Experiential learning is an extensive educational philosophy that focuses attention on the student experience.
Following the work of Kolb and Kolb, the learning cycle begins with a concrete experience, transitions to reflective observation, moves to abstract thinking, and completes with active experimentation.
The transformative mode of experiential learning can be applied in any educational environment, in or out of the classroom. At Emma Willard School, thanks to our talented educators, generous resources, and fortuitous location, the experience is what makes the difference. Beginning with the student, events in the Experiential Learning Department are powerful because of the special relationship students have with their teachers. School facilities and connections with community partners in the Capital District of upstate New York make possible the great strides students take in the programs in this department.
The 2023–2024 school year marks the first year of Jestermester!
During Jestermester, Emma teachers and students alike will embrace the spirit of the Jester and bring an extra sense of play and adventure to the work of teaching and learning. Jestermester courses are designed to energize and inspire our student body, asking them to think on their feet, work together to solve problems, and step outside of their comfort zones to explore the world beyond their classroom walls. Jestermester takes place the week before spring break, and students will choose from almost 30 different options of experiential learning opportunities!