“Learning by doing” is a common theme in an experiential educational environment. That is because when students are engaged with their hands and their minds, they actually are more focused and motivated to learn. The hands-on learning benefits that students experience in the classroom helps children of all ages retain knowledge and grow.
Children in all stages, from preschool age through their teenage years, are continuously developing and growing. During these extremely critical periods of growth, the more that children can immerse themselves in, and engage with, their education, the more they will be motivated and take pride in all that they learn. This is where hands-on learning truly comes into play.
One of the many great hands-on learning benefits is that hands-on learning helps to stimulate growth on both sides of the brain. Research done by Cindy Middendorf, an education consultant, has shown that between the ages of four and seven, a child’s right side of the brain is developing, and the learning derives clearly through visual and spatial activities. The right side of the brain, which involves more analytical and language skills, is said to develop later in childhood, around 10 years old. All that said, when a child engages in a learning activity that is hands-on and requires multi-tasking such as talking, listening, and movement, the greater the chances that multiple areas of the brain will be stimulated and develop.
There are many hands-on learning environments right here in Connecticut that provide a variety of benefits to their students, like Riverside Magnet School and Connecticut River Academy. For young and elementary aged children, Riverside Magnet School offers an experiential learning environment where young children can learn and grow. Riverside Magnet School follows the Reggio Emilia model of learning, in which children take control of their own learning by using their “hundreds of languages” and engaging in a variety of creative, hands-on activities. This hands-on, explorative approach empowers children’s imaginations, builds their confidence, and motivates them to take more interest in their own education.
For high school aged children, Connecticut River Academy has many hands-on learning benefits. The curriculum at Connecticut River Academy is designed around the themes of sustainability, environmental science, and technology. Each classroom is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that students can learn with and on. For science-based learning activities, students are able to get outside and on the Connecticut River, taking water samples and actively engaging with the natural environment as their classroom for the day. These students also have access to collegiate-level laboratories where they can complete testing, learn about green energy and other relevant environmental issues. On the technology side, students have access to high-tech machinery and cutting-edge manufacturing equipment, giving them hands on opportunities to explore technology and its uses in the world around us. These resources allow for students to actively engage in and enjoy their education through hands-on learning experiences.
Experiential learning environments provide endless hands-on learning benefits for children of all ages. Research has shown that students of all ages learn better when they are actively engaged in their learning journey. As one Scholastic article states, when children have busy hands, they have a busy brain.
Do you think a hands-on learning environment could benefit your child? Attend a parent information session at Riverside Magnet School or CT River Academy to learn more about the hands-on learning benefits these schools can provide your child.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.