The benefits of hands-on learning

Posted by Cindy Shaw - 10 January, 2013

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”


Yesterday’s teaching style is a thing of the past in Randolph’s Lower School. No longer is a child’s educational growth experience measured by the number of worksheets, workbooks or tests a child has completed. Research supports that students need interaction and involvement with learning and less time at their desks, just listening.

Lower School teachers have taken advantage of many opportunities for professional growth in the last few years. This exposure has led to the understanding that when more than one method of learning is provided, as with hands-on learning, the information has a better chance of being stored in the memory for useful retrieval. Children will feel a sense of accomplishment when a task is completed and are able to transfer the experience to other learning situations.

Hands-on learning encourages questioning and promotes cause-and-effect thinking while reducing dependence upon the teacher. Hands-on learning is believed to increase:

  • learning
  • motivation to learn
  • enjoyment of learning
  • skill proficiency
  • perception
  • creativity.

This approach allows students to enjoy and engage in learning. For our youngest students,  just beginning their educational journey, we feel it is so important for these foundational experiences to be positive and fun, as they lay the groundwork for a lifetime love of learning.

Our Lower School teachers have wholeheartedly embraced hands-on learning and all it entails. Lesson plans have been modified to fit student needs and classroom learning centers are now a mainstay. Small group work along with more active learning activities are transforming our classrooms. Many Lower School teachers have even removed their desks to allow for more hands-on learning space for the students!


 Photographs by our Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade teachers.

To learn more about our Lower School (K-4), please join us for an admissions open house on Tuesday, January 24, 6-8 PM. Information and online registration can be found here.

Topics: 1st grade, 2nd grade, Academics, art, Arts, curriculum, hands-on learning, interdisciplinary, Kindergarten, Lower School, science, teachers, technology, writing

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