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Learning by Doing

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Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning


Active learning; Experiential learning; Inquiry-based learning; Problem-based learning; Project-based learning


Learning by doing is the process whereby people make sense of their experiences, especially those experiences in which they actively engage in making things and exploring the world. It is both a conceptual designation applied to a wide variety of learning situations (in fact, as some would argue, to all learning), and a pedagogical approach in which teachers seek to engage learners in more hands-on, creative modes of learning.

Theoretical Background

Learning by doing, in one form or another, is an element of almost all major learning theories – in the West going back at least as far as the Sophists, with their emphasis on mind-and-body and learning. In Vygotsky’s (1930) sociocultural theory of learning, novices participate in activity before they have full competence or understanding of it. In this sense, activity (or “doing”) precedes development, rather...

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Correspondence to Bertram C. Bruce .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Bruce, B.C., Bloch, N. (2012). Learning by Doing. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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