“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, but let me do and I will understand.”
This famous Chinese proverb rightly construes the importance of experiential learning. The most effective way to know how to cook is by experiencing the genuine process rather than by just reading it in a book or by watching someone do it. Let me cite an example-
When students were struggling to understand the concept of torque in a physics class, the teacher asked them to gather near the door and to push it back and forth. They were asked to push the door near its hinge and then push it on the side of the door farthest from the hinges. This everyday activity made them realise that if one tries to open a door by pushing on the door near its hinges, it most likely will not open because there is not enough torque to force it to do so. To open the door, they had to push on the side of the door opposite from the hinges to provide a substantial moment arm which allowed for an increased torque to open the door. This kind of lesson made the complex concept relevant and applicable.
We all know that we live in a world where education is primarily focused on the entrance scores and marks of the students, but it is equally important to balance between theoretical and practical learning. Students should have a chance to connect the “why” behind a task to the “how” through experiential learning. Studies have shown that the brain reacts differently to learning experiences when they are hands-on. The physical engagement of learners helps them understand concepts more clearly and retain what they have learned better. However, one doesn’t need an expert to prove this fact.
Looking at an image of fungus doesn’t have as a great impact compared to when students make a bread mould and find a fungus developing on it. Here they get an opportunity to study the situation favourable for the fungus to survive and additionally the unfavourable conditions which can prevent it. Don’t you think this information will actually be applicable in their everyday life?
One of the fundamental reasons that most students struggle in school is that they’re bored, unmotivated and under-challenged. It’s not that they can’t understand the concept or are unable to grasp the principles. It’s just that those principles aren’t being presented in a way to spark their curiosity. Hands-on learning gives students a scope to explore, make mistakes, rectify and learn from them. These activities keep the students on their toes, gets their blood pumping and their thoughts revved up. It forces them to follow instructions and understand the subsequent steps to take to overcome a challenge.
Some of the hands-on activities are making a mimic of fold mountains using towels and boxes, role-playing a scene in the market involving cash transactions to learn about the concept of profit and loss, writing a poem, creating the models of a simple pendulum to understand the terms such as frequency, amplitude and time, understanding the polymers using borax powder, white glue and corn starch etc. Learning through this technique decorates the boom on both sides of the brain. It inspires the students to assume and interpret the statistics of the determined events and facilitates critical and analytical thinking. This kind of learning enhances problem-solving skills and given an enduring memory.
We at Glentree Academy follow the Learning for Life approach towards education and incorporate it in every subject that we teach. To help our students engage in hands-on learning of scientific principles, every student is provided with our exclusive custom made Glennovator’s Science Kit. This kit includes innovative experiments designed exclusively to mix and blend education and fun. These activities are aligned with their lessons and are clubbed with various extension activities that inspire students to go beyond their books and promotes self-discovery and out of the box thinking. With these methods, we aim to instil a ‘There is science behind everything!’ perspective in our students. We focus on helping our students to learn the practical aspect of science in everyday life and encourage them to research and make self-discoveries.
“We can teach from experience, but we cannot teach experience.” ~