Ever felt sick or were injured at school? Ever have to face the grumpy school nurse? Well, not at Bosque School in Albuquerque New Mexico! This is an amazing student led program, where all of the first responders for illness or injury are the students themselves. As members of the school’s Medical Reserve Corps, the students learn how to respond to medical incidents and emergencies and take the lead when something happens.
In this episode, we talk with Dan Shaw, teacher, first responder and faculty head of the MRC at Bosque School, as well as Maddison, Taylor & Abigail, three of the students who are part of the MRC program and first responders.
What better way to learn a unique and practical medical skill set than through real-world experiences.We take a look at how this unique program came about and how it’s been developed over the years to provide students with some amazing and challenging opportunities and experiences to develop an excellent skill-set and ability to respond and deal with a range of medical issues and emergencies.
This is true leadership in Experiential Education and one of the most impressive programs I’ve come across in a school. Whilst many schools profess they provide opportunities for leadership, this school actually does it in such a fantastic and meaningful way.
Have you ever wanted to start the school year by getting away somewhere, fun, challenging remote or culturally unique? No this is no holiday, this is the Aspen High School ExEd program, which provides students the opportunity to learn through experience right across the country.
In mixed year level groups, students get to choose from a huge range of options, from Hiking in the Tetons, to Biking in New Mexico, or perhaps a dive into the Cajun culture of Louisiana or some glitz and glamour of Fashion Design in LA!
There’s something for everyone in this fantastic practical and experiential education program, which has been running for over 50 years!
In this episode we talk with Brent Maiolo who is Chair of the ExEd program at Aspen High.
Have you ever tried washing an Elephant at school? Explored a jungle and encountered a family of Gibbons? Well you can at The Howling Gibbon Outdoor Centre in Thailand
In this episode, we talk with Alex Moxon Founder and program Director of the Howling Gibbon Centre.
What better way to learn than to spend time in a rural centre in Thailand which combines, outdoor adventures with field studies and service learning. This centre runs a great range of interesting and diverse programs, with the service learning based upon the UN sustainability goals.
Alex is also the founder of Outdoortopia, an exciting experiential education blog and online community for teachers and other educators interested in creating change makers for a sustainable future.
For more information on the Howling Gibbon and Outdoortopia
Want to lose
yourself in centuries of political and religious conflict and dark mysteries
locked in snapshots from the past? Then the National Gallery in London is just
the place for you. With an enormous collection of stunning artworks spanning
over half a millennia, this is an amazing experience. No matter how many times
I’ve been there, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the passion, the love,
the hatred, the rebellion, the political intrigue and the social and emotional
commentary that’s behind the huge collection of art in the National Gallery.
In this episode,
we talk with Caroline Smith, head of educational programs at the National
Gallery and explore how they engage students in one of the most amazing
galleries in the world.
From the early
Renaissance to legendary artists such as Monet and Van Gough and stunning works
which take up entire walls, this is something which will awe and inspire
students in ways that the classroom can never replicate.
information on the educational programs at the National Gallery checkout:
Coffee is well worth seeking out as you will struggle to get a decent coffee
anywhere in the UK. However, the coffee here is amazing and some of the best
coffee I’ve had in the world! Just go there and try it. You’ll know what I
Are you between
14-25 and have a problem you want to solve? Do you have lots of ideas, but just
need the right space, equipment and support to turn those ideas into something
In this episode,
we talk with Andrew Moss, director of the YMCA 4C Centre, Christchurch.
The YMCA 4C Centre
is a place where young entrepreneurs, inventors and problem solvers can go to
build their solutions in a really cool and supportive environment.
From robotics, to
3D printing, to video and artistic pursuits, the 4C Centre is for everyone who
are curious and want to build their skills in Communications, Creativity and
Critical Thinking. It’s a wonderful place and space in Christchurch to take
your ideas, take risks and turn them into something amazing.
Want to have 3 classes a day and learn in the heart of a city and use everything around you as a lab?
The Downtown School in Seattle is a leading-edge school which uses Downtown Seattle as part of their integrated educational program. This is a grade 9 through 12 school. It’s a great example of a school that’s future focussed and enabling students to pursue their own interests and identity as part of their education.
More time in the classroom doesn’t equate to better learning outcomes and the Downtown school has built this into their overall program.
For more information on the Downtown School checkout:
How do you get
students to buy into their role and responsibility in caring for the
How do you use
this to build a sense of community at the same time?
In this episode,
we talk with Pete Johnson, from the Christchurch City Council in NZ who leads
the environmental experiential education programs for schools.
We take a look at
how these programs are aimed at all ages and build and grow on prior experience
year after year to help students, not only understand the local environment and
the challenges we face to care for that, but also taking real action to do
something within the community.
information on Pete’s work and the great Learning Through Action programs on
offer at the Christchurch City Council checkout:
Where do you start
with Risk Management? With any experiential education, you have a professional
responsibility to pro-actively manage risk. This is an ever-evolving and
dynamic skill-set that you develop over the years through training and
experience. It’s something we can never take for granted. We take a look at
some of the challenges we face in managing risk and what can happen, when
things don’t go to plan.
In this episode,
we talk with Paul Tame, who is a leading risk management trainer with Xcursion
Risk Management Training, Lead corporate management trainer for Zen Training
& Senior lecturer at Western State Uni Colorado. We take a dive into risk
management for experiential education and touch on a few challenges we all face
when planning and running programs.
Often things look
great on paper. However, how does that translate into the real world? With risk
management for any sort of activity, it needs to be a living and breathing
culture within your organisation and not just a bit of paperwork someone
completed and then filed away.
information on Paul’s work and the organisations he’s worked with over the
years, check out:
I know it’s been a year longer than we had hoped, but now, despite the current global issues, which reminds me of the Billy Joel song, ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, we’re back for season 2 of the Xperiential Education podcast!
This season, we cover all sorts of great programs from art, to science, to risk management, to outdoor ed, to a really wonderful student-led medical program and a few things in between. The depth and breadth of the podcast and our guests, highlights how important it is for students today to learn to be adaptable problem solvers.
Season 2 is brought to you by Xcursion Risk Management, for all of your risk management training and software needs for running great experiential education programs.
No uniforms, open plan learning and a wonderful happy school environment! I only wish I could have gone to the Australian Science & Mathematics School. Specifically designed to cater for students with an interest in Maths and Science, the non-selective government school based at Flinders University in Adelaide is a remarkable example of the future facing experiential education at its best.
This impressive campus and program is for years 10-12 and all education starts with a major social, health, technical, or world-wide problem. The challenge is to find solutions to these problems through the effective practical application of Science and Maths.
With self-directed learning a key component of the school, this was a highlight of my year being able to visit and see such an effective teaching and learning environment in action.
For more information about the Australian Science & Mathematics School:
What do you know about penguins? Well they get mad if you steal their fish… Thankfully, I wasn’t the one given the opportunity to go to Antarctica and lead a research base station.
In this episode, we talk with Noel Mifsud, Principal of Christian Brothers College in Adelaide, whose extra-ordinary career crosses between education and industry as opportunities have presented themselves. We look at how his experiences outside of education have helped him in his teaching and leadership throughout all his work.
We explore some of the interesting approaches he’s using in his own school to help prepare students for an unknown and uncertain future.
For more information about Noel & Christian Bros College:
How do you like the sound of going away for eight weeks and living in a house with seven other people you might have never met before? No it’s not big brother. It’s Wesley College’s residential Yr 9 program called Clunes.
In this episode, we talk with Tim Nolan, Head of Student Welfare at Clunes. We look at how different this sort of program is and how their experiential learning approach covers their daily social lives, their academic work and their community involvement.
We explore some of the aspects of the co-ed program and see how this sort of challenging and supportive environment is helping students prepare for an uncertain future.
How would you react when thrown in the deep end? Foreign country, different culture, different language and all you have to do is build an effective police force from scratch.
In this episode we talk with Rebecca Cameron, former Australian Federal Police officer who shares her experiences on building police force capacity in war ravaged East Timor. From basic police work and training in Australia, to a far more politically and culturally complex overseas policing with the United Nations International Police Force, this is a fascinating insight into how we can learn from and with other and build something from scratch.
We dive deeply into practical skills development in an occupation that relies on situational awareness, adaptability and problem solving skills.
Where’s your creative space? Is it in a place filled with movement and noise, a quite retreat away from everything, or do you have random moments of creativity whilst out surfing?
In this episode, we talk with Mary Preece, Education Manager for Bundanon Trust, Arthur Boyd’s former property nestled on the banks of the Shoalhaven River. The Trust was set up after the famous artist donated the land and much of his private collection to the Australian people. We talk about various experiential education programs based around art and the environment which the Trust runs as part of its great educational work.
We also explore how spaces and environment impact on a student’s focus, feeling and expression. We recorded this podcast at a number of locations around the property, which was a highlight for me, seeing inside the artist’s studio, just as he left it.
What better way to spend the weekend than to take some government data and hack it! No it’s not quite wikileaks! No breaking into filing cabinets we find at second hand furniture stores in Canberra! It’s a competition to see who can creatively use the masses of government datasets available to the public.
In this episode, we talk with Matt Purcell, Head of Digital Innovation at Canberra Grammar School and former ACT Director of GovHack in Canberra. We explore some of the ways GovHack came about, what it’s all about and how this sort of experience translates back into the digital classroom. We also explore the process of problem solving for students in the context of learning to code and creating effective partnerships between education and business.
It’s a fun and interesting look at some great challenges available for students, which connects them with government departments and wider tech industry players.
For more information on GovHack and stuff we talk about:
There’s nothing more important than for us to understand and learn from the lessons of the past. The Australian War Memorial, built to commemorate the Great War and opened in 1941 in the midst of the Second World War, remains one of the most important and most visited sites in Australia.
In this episode, we talk with Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of The Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It’s a fascinating and moving insight into the great work that the War Memorial is doing to provide the next generation with a real understanding of the experience of war and honour those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to live in this great country, as we do today.
We explore some of the innovations which have brought exhibits and the educational experience of the War Memorial to life as well as hear an intimate story of love and loss which emerged from letters given to the War Memorial for preservation.
For more information on the Australian War Memorial:
What’s a great way to get boys to mature and take responsibility for themselves and the direction of their lives? Send them away to live in remote rustic timber mill cottages with seven other boys, where they have to cook for themselves, keep their cottages in good order, study and take on all manner of outdoor challenges, including skinning and cooking their own rabbits!
In this episode, we talk with Cyn Smith, Director of Tihoi Venture School in NZ. Situated near Taupo on the North Island of New Zealand, Tihoi Venture School was started in 1979, using buildings which were previously the workers’ cottages for the timber mill.
This is very much a ‘back to basics’ program which provides amazing opportunities for the students to grow within themselves, gain independence and build a set of skills to prepare them for the uncertainties of life.
For more information on Tihoi and their wonderful program:
Introducing the new Experiential Education Podcast, hosted by David Gregory, the podcast delves into all different sorts of experiential learning. From art, to science, to outdoor ed, to policing, to theatre and performance and everything in between, the depth and breadth of the podcast and its guests, highlights how important it is for students today to learn to be adaptable problem solvers.
For more info, guest suggestions and other feedback visit:
Over the past year, (in my spare time), I’ve been travelling around and interviewing some fascinating people who work in experiential education. Now my definition of experiential education is very broad and intentionally so. This is not a podcast about classroom practice nor is it about outdoor education. It’s about a whole range of interesting and unique approaches as to how leaders, teachers, trainers and businesses are educating others, be it at home, in school, at a retreat or specialised venue, on the job, or any other context where those with experience in life create valuable and meaningful learning experiences for others.
Looking forward to having you join us on some really interesting journeys as we dive into some great left-field approaches which are producing great results for students, teachers and creating opportunities for life long-learning.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand — Confucius
Swift Water Rescue – Nothing Prepares You Like Being Thrown In The Deep End!