European scholastic systemsJune 5, 2018
The centrality of “learning by doing” in the cognitive process
Learn by doing, as those involved in this particular field put it: learning by doing. We hear a lot of talk about this teaching practice, which is always more popular and is considered to be innovative in teaching.
In fact, it enriches the traditional head-on lesson with the added value of experience which, since it is personally experienced by each one of us, can make the contents transmitted truly incisive and effective. However, are we indeed being faced with something truly “new”?
Daily "learning by doing"
If we exit from the school environment for a moment, we can easily understand that this operative attitude has always represented a privileged approach to knowledge.
Every form of doing implies a direct involvement of the subject of the learning, not only of the child who goes to school, but of whoever puts his or herself in the face of reality with a desire to learn more about what he or she sees and to understand its mechanisms.
Experimentation and science
In this sense, each of us, in the moment in which we indulge our own curiosity thus ndertaking a cognitive path, can call ourselves a scientiest.
The term “scientist” as intended by Galileo who – already in the 17th century – placed experimentation at the centre of the scientific method and indicated it as the sole true judge of the reliability of each case of knowledge. And today as then, it is undeniable: a piece of knowledge conquered and verified with our own hands convinces us more and remains in time.
Let us then give the go-ahead to experimentation, to actions, to manipulation, to attempts and even to failures, provided that they are followed by new re-examined and corrected attempts. In short, more doing… more learning!