If someone asked me what learning by doing means, I might stammer out a very long, and very wordy explanation, which is never a good start for me. I'd probably say something intellectually stunning like, "Well, learning by doing is when you learn <pause> while you're actually doing something."
Yep. Ginger E. Coyote, genius.
My sad “definition” would break every single rule for how to define words and terms. So sorry Mrs. Fredrickson.
So how would I define learning by doing? ...that is, if I gave it a little more thought?
I think maybe we have to define what the phrase is trying to differentiate itself from. How is learning by doing different from what we traditionally know as “learning”?
Learning by doing is less... ?
Learning by doing is more... ?
- less passive and more active
- less paperwork and more creative work
- less teacher-directed and more student-directed
- less "student" and more "learner"
- less "memorize it and forget it" cycle and more "love it, learn it, live it" cycle or it could be "live it, learn it, love it" cycle. Sometimes we don't know that we love something til we learn more about it.
My Plurk friend Laura Sheely suggested more global connections and more discussion, while another Plurk friend, Mark Hall, suggested more relevancy and less “busy.”
I agree whole heartedly with both of those.
But I also believe that many educators think they might know what the term, "learning by doing" means. I mean, aren't those 3 little words obvious? Maybe not. As we examine it more closely to mine for a diamond-value definition, it takes on an entirely different complexity.
Learning by doing.
How would you define learning by doing to someone who has not even considered this concept, or to someone who might think s/he knows what it is, since the phrase is so (deceptively) simple.
cross-posted at GingerLewman.org