Learn-by-doing


Because the Universe is in a continuous change, as well as people in continuous evolution, we have to learn, adapt, action and share. In order to do this, overcome obstacles, fix errors and  grow daily, sometimes we need help, and there are techniques that can provide us this help.
But, before writing about the first technique, I will start from somewhere else because first of all you have to be motivated and not to be told what to do. If you are motivated and truly desire to do something, nothing can stay in your way, and therefore you need:
  • Desire - If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it. Brendan Francis
  • Belief – One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests. Peter Marshal
  • Vision
  • Thinking
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Plan - If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. Jim Rohn
  • Action – Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.John F. Kennedy
  • Result
  • Repeat the process
I define all this complex process as a lust for knowing, or in more common terms thirst of knowledge, which is inevitably followed by self-development that tends to continue a long time, depends on our motivation and our intellectual capacities, but the process is often ascendant.
The first technique I want to approach is Learn-by-doing!
Click on the image for a closer view
Learning-by-doing has a well-defined concept which functions only by ascension and it’s relayed on learning,  analyzing, acting and testing the result’s value.  What we should be interested in is not only the results, but also the methods/strategies we have to use to reach the final product. So, all steps are important in our way to success, transformation, innovation => EVOLUTION. I truly think that what truly drives us is learning, experiencing and enjoying!

Here is a diagram of the Experiential Learning Process used by 4-H: Click on the image for a closer view

This method approaches a different way in having people learn and experience. The difference is that instead of being told the answers, it encourages on letting the others find answers on their own and think for themselves, and letting people choose what to believe on their own without being influenced and not copying what they are told. This technique is also called experiential learning being based on learning from experiences, and I myself find it very applicable in the school system, but also in job training, and any other study field; unfortunately many stick to old methods.  It’s a different orientation towards learning and it is more efficient comparing to learning-by-studying, so instead of limiting to others theoriess, make your own.

Click on the image for a closer view
Another interesting approach on learn-by-doing method is the one of David Kolb’s. Here is a short presentation: Kolb’s model therefore works on two levels – a four-stage cycle:
  1. Concrete Experience – (CE)
  2. Reflective Observation – (RO)
  3. Abstract Conceptualization – (AC)
  4. Active Experimentation – (AE)

and a four-type definition of learning styles, (each representing the combination of two preferred styles), for which Kolb used the terms:

  1. Diverging (CE/RO) – feel and watch 
  2. Assimilating (AC/RO) – think and watch
  3. Converging (AC/AE) – think and do
  4. Accommodating (CE/AE) – feel and do
Korb created ELT ( experiential learning method ) in order to boost the learner’s interest by applying touches all the bases model, which refers to a cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting, as is in the diagram, turning experiences into observations and reflections. Reflections are assimilated (absorbed and translated) and through actions and experiments the creation of new experiences is enabled. Those experiences lead to goals,  goals which should underlie education.
In my vision school should be more than an academic institution and it should mainly approach didactic strategies though which students can really apply what they learn. Theory should be followed by practice, mostly because it’s easier to learn things by practice than by simply learning an amount of theory by heart; it will all be forgotten long way before they get the change to apply.
A more recent approach refers to the learning process as to a process of embracing the unknown, and in this way you can begin to work with reality – rather than resisting it, also to be here now, cultivate your ability to be present, and ultimately to reframe your goal – the tunnel vision. We’re so focused on the outcome we want, we can’t see red flags or perceive information that would help us get there more quickly or easily
In this sense, we should shift our goal from trying to achieve the desired results to learning how to achieve the desired results.
Like I said, this technique is brilliant and applicable, that’s why it should be applied in schools. Since there are three types of education:  formal, non-formalinformal, I think it should be insisted on all three equally. Why is formal education more important than the others two? Why to dull children with dull information when we can make learning something exciting? Why are we being reluctant regarding informal education? I think this type of education should play a major role in the education system as it leads to freedom of self-formation and learning-by-doing. In 1974, Coombs and Ahmed identify three types of education which are to be actual until the present moment: informal, non-formal, formal ( in the order of priorities ). They define:
  1. IE as being the lifelong process by which every person acquires and accumulates knowledgeskills,  attitudes and insights from daily experiences and exposure to the environment – at home, at work, at play;  from the example and attitudes of family and friends; from travel,  reading newspapers and books; or by listening to the radio or viewing films or television. Generally, informal education is unorganized and often unsystematic; yet it accounts for the great bulk of any person’s total lifetime learning – including that of even a highly ‘schooled’ person.
  2. NFE as being any organized, systematic, educational activity carried on outside the framework of the formal system to provide selected types of learning to particular subgroups in the population, adults as well as children.
  3. And FE as being the highly institutionalized, chronologically graded and hierarchically structured ‘education system’, spanning lower primary school and the upper reaches of the university.

Nowadays, the importance of education is based firstly on formal education, secondly on non-formal education, and thirdly on information education. ( in the order of priorities )
As we can see, education is the other way around these days and as ineffective as the approach of the list’s order itself – mostly because of emphasizing more the idea of formality in education, excluding creativity, innovation, perception, difference of identity and thinking;
However, the learning-by-doing technique is more likely applied in the Business domain – the learning business by doing business strategy, Economics – as a smart concept on improving workers productivity, Sales and Marketing – based on what we called experiential learning – having three principles: doing-engage your customer to be successful, in teams –engage customers on a peer to peer level and doing things for real – get rid of the automation and go shake a hand. 
Q: Which type of education do you find the most  important?
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2 thoughts on “Learn-by-doing”

  1. It seems to me that you got tired of the secular education . . as much as most of us did. Therefore, we need a new EDUCATION REVOLUTION, but who would do something regarding it? It’s not likely to have some changes into the education system very soon, but with little steps we can get there. If you checked the TED talk, you could see that in UK some “illuminated” people have already created a new way of schooling – based particularly on this technique – which sounds promising. Hopefully, this project will extend widely on Europe!

    Thanks for you feedback. ;)

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