Que signifie l'expérience dans l'éducation?


As Les Voyages de Capitaine futur is a bench of experimentation of creative and educational contents, plenty of technological transformations while this imaginary character offers the opportunity and the power in public to create, meet innovation, as well as share knowledge and networks.

The focus of this text is a critical view of a recently developed concept “Experience in Education” with the intention of improving the concept for this future research. The term “Experience in Education” can be translated in different ways. The specific way in this text concentrates on how important direct experience and practice of kids in the learning process are.

What was before

Let’s start by saying that most experts agree that the learning process is optimized when students take an active role.

Already from the decade of 1960’s David Kolb invent a learning process by creating steps in order to learn easier, faster and in an effective way. This called the experiential learning model. First you act, then you reflect, also you conceptualize and finally you apply.

At the beginning of the 20th century already, innovative methods in learning process were created. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been used more than a century after the first Montessori school was established in many parts in Europe. A method which attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.

At the same time, the philosopher John Dewey, who invented a theory of education called Learning by doing. He theorized that learning should be relevant and practical, not just passive and theoretical. Children are encouraged to learn through experience, clarify the key points and apply the lessons in order to get practical results. In his perspective, education should also equip students to take a full and active part in shaping the future society, in opposite to traditional education, as he believed, that sees children as empty, passive receptacles to be filled with ideas. He also said that “To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.”

Many other inventors like Bourdieu or Bernstein have been important in establishing practices of progressive education. They consider school as an opportunity for children, to develop as individuals and citizens. They may even be able to find their real vocation. They maintained that traditional schooling would not produce active, creative citizens. Learning by doing although enabled students to develop their problem-solving skills. They could then clarify the learning by a critical skill thinking and apply it in their future lives.
But how could students nowdays develop skills to shape their future lives?

Les Voyages de Capitaine futur

Around the world, several researches are investigating about innovative education and new styles of teaching. Les Voyages de Capitaine futur is a way to seize the powerful potential of creation, innovation, sharing of knowledge and networks offered by the technological transformations. The project is born with an imaginary character whose unifying journeys inspiring children to discover present-day art and learn about new media.

In general speaking children are fascinated by artistic interactive devices. At first they act and play, they think and finally they ask questions. There is an “educational strategy” envisaged by Les Voyages de Capitaine futur, that highlights learning through play and practice, demystifies the technological aspect and is inspired by scientific experiments: to make children aware of the importance of learning processes and learning mistakes as well, the project encourages, through contact with artists-researchers and the discovery and questioning of technologies that shape the world.

To be more precise, these experimentations involving kids and adults from different backgrounds who are supposed to collaborate with each other instead of creating a project or just interacting together are called learning by doing. This learning by doing and this initiation are also shared within professional teams who must constantly update their technical skills and experiment with new ways of working collaboratively in order to show, manufacture, transmit, communicate multimedia artistic and educational content. The interdisciplinarity of this project is revealed when artists, designers, technicians, programmers, mediators as well as teachers, educators and researchers are collaborating all together in order to be creative and effective.

We are living in a world of technology, Internet and technical materials, in a learning age where experimentation often precedes the theory. Our main role is to enrich, diversify and improve the quality of digital educational content, to experiment with participatory pedagogy. Capitaine futur’s project helps people to become familiar with digital issues and tools (children and educators), test the pedagogical potential of art with children (cultural professionals) and acquire new knowledge in this field. All we need in that moment is an horizontal alternative pedagogy for engaged and active children. But also an innovation inclusive approach based on the participation of all, circulation of expertise and sharing of experiences, co-construction of knowledge, spirit of collaboration.

In this context of pedagogical experimentation, the child actively contributes and the research process is adjusted by his feedback. The project promotes digital education through original, artistic and practical production workshops: children open the black box of technologies, learn creative ways and discover their ability to act by doing things themselves.