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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

10 Reasons why Practical Education is more Important than Theoretical

Why do we need Education and if we do, what form should it be? This question pops up in minds of students every time they are sitting in a lecture or striving to complete a project or an assignment. I wonder it too. Education is significant and must be acquired by all in order to gain knowledge and learn skills. Education is the only key that can develop a whole generation of responsible human beings who can absorb good teachings and can impart it to many others.

It teaches us about various things and opens up a vast variety of career options in front of us which one cannot opt for if left uneducated. But the question which comes next is that what type of education we should emphasize more on? Education can be imparted in a theoretical way or in a practical manner. But out of these two which is more benefiting for the student and what should we value more.

Personally, I am not a very big fan of theoretical education and I find practical teachings more interesting and easy but there should always be a balance between both of them. Most of the schools and universities across the world include both theory and practical exercises in their academic curriculum. But different people may have different views regarding this. Some might think that practical education isn’t the real education and we should stick to theoretical ways, while many others may believe that practical education must be given more importance as it teaches more effectively making the student understand better. I personally believe that practically education certainly has a lot deeper impact on students and hence here I am writing up 10 reasons why you should emphasize more on practical learning rather than theoretical one.

10. It does not require mugging up

doesn't require mugging up

Some people have an inborn talent of remembering everything that read, even if they have read it once. But others have to cram it very hard in order to retain it. And theoretical knowledge can involve lots of mugging up. If you don’t want your child to become a bookworm, always lost in a pile of books, then practical education must be supplemented with theoretical teaching. When we are practically looking at things and experiencing it, we do not need to cram it from a book. You might spend hours learning the climatic conditions of Africa but a visit to Africa can stick the picture in your mind instantly and very effectively. Not mugging up takes off loads of pressure form a student’s brain thus helping in the learning process and also for relieving stress from over their heads.

9. Knowledge retains in our mind

knowledge retains in our mind

When we are cramming a lesson for a test, our brain tends to remember it for a short while which can be shorter than the duration of your test thus not serving that purpose also because our brain forgets it easily. You try too hard to learn a theorem or an explanation word to word by heart but always forget upon something. While doing it practically, it can be in form of experiments, real life projects or educational trips, the knowledge and the whole learning experience stays in our mind for long.

8. Develops a better Understanding

develops an understanding

Could you have ever understood the reflection of light had you not seen a mirror? Just by reading about a phenomenon or a lesson, it cannot get straight to your mind even though it may be explained in the best manner. You actually got to see it happening in front of your eyes and not by hearing it in somebody else’s words. Practical knowledge can help a lot over here because it is all there. Be it understanding the phenomenon of physics or dwelling in literature. According to author the song of a nightingale is magnificent but how would you know that unless you listen to it with your own ears?

7. Includes practice


includes practice
Reading a lesson over and over again can be of little help. But performing activities or experiments based on it involves practice and you have heard it right, “Practice makes a man perfect”. Go on reading a guide book for a new language without speaking that language at all and you will see no progress. But start using that language and try conversing with other people and you’ll see the change. You will see improvement. So just sitting in a corner with a book or listening to a lecture has no practice involved unless the theoretical teaching is converted into practical activities.

6. Improves skills

improves skills
Training and exercise are meant to improve your skills which cannot be obtained by just theoretical knowledge. Theory can provide one with oodles of expertise and proficiency but it can never deliver those kinds of results and improved skills that you can get from practical education. Again, reading a chapter of engineering won’t help, doing experiments will surely do and will improve your engineering skills.

5. Involves application and deals with real life situations

involves applications and deals with real life situations
Learning about facts and theories are not really of any use unless you are aware of their application in real life situation. I spent whole of my middle school wondering that what purpose it solves by knowing Sine theta square plus cosine theta square equals one. But when introduced to its applications I realized what importance trigonometry holds in architecture and its related fields. So unless you are applying your theoretical knowledge to real life situations through practical experiments theory doesn’t hold much good and you will keep wondering that why you are studying that particular topic.

4. It is more interesting

it is more intersting
Field trips, projects, experiments, don’t they interest you more than books, assignments and lectures? Am sure they do because they are so much more interesting and engrossing than reading your regular bookish material. I manage to survive through a one hour long chemistry class but give me an experiment and I can stay busy in it for hours. Ask geography students to learn the climatic conditions of a hill station or organize a trip for them actually taking them to that hill station. What will excite them more?

3. Interesting => Easy

interesting easy
This is pretty obvious. When you find something interesting and have got your heart in it does seem easy. And especially when learning through practical sources instead of conventional theoretical ones, the leaning process does become comparatively easier. So why not put more stress on practical means? Also while you are doing something practically, it reaches your brain more effectively making it easier to understand, apply and remember.

2. Can motivate team work

can motivate team work
While imparting practical knowledge to students, most of the activities involve team projects or programs where students are required to work in a group or as a team. On one hand it improves a student’s ability to interact with his/her fellow students and encourage them all for team work. On the other hand it also makes the learning process more fun as students are able to grasp more while learning it in a group. They tend to have fun in each other’s company and the whole teaching process becomes less boring and more fun. And you learn more while having fun.

1. Interactive Education creates a Deeper Impact

it is more interactive
Practical education is way more interactive than theoretical. It does not involve just teaching and lecturing irrespective of whether the student is able to understand the concepts or not. Theory education usually employs teachers who teach in a plain manner or books which may or may not include interactive exercises. Whereas in practical works, inputs from students are not just invited but are also necessary. Interactive sessions, experiments, interactive exercises, are important features of practical education which ensure the involvement of students, making them learn and understand more. And learning is the fundamental purpose of education, so in order to improve the leaning level, more importance should be given to practical education rather than theory.

What are your thoughts about this topic? What form of education do you prefer? Let us know below in comments.