Being hands-on is especially important in the classroom because it allows students to engage in kinesthetic learning. Students learn better when they can relate to a subject, when it is personally meaningful. Learning happens when the brain is engaged in making connections and creating familiar patterns. Hands-on learning engages students of all ages in multiple modes of learning: kinesthetic, problem solving, and trial and error. Learning by doing provides better results over time as students move through school and on to their careers.
Hands-on learning is an approach to education that emphasizes the use of physical, interactive techniques to convey information. These techniques can include labs, games, simulations, or projects.
Hands-on learning is an educational method that directly involves the learner, by actively encouraging them to do something in order to learn about it. In short, it is ‘learning by doing’.
Why Hands-on Learning?
- Encourages experimentation: As opposed to the textbook style of learning, hands-on learning encourages students to learn by doing. In doing so, they make mistakes, they fail. In a hands-on, stress-free environment, students are able to try again and learn from their mistakes. This trial by error approach of learning helps them to gain a better understanding of concepts and foster the reality that mistakes and failures are all part of the learning process.
- Better retention: Information is easier to remember when students are actively engaged in the learning process. With hands-on, practical training, students grasp concepts much faster than if they read or just listen. In a research conducted by PEN (Practical Education Network), it was observed that STEM students who engaged in hands-on learning improved significantly in their test scores more than students who engaged in the mundane listening and reading style of learning.
- Problem-solving and knowledge application: Hands-on training enhances students’ ability to think critically and find creative solutions to problems. During hands-on learning activities, students can work in groups to learn team and problem-solving skills. By doing this, they are actively engaged in what they are learning about and working together and thinking creatively to solve the task they have been given.
- Engaged students: It is necessary to introduce students to a hands-on, inquiry-based style of learning as this enhances their creativity and perception. Students are more focused and engaged when they are working on hands-on projects. The best way to engage students is by having them move their hands.
- Growth mindset: Hands-on training teach students to evolve and improve on their capacities to match the evolving world around them. in a world that is rapidly evolving, students who have this ability to evolve are in an advantaged position over those who are reluctant to change. A hands-on approach is a great way to develop a growth mindset.