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Learning By Doing: A Case Study on Hands-On Learning Experience

  • 28 November 2022

Robert Frost described the essence of impactful teaching appropriately when he said ‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener’. Moving away from the traditional methods of administering knowledge, the role of a teacher in contemporary society requires one to hone individuals into critical thinkers. The aim herein is to instill the habit of lifelong learning among the students. Behind this lies the idea that students can learn from every life experience and the process of learning need not be tedious. In fact, the aim should be to make students enjoy the entire process of learning. This very experience can be achieved through the hands-on approach to learning. Let’s find out more about the hands-on approach to learning. 

What is Hands-on Learning? 

In order to help students learn beyond the walls of the classroom, the hands-on learning approach becomes efficient. Believing in the aspect of learning by doing, a hands-on approach helps students get a better understanding of the subject matter. This approach is not monotonous and involves active participation from the students. In this regard, the lessons remain etched in the minds of the pupil for a longer duration of time. 

Benefits of Hands-on Learning

Some of the most pressing benefits of adopting hands-on learning experiences are: 

  • By combining visuals, auditory, and kinesthetic practices, a hands-on approach to learning provides an equal approach to every kind of learner. 
  • It also facilitates students an experience of the real-life applications of the subject. 
  • Hands-on experience also gives the students a chance to get creative with their learning. 
  • It instills the aspect of critical thinking and problem-solving among the students. 
  • This also helps in increased retention of the topic in the minds of the students. 

Teaching Trade Practices through a Hands-On Approach to Learning

Anchoring on the fundamental advantages of the hands-on approach to learning, the classrooms at Oakridge always bring experiential aspects to learning. We ensure that students understand the real-life application of certain concepts, thereby retaining the said concepts for a longer period of time. In this regard, while teaching the aspect of trade and commerce to our PYP students, we integrated multiple novel concepts into our approach. 

  • The aim was for the students to understand concepts like barter, pricing, demand/supply, profit/loss, supply chain, etc. 
  • We organized several guest lectures for students where they learned the nitty-gritty of these concepts. 
  • Believing in the aspect of peer mentoring, we also organized a one-on-one session for students with senior school students. 
  • The students also visited Shilparamam- The Crafts Village, where they interacted with the community of artisans. Herein they understood what products and services they sold and how they set the pricing for their consumers. 
  • Thereon they charted out a plan for their summative assessment, which was to organize a trade fair. They collaborated with their classmates and worked in a team. 
  • From deciding the service they will offer and products they will sell, fixing the price of the product, and estimating profit value, to learning about the demand and supply of the product, they pre-planned every single detail. 
  • This led to the mega event where students were seen innovatively marketing their products and using terminologies like ‘discount’, ‘sale’, and ‘buy one, get one free’. They derived many such innovative techniques whenever they couldn’t make a sale. This exhibited their resilient approach. 
  • The trade fair proved to be a great learning experience for the students where they understood the real application of trading and commerce. 

At the end of the event, we saw that students were clearly able to understand how to derive profit, how to graph the demand and supply of any product or service, and why concepts like sale and discount are important. They were also able to innovatively market their products beautifully. Indeed, the entire process reflected the sheer impact and positive results of hands-on learning. 

By Ms Prasobha Prabhakaran

Grade 4 Coordinator, PYP  

 

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