The past few days I have been in Montreal attending the annual conference of the Association for Experiential Education. The group is the largest association of educators and providers of experiential approaches to learning. I attended with colleagues from the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc. (My trip and that of a colleague were made possible by a grant from the United Service Foundation).
It was my first time attending this conference. This association relates directly to my work with the Forage Center, which focuses on providing simulation based learning for those interested in working in complex humanitarians emergencies (both domestically and internationally).
The entire program schedule can be found here. I attended sessions on international experiential education, means to achieving effective group leadership, governance issues, team building, and a session on the Baltimore Outward Bound School and looking at peacebuilding approaches to learning. Many of the sessions were valuable in that they focused on activities and strategies that can be used in working with groups, especially youth groups. There was also an emphasis on the value of experiential education as a tool for inclusion and self-expression. Most valuable was being in a space for a few days with fellow educators who believe that experience is essential to learning. I was also able to make some connections with individuals who are interested in our work at the Forage Center.
This clip is from a session on taking letters from you name and bargaining to create your name. Many of the sessions were interactive in this way.
I also visited Dawson College on the first day of my visit to Montreal on November 8.