Why Your Child Needs Hands-On Learning

Guest Post

7 Benefits of Hands-On Learning

Often, traditional education fails to offer students hands-on learning experiences. But hands-on learning opportunities are essential. Read 7 benefits here.

Maintaining education standardsYou’ve forgotten a lot of what you learned in school. In fact, you probably forgot what you learned hours after learning it. A 2015 study found that people who memorize word lists forget 66 percent of the words after just one day.

One reason is that traditional classrooms focus on sheer memorization. Teachers give kids vocabulary and tell them to put those words in their heads. But the students don’t practise using those words.

Hands-on learning is all about practice. Students learn by accomplishing projects and rehearsing skills.

Yet many parents don’t sign their kids up for hands-on learning activities. They aren’t aware of the benefits that the activities provide.

Look no further. Here is your guide to seven benefits of hands-on learning.

1. Hands-On Learning Engages the Brain

The brain is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere handles listening and analyzing phenomena. The right handles visual and spatial processes.

Many types of learning focus on one hemisphere or the other. When listening to a lecture, students process the words that their teacher says. But they do little visual or spatial work, leaving the right side underdeveloped.

Hands-on learning involves all parts of the brain. Students receive instructions, and the teacher can provide a demonstration. They hear from their teacher, then they see what the teacher is doing.

The students then practice. They analyze what their teacher did and place objects in space to replicate their teacher’s demonstration. Both hemispheres are constantly working.

2. The Hands-On Learning Style Advances the Liberal Arts

When people hear the term, “hands-on learning,” they assume it has to do with touching things. That can be a part of the learning process.

But hands-on learning can incorporate a wide range of activities. Technology classes can teach building circuits or small machines. History classes can involve recreating a historical event, requiring students to act as leaders.

Hands-on learning can provide a true liberal arts education. Students can perform engaging activities in several different disciplines.

This gives them the information they need to be intelligent citizens. This also gives them a good foundation for whatever they want to do. If they want to pursue a career in the humanities or the sciences, a hands-on education gives them initial experience.

3. Students Can Be Creative

In a 2016 report, the World Economic Forum stated that creativity is one of the top three skills in the workforce. As technology becomes more advanced, people need creativity to use technology in new ways.

Hands-on learning encourages creativity. Students complete projects according to a set of instructions. But what they make and how they fulfill those instructions is largely up to them.

Many hands-on English classes have creative writing projects. Students learn how to come up with narratives and develop characters. They can pursue whatever stories they want, embracing a full range of linguistic techniques.

4. Students Practice Teamwork

Hands-on learning is collaborative learning. Students complete certain tasks by themselves, namely homework. But they spend most of their time working with others.

In close settings, they can see how others solve problems. They can incorporate those strategies into their lives.

If a group of students encounters a dispute, they work it out themselves. They learn conflict resolution skills by practicing them. Teachers act as mentors, facilitating dialogue but not coordinating it.

5. Students Learn From Experiences

Children learn by copying their parents. They see their parents wiping a table with a rag. When they spill something, they recall that memory and go to perform it.

The same applies to hands-on learning. Teachers model activities for their students, then the students go and perform those activities.

But experiences in classrooms go beyond mimicry. Physical education allows students to practice skills in games and activities.

They integrate concepts of physics into basketball and volleyball. They learn strategy, planning out plays and positions for different players. They practice skills through experience out in the real world, which allows them to retain those skills.

6. Hands-On Learning Activities Explore All Five Senses

In the traditional classroom environment, students rarely use all five senses. They see and they hear, but they don’t taste or smell. Teachers have to devise activities so students can use those skills, but those activities don’t matter to the real world.

Cooking is a terrific hands-on learning experience. Students practice hand-eye coordination, teamwork, and executive thinking. They have to make decisions about what flavours and aromas go together.

Cooking allows their senses of smell and taste to grow sharper. They can apply their sharpened senses to a number of disciplines, including the culinary arts. They can also care for themselves better, knowing how delicious healthy foods can be.

7. Hands-On Learning Brings Kids Into Nature

Contact with nature promotes well-being. A 2019 study found that spending just two hours in nature every week increases self-confidence and mental health. Yet traditional education happens indoors.

Hands-on learning brings kids outside. In addition to physical education, teachers take their classes into gardens. They learn about plants by seeing and touching them themselves.

They practice farming and gardening skills. They learn about how plants need water by watering plants themselves. Outdoor activities are low-stress so students can decompress from the classroom environment.

What Is Hands-On Learning?

Hands-on learning provides a lot more than things to touch. It engages both hemispheres of the brain as students engage in analyzing and spatial processes. It provides a liberal arts education that bolsters creativity.

Students practice teamwork during group projects and they pursue experiences with their classmates. These experiences involve activities like cooking that energize all five senses. Students can learn gardening and farming outdoors, increasing their self-confidence.

Your children can start hands-on learning today. Pear Tree Elementary School provides premium hands-on learning for children as young as kindergarteners. Contact us today.

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215-2678 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C.,
V6K 2G3

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