Students were invited to explore real-life societal problems in an open-ended and interdisciplinary way for them to gain ownership and responsibility for their learning and the opportunity to integrate social responsibility into their academic lives. It is an approach that doesn’t just tell students about education, but in which they experience the things they are learning about firsthand, and in which they get a chance to experiment with their own education designs.
At the heart of experimental pedagogics lies the premise that education is by nature a transdisciplinary endeavor: from the top, it is borne from the multiple disciplines that constitute its contents, and the multidisciplinary angles that feed into its process. From the bottom, education gives meaning to our experience of the world, challenging us to make sense of the messy inputs of our unscripted reality. Experimental pedagogics provides a comprehensive structure for what would otherwise be an overwhelming whole: education’s relationship with existence is examined through five distinct “levels” of analysis, from a cognitive to a global lens.
Experimental pedagogics is experiential learning par excellence. There are three “tracks” in the program: the education track, the project track, and the reflection track.
- The project track was organized around problem-oriented project work (PPL) which encourages active and real-world learning. The main principles revolve around problem-orientation, agency, interdisciplinarity and systemic thinking.
- The reflection track consists of a comprehensive guided reflection process, comprising of an entry and an exit interview in which the student sets personal learning goals for the project and analyses the extent to which they have been met, group reflection sessions, a reflection diary, and an articulated learning reflection.
- The education track explores pedagogical theories and approaches across the different “levels” of analysis. With lectures and workshops, the relationships between education and our lives have been examined.