This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

June 9, 2013

Why learning by doing is preferred by teachers and disliked by schools

As a teacher and trainer, I am in favor of "learning by doing". It works best for me, personally, and it works best for all the students I've ever seen. It goes like this: a concept is briefly explained and the student is given a project to learn from. As they move along the project, more questions arise, that are then answered, and the learning process is achieved.

But schools don't like this, and I can understand why. It's difficult, if not nearly impossible, to grade. To grade, the idea of memorizing and reciting works best. It's, of course, the worst for actual learning, as everyone knows, but it does give a school something to write down and classify.

Sadly, the more emphasis that is given to "getting grades up", the less there is on actual learning. For the classes that I do, I use a two-fold approach, having both projects that actually help students to learn, and then something just for the bean-counters, usually some tests, or papers to write. So the highest grades go to the people who put the emphasis on the wrong thing, just memorizing and reciting. But the most learning, and the best work, is done by students who do the projects.

If you want to learn something, put away the idea of memorizing and reciting. Life is not about grades, it's about achievement. If you want to learn HTML, make some web pages. That's how I learned it! If you want to learn Photoshop, do some image manipulation. Believe me, you will learn. And you will know you have learned, and so will I. Proving it to a school should be the least of your concerns.

The classes and training sessions that I do are always "open book" and project based. This is not about memorizing and reciting, this is about learning.

You can do this!

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