An overview of historical roots of experiential education provides insight from pioneer educators including John Dewey, Kurt Hahn, Paolo Freire, and David Kolb and how their innovations inform the design of contemporary learning landscapes. Clear definitions of experience, of learning, of reflection, and of systems approaches are needed to facilitate communication among people in different disciplines. The integration of production, economics, environmental, and social dimensions in an analysis of complex systems further complicates an already uncertain situation that is open to the influence of political and power structures at the local level and above. The applications of innovative experiential learning strategies in agroecology are explored, based on historical and multi-faceted perspectives. The goal is to create and immerse students in a learning environment that will develop their capabilities to work closely with instructors and clients in order to graduate as broad, articulate, and committed people who are dedicated to responsible action. Although the applications described are from agroecology, we maintain that this approach to education is relevant for other disciplines that are important to development of human activity systems where the challenges are biological, economic, and social.



integrative education, systems learning, practical education, learning landscapes, applied agroecology

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