Sunday, December 17, 2006

The following is from research into the efficacy of hands-on learning as compared to lecture only instruction. It seems so incredibly silly to me (having spent 30 years as a self-employed craftsman) that anyone would have such questions. However, in a world in which so many have neglected and misunderstood hands-on learning in favor of dwelling on abstract nonsensical academic projection, I guess some research is in order to restore common sense in education.

Do Hands-On, Technology-Based Activities Enhance Learning by Reinforcing Cognitive Knowledge and Retention?

research by Anthony R. Korwin and Ronald E. Jones 1990

"Bruner (1966, p. 41), a supporter of varied learning experiences, stated that "...increasing the manipulability of a body of knowledge" creates both a physical and mental optimum learning structure. He contended that physical operations create feedback of learning that allows children to see it happen. Lipson and Fischer (1983) sustained this reasoning, stating "Experiences without words are difficult to integrate, describe, and retrieve. Yet, words without experience tend to have limited meaning. The two reinforce each other and are defined by one another" (p.254). Martinez (1985) further explains this in saying that a student who is introduced to a concept such as walnut wood will grasp a different meaning than a student who actually uses walnut and experiences its properties firsthand."

Tomorrow I will share some of the results of their study. The photo above is a near perfect sphere turned on the lathe by one of my students in 2003.

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