Learning IS Experiencing!

Thought for the Day: A Direct Quote from MeaningfulLearning

Everyone can learn anything as long as it is meaningful. Learning can be made meaningful. Support and encouraging words will make any learning a challenging and creative experience. The freedom of choice is of all importance but the choice of words is a freedom we can all share. Our kind words can contribute in making learning meaningful.

I have discovered in my own teaching that learning is most effective when it is experiential in nature! When concepts, ideals, and principles are taught in a way that students can relate to them in a personal manner, learning increases exponentially. This implies that teachers who stimulate both the intellectual as well as the emotional faculties of students do a better job in assisting them to assimilate and internalize learning materials. This is accomplished by utilizing teaching strategies that allow students become active participants and contributors (in the learning process) rather than remaining passive and fed with information all through the teaching-learning process.

The Engines for Education Team advocates this very idea most aptly in the following manner…

There is really only one way to learn how to do something and that is to do it. If you want to learn to throw a football, drive a car, build a mousetrap, design a building, cook a stir-fry, or be a management consultant, you must have a go at doing it. Throughout history, youths have been apprenticed to masters in order to learn a trade. We understand that learning a skill means eventually trying your hand at the skill. When there is no real harm in simply trying we allow novices to “give it a shot.”

Parents usually teach children in this way. They don’t give a series of lectures to their children to prepare them to walk, talk, climb, run, play a game, or learn how to behave. They just let their children do these things. We hand a child a ball to teach him to throw. If he throws poorly, he simply tries again. Parents tolerate sitting in the passenger seat while their teenager tries out the driver’s seat for the first time. It’s nerve-wracking, but parents put up with it, because they know there’s no better way.

When it comes to school, however, instead of allowing students to learn by doing, we create courses of instruction that tell students about the theory of the task without concentrating on the doing of the task. It’s not easy to see how to apply apprenticeship to mass education. So in its place, we lecture.

Copyright June 2006 by Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan, www.affectiveteaching.com

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