Association of Experiential Education (AEE)

We believe learning through experience positively transforms people and our world.

The Association for Experiential Education is a membership organization that strives to elevate and expand the global capacity of Experiential Education. AEE is committed to supporting professional development, theoretical advancement, and the evaluation of Experiential Education Worldwide. 

Members of AEE represent a broad spectrum of professional fields that utilize experiential education methodologies and practices: outdoor, classroom, human service, organizational training, therapeutic and adventure settings. AEE is dedicated to supporting its members in their work to create educational and societal change, and broaden the adoption of experiential education through a variety of professional development resources, networking opportunities, access to a community of professionals in the field, and more. We hope you will join us!


Our Mission

To elevate and expand the global capacity of experiential education by:

1. Building an inclusive and accessible community for experiential education professionals that is firmly rooted in the philosophy, principles and practices of experiential education.

2. Supporting the academic research, publication and dissemination of authoritative information for promoting, implementing and advancing the philosophy, principles, and practices of experiential education.

3. Presenting our collective resources and knowledge to supportive public audiences to elevate and advocate support for the expansion of experiential education.


Our Values

1. Global Community — Is an essential progression to further experiential education methodologies and practices around the globe.

2. Adventure and Challenge — Are two fundamental elements inseparable from the application of experiential learning, not only in the natural world, but in the classroom, workplace and beyond.

3. Reflective Leadership — Approaching leadership roles with presence and personal mastery is vital in strengthening our best practices as experiential educators.

4. Social Justice — Supporting people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures is an integral part of developing successful experiential education programming.

5. The Natural World — Conservation of the natural world is key to protecting the enjoyment and learning of all individuals, communities and future generations.

6. Creative Play — A vital part of life-long development, that not only supports healthy emotional, social, intellectual, and physical growth but greatly enhances engaged learning experiences.

The History of AEE

The Association for Experiential Education (AEE) is a nonprofit international professional membership organization officially incorporated in 1977 but with roots back to 1972. AEE is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the association's members. The Board of Directors establishes AEE’s mission, goals and ends, and hires an Executive Director to implement them. 

Our community is composed of experiential educators, practitioners, inquirers, researchers, and students with the shared goal of elevating the field of Experiential Education. We enrich the experiential education community through regional and annual conferences, defining professional standards, providing accreditation to organizations, and presenting the latest news and research through AEE Newsletters, publications, and the Journal of Experiential Education. We provide a variety of networking and professional development opportunities.

READ ABOUT OUR HISTORY: 1972 - 1988      1990 - 2008

Want to know more or have questions?
Please reach out to our staff or Board of Directors.