Importance of hands-on skill based education in schools

Importance of hands-on skill based education in schools

Skill-based education places the ownership of learning in the hands of students and helps them restrict the big gap of understanding. It promotes and develops the art of learning and development hence empowering the students to become successful in their chosen field. Hands-on learning better engages both sides of the brain. Listening and analysing processes occur in the left hemisphere, but visual and spatial processes are handled on the right. By combining multiple styles of learning, the brain forms stronger overall connections and is able to store more relevant information.

Skills-based learning is where we teach students a specific skill. This not only allows us to teach a student how to achieve the correct answer in the practice that we use, but it also helps students to achieve the correct answer in every instance they see the same skill.

It encourages multi-tasking through listening, speaking, touching and using the senses to explore the environment. Hands-on learning engages children in problem-solving strategies. It allows young children to interact with the learning materials and make mistakes as they learn in a practical manner.
Hands-on learning is a form of education in which children learn by doing. Instead of simply listening to a teacher or instructor lecture about a given subject, the student engages with the subject matter to solve a problem or create something.

Though certain subjects come to mind more readily than others when talking about hands-on learning (for example, shop class), the truth is, a hands-on educational philosophy can be incorporated into nearly any subject matter. A few examples might include:
•Solving problems as a part of math class
•Completing a lab experiment as a part of a science class
•Building circuits or working machines as a part of a tech class
•Recreating a historical document or artifact as a part of history class
•Writing a creative story, poem, or essay as a part of English class.

Hands-on is by no means a “new” movement in the classroom. That being said, even today, many schools find it difficult to incorporate hands-on projects and principles into student work. This can be a particular challenge for public schools, which often have tight budgets and less freedom in developing curriculum.
And that’s a real shame, because hands-on learning brings so many benefits to students, including:
•It is a more engaging way to learn
•It can lead to increased retention
•It can offer practice in problem solving and critical thinking
•It often results in a physical creation
Hands-on learning has long been touted by parents and educators as a key factor in raising children who go on to have a lifelong love of learning and who perform better academically. But what exactly do we mean when we say “hands-on learning,” and why is it so beneficial to students? Here, we explore both the concept and the benefits.

What is hands-on learning?
Hands-on learning is a form of education in which children learn by doing. Instead of simply listening to a teacher or instructor lecture about a given subject, the student engages with the subject matter to solve a problem or create something.
Though certain subjects come to mind more readily than others when talking about hands-on learning (for example, shop class), the truth is, a hands-on educational philosophy can be incorporated into nearly any subject matter. A few examples might include:
•Solving problems as a part of math class
•Completing a lab experiment as a part of a science class
•Building circuits or working machines as a part of a tech class
•Recreating a historical document or artifact as a part of history class
•Writing a creative story, poem, or essay as a part of English class
•The benefits of hands-on learning

Hands-on is by no means a “new” movement in the classroom. That being said, even today, many schools find it difficult to incorporate hands-on projects and principles into student work. This can be a particular challenge for public schools, which often have tight budgets and less freedom in developing curriculum.
And that’s a real shame, because hands-on learning brings so many benefits to students, including:
It is a more engaging way to learn
It can lead to increased retention
It can offer practice in problem solving and critical thinking
It often results in a physical creation
Hands-on is another way to learn.

Some children learn best by looking at visuals. Some children learn best by listening to a parent or teacher speak. And some children learn best by reading and writing about something. These are called visual, auditory, and reading/writing learning styles, respectively. But there is a fourth learning style that is easy to overlook: Kinaesthetic learning, which is a fancy way of saying “learning by doing.”

There are a lot of theories about why hands-on learning is so effective. The reality is, there is no single reason “why.” But one hard-to-argue fact about hands-on learning is this: It is incredibly engaging.
When students are forced to do something, they are engaged in active learning. They’re practicing their skills and they’re putting their knowledge to the test. Most importantly, they are actively creating knowledge, instead of passively consuming it.

In order to create, in order to do so, students must be engaged in their education. And engagement has for years been linked to greater academic success like increased test scores and greater academic achievements.

When children are enrolled in a school that emphasizes hands-on learning, most of that learning is likely to take place in the classroom. Science labs, makerspaces, and even just traditional classrooms are all equipped with tools to facilitate such exercises.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and the social distancing guidelines necessary to keep the pandemic at bay, children may not physically be in the classroom at this time. This means that they may be lacking the tools and supervision required to help them complete various hands-on learning tasks. This does not, however, mean that hands-on learning no longer has a role to play in your child’s education.

When children are young and at home, parents have more control over how their children learn. At this stage of a child’s life, it’s important for parents to encourage hands-on activities that will challenge their child to learn through doing.

But when a child moves beyond the home—entering a nursery program, preschool, kindergarten, or grade school—parents who prioritize hands-on education will need to find a school that shares this priority. In addition to evaluating the school’s curriculum and asking questions during the admissions process, parents should also keep an eye out for schools that embrace Maker Education, which encourages learning through doing and offers many other benefits similar to hands-on education.

- Dr. Meghul Chadha
Content Writer
Social Journal