The Centre for Experiential Education focuses on the following research and development topics:
(1) the exploration of the process variables well-being and involvement;
(2) research on conditions in the context which determine the levels of well-being and involvement in children, whereby concepts as ‘adult-style’, the ’10 action points’, factors influencing well-being and involvement ’ are key variables;
(3) development of instruments for assessment of deep level learning in children in the domains of self-organization and entrepreneurship, communication skills, physical knowledge, social-emotional competence, science and technology, creativity and the basic attitude of ‘linkedness’;
(4) development of instruments and scenarios for internal quality control starting from the participants’ perspective.
The Centre is active in a broad array of educational and care settings: child care, pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education, in-service training and elderly care.
The Experiential Education model has a lot to offer with regard to the creation of a powerful learning environment and the understanding and assessment of sustainable development. But its major contribution lays in the discovery and conceptualization of well-being and involvement as key indicators of process quality. ‘How are children doing?’ is the question that comes first. This is the most conclusive way to assess the quality of any educational or care setting. Even how limited it may be, any increase in the levels of well-being and involvement means children are getting emotionally stronger and are developing at a deeper level within the areas of development that are addressed while they are engaged. With these two measures teachers get the beacons to maximize their impact for the benefit of children today and the adults they become. An asset of this process-oriented approach is that it gives practitioners immediate feedback on the impact of their approach, it is relevant for any part of the curriculum and provides direct feedback.