[n. ik-sper-uh-muhnt; v. ek-sper-uh-ment] Show IPA
a test, trial, or tentative procedure; an act or operation for the purpose of discovering something unknown or of testing a principle, supposition, etc.: a chemical experiment; a teaching experiment; an experiment in living.
the conducting of such operations; experimentation: a product that is the result of long experiment.
Obsolete , experience.
verb (used without object)
to try or test, especially in order to discover or prove something: to experiment with a new procedure.
Though often associated with the potential meticulousness of the scientific process, the heart of the definition of experimentation is to try something. In fact the Latin word that traveled to old French, then to middle English, eventually becoming our word “experiment” was the action noun experiri “to test, try”. In the broader term of tying something, we see that our experiments are often simple games and pleasures of everyday life. Trying a different flavor of ice cream, trying on different cloths,rearranging the furniture or throwing out some bird food in the back yard to see who shoes up; experimentation is a commonality in our pastimes as well as our work.
This idea is integral to the Business of Play. Having an attitude that allows one the freedom to experiment opens up possibilities for a wider range of actions, solutions, reference points, enjoyments and ways to relate. It is a basic function of how we operate and is therefore intrinsically motivating. Especially when combined with the concept of Non-Judgmental Practice, Experimentation is a direct form of Play and one that fosters creativity and understanding.