjoyment." It refers to a sequence of educational experiences that develop from the needs, interests, and goals of the students. Experience is what comes through activity. A person is active throughout their life because they are constantly responding to external stimuli in their physical and social environments. Every day, we change the surrounding environment. We acquire experiences via contact. In this blog, we will talk about experience centered curriculum in detail.

What is Experience Centered Curriculum (ECC)?

How the student reacts to, interacts with, or learns from the activities, people, things, and social or emotional environment of the classroom is referred to as the experiential curriculum. Neither the phrase "experienced curriculum" nor the terms "teacher-centered curriculum" are interchangeable. It is necessary to first assess the holistic, experiential meaning that children's classroom involvement has for them before comparing it to the relevance of that experience in terms of its educational worth.

According to John Dewey, "Experience is a matter of the interaction of the body with its environment, a human as well as physical environment, that encompasses the elements of tradition and institution as well as local surroundings." We engage in further activities in light of our prior experience as we gain experience through engagement, and so on. The only fulfillment we can talk of is the attainment of a specific experienced aim, according to William James, and the only role that one experience can do is to lead to another experience.

Features of experiential learning

  • The learner is the only focus of the experience curriculum. There are no isolated cases.
  • This curriculum places a strong focus on developing the habits and skills necessary for an improved life.
  • Education is seen as a process of reconstructing experiences according to the experience curriculum.
  • Experience-based education fosters a creative personality.

Education is the continuous reorganizing and building of experiences. As a result, the experience curriculum may be described as "the curriculum that consists of all the experiences that the student has, regardless of their character, when they take place, or where they are. These experiences have led to the development of brand-new issues, initiatives, or projects.

These provide him with new experiences and broaden his prior learning or life experiences. Experience curriculum evolves continuously in this way. The experiences are designed with children's interests and needs in mind, taking activities or issues from daily life. Therefore, these experiences are important. The teachers and the students collaborate to plan these. These have to be in line with the child's development and growth.

Types of ECC

The experiential curriculum offers the students in the class, in the school, and even beyond the school a variety of experiences. There are two different kinds of experiences: direct and indirect.

(a) Direct experiences: When a youngster encounters a situation head-on or comes into direct contact with reality, direct experiences are gained. Examples of direct experiences include working on the school's farm or workshop, doing experiments in the science lab, and going on field trips. These first-hand encounters offer wisdom. However, these encounters aren't always feasible or desired.

(b) Indirect experiences: These learning opportunities are obtained through some media, like textbooks, radio broadcasts, etc. Such encounters can also give knowledge of new subjects.

Experiences gained, directly and indirectly, are complementary. While indirect experiences provide the specific knowledge not attainable through direct experiences, direct experiences provide the indirect experience a real touch.

ECC Importance

As we have established that experiential learning is of two types. Let us understand why ECC is important for children.

  • The structure of experience-based education is based on psychological principles.
  • When knowledge is delivered in real-time, the youngster has firsthand experience.
  • It fosters social interaction.
  • It fosters social skills including collaboration, empathetic understanding, love, a sense of belonging, and more.
  • The environment for teaching and learning is managed.
  • The education is given in accordance with the child's requirements and needs.
  • The child has direct encounters with real-world issues.
  • Curiosity leads to the creation of experiences.
  • It fosters group loyalty.
  • It helps in resolving life's social problems.

Basic Principles Guiding Curriculum Construction

Let us discuss some basic principles of curriculum development.

Child-centeredness principle

In the sense that the child should hold a central place in the whole teaching and learning process and he or she should actively engage in it, modern approaches to curriculum creation should be both democratic and paedocentric. The kid needs to be the center of all curricular initiatives. His aptitude, interests, attitudes, and requirements ought to be taken into account when creating the program.

Flexibility and variety principle

According to the Secondary Education Commission's (1953) recommendations, secondary school curricula should be varied and adaptable. The design of a modern curriculum should take into account local, individual, and environmental factors. The curriculum needs to be varied in order to meet the demands of each student.

The choice of subjects should be left up to the students. The students shouldn't feel pressured to enroll in a program of study. The individual distinctions amongst the pupils must be properly considered.

Principle of correlation

The curriculum's many disciplines should be well-coordinated, and each subject should have some connection to others that instructors and students should be able to sense.

Principle of integration

The curriculum's many disciplines should be well-coordinated, and each subject should have some connection to others that instructors and students should be able to sense.

Principle of community service

The current curriculum should be concerned with civic engagement. The nature and content of the curriculum should be based on the requirements and situations of the community. The curriculum should be created in a way that makes it easy to use local resources effectively for educational advancement, and vice versa.

Principle of values

Children should be taught a variety of acceptable ideals that are appropriate for the modern world. Therefore, contemporary curricula should include provisions for instilling social, moral, spiritual, democratic, and artistic values.

Principle of totality

The Secondary Education Commission has also drawn attention to this principle by recommending that the children should receive a full range of learning opportunities through various activities offered in the classroom, as well as those available in the library, laboratory, workshop, play area, and informal interactions between teachers. In this approach, the curriculum may have an impact on students' lives at all stages over the school's whole life.

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Suggested Read: Herbartian Approach - A Guide

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