Think back to a standout moment in your education—something that still resonates with you to this day. Chances are, that experience didn’t involve a teacher lecturing while you sat silently listening. It likely happened when you were able to experience education in a hands-on way.

This isn’t surprising, as it’s been proven by many researchers over the years that when play, games and constructive occupations are incorporated into the curriculum, the student is more engaged in what he or she is doing.

This learning approach was brought to America by John Dewey, who ran The Dewey Laboratory School in Chicago during the late 1800s to the early 1900s. It was Dewey’s belief that bringing hands-on learning into the classroom allowed students to develop their problem-solving skills, which they could then apply in life outside of school. This, Dewey argued, bridged the artificial division between school and life.

Dewey said, “I believe that the school must represent present life – life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.”

Today, programs including project or land-based learning and the maker movement incorporate the basics of hands-on learning. Each of these methods allow students to gain deeper knowledge than they otherwise would in a traditional educational setting. They also offer authentic learning opportunities that are connected to the real world outside of the classroom. The confidence and motivation students gain with these approaches helps to reduce dropout risk.

Just as important, these programs allow teachers to become leaders rather than classroom managers. Instead of lecturing, they’re guiding in a way that closes the gap between theory and application.

CuroGens Learning supports this pedagogical approach. We believe that by empowering teachers to understand and align each student’s learning preferences with a curriculum and course design that fits their needs, every student can succeed. Learn more about the CuroGens Learning solution.