Hands-on learning has been popular in schools for quite a while. There seems to be an even bigger emphasis on it in new “engineering” programs that start as early as kindergarten.
Some might think it’s because it helps kids become engineers. Not necessarily, but it does help them become more creative thinkers and improves their math & science abilities. It certainly makes school more fun.
As a former elementary teacher, I know that kids must be actively engaged to learn something. This sort of “engineering” approach will keep more kids interested in what’s going on. I like that much of the approach encourages the development of real life skills like working in a group.
If you are a parent you can try some of this at home with your kids. Making a bridge using spaghetti pasta (or how about popsicle sticks?) sounds like a great summer project! This could be a family project if you like.
The old saying, “Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember” is extended to “Let me try it and I will learn to find solutions.” We need doers, people who will think outside the box to find new solutions. While most school districts can’t afford to buy new curricula all the time, teachers can be encouraged to take this approach to teaching as much as possible.
Click title for link at the NewYorkTimes.