Contextual Learning

Contextual Learning is reality-based, outside-of-the-classroom experience, within a specific context which serves as a catalyst for students to utilize their disciplinary knowledge, and which presents a forum for further formation of their personal values, faith, and professional development. Beyond the challenge of direct, meaningful experience, contextual learning requires reflection to build lasting cognitive connections. Contextual learning is useful for child development as by providing learning experiences in a context in which they are interested and motivated in they are able to achieve more. Contextual learning structures may include internships, service learning, and study abroad programs, among others." This definition was formulated in 2002 and presented at the annual conference proceedings of the National Society for Experimental Education by Michael True.

Various experiential learning theorists have contributed to an understanding of contextual learning. These include John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, David Kolb, and Peter Ewell.

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