Writing the Land: An Interdisciplinary Experiential Approach

Constantine Hadjilambrinos, Diane Thiel

Abstract


Written assignments in college courses are most often analytical in nature (i.e., essays—expository or persuasive, book or research paper reviews, annotated bibliographies, research pa-pers, etc.). The one notable exception is creative writing, where assignments are typically fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. While the crea-tive approach to writing is rarely utilized outside this specific area, there is mounting evidence that it has much to offer to learning in all areas of study. Studies show that reflective writing (pieces in which the student writes about the per-sonal element of his or her learning experience) is an important component in a successful learn-ing process, regardless of the subject or field of study. Reflective writing facilitates deep-level processing and has been shown to be an im-portant positive element of experiential learning. This paper will discuss these findings and present an example of the use of reflective writing in the context of an experiential field-based environ-mental studies course.

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