Monday, December 18, 2006

It would be unprofessional to offer these findings without directing you again to the research on which they are based.

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

by Anthony R. Korwin and Ronald E. Jones

The results of this research have significant implications for general education and specifically technology education. The results suggest that hands-on activities enhance cognitive learning. Previous studies neglected to address psychomotor effects on cognitive growth, even when many educational theorists, like Dewey, supported learning using psychomotor experiences. The results also suggest that technology education has a strong basis in learning theory in its use of hands-on activities to relate technological concepts. This is done in part by improving short and long term memory retention of information through greater use of visual, auditory, tactile, and motor memory storage areas of the brain.
For those of us who work with our hands, this understanding is a "no-brainer." We don't need research to confirm that the engagement of the hands is essential to effective learning. The academic divide in modern society is destructive on both sides of the collar line. Millions and millions of people rest on the laurels of their academic achievements while feeling totally incompetant in their engagement in the physical world. It is a sad thing when you consider the kinds of satisfaction and pleasure some of us receive from making objects of usefulness and beauty.

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