In What Ways Does Experiential Learning Impact the Education of Small Businesses in Two Regions of Michigan?
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Beginning in the late 1600s, a schism emerged in what is now the United States between schools of trade, i.e. blacksmiths, and newly established schools of formal academia, those that promoted the 'higher' or more civilized mind through research, lecture, memorization and writing. Each of these new institutions, the most well-known of which stands to this day as Harvard University, operated under the understanding that the most valuable education was that which was firmly detached from labor, i.e. the practices of indigenous peoples and in general, poverty. This divide between academic 'purists' and those independent organizations more open to the impact of hands-on education persisted largely until the emergence of pro-experience literature from several sources, circa 1925. The bias towards formal academic learning over experience continues in many societies, developed and otherwise, to this day. The following document investigates the ways in which the educational structures, challenges and benefits of experiential education (EE) i.e. education that is not based on text, lecture or rote learning play out in various educational settings in Michigan in 2015. Findings emphasize the benefits of EE, to student education, confidence, and ability to engage with community as overcoming the financial and mental costs of such an education.