Learning by Doing: take action!

3 minutes

Learning by Doing: take action!

Imane Bensouda

For Maria Montes­sori, Doc­tor and Edu­ca­tor,: “The motor organ which char­ac­teris­es Man, is the hand at the ser­vice of the intel­li­gence, for the real­i­sa­tion of work.” To sum­marise, learn­ing is done by doing.  In oth­er words, learn­ing by doing allows the learn­er to train them­selves, to learn through expe­ri­ence.  This method puts the learn­er at the heart of what they’re doing.


The benefits


“Learn­ing by doing” has sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages for the learn­er, and by exten­sion, the com­pa­ny. Here are the main advantages:

  • Train­ing is more eas­i­ly assim­i­lat­ed. Prac­tis­ing allows the learn­er to use sev­er­al areas of the brain, use more resources, and there­fore remem­ber eas­i­er. When you learn to dri­ve, you learn how to start the car when you practice!


  • Since it’s a form of prac­tice, as close to the real thing as pos­si­ble, the learn­er is more quick­ly and effec­tive­ly oper­a­tional after their train­ing. They’ll have already put into prac­tice their knowl­edge and acquired skills! 


  • Con­fronting mis­takes is also a pos­i­tive point. It allows you to avoid repeat­ing them in the first place but to also bet­ter under­stand a knowl­edge or skill. If you turn the car key the wrong way, it will nev­er start, but you’ll only do it once, not twice!


  • “Learn­ing by doing” allows the learn­er to be more lucid about the knowl­edge and skills already acquired. By con­fronting their lim­i­ta­tions, they are more aware of their needs and short­com­ings in order to learn effec­tive­ly.



How does it work?




We have often heard that to mem­o­rise, you have to repeat… But it’s not that sim­ple! Do you remem­ber all the poems you learned at school? You’ve heard them so many times and repeat­ed them! Rep­e­ti­tion alone is not enough. Repeat­ing dif­fer­ent­ly, on the oth­er hand, will make a real dif­fer­ence! To do this, change the approach while keep­ing the learn­er active.




One of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of “learn­ing by doing” is the abil­i­ty of this method to pro­duce emo­tions. And neu­ro­sci­en­tists know that emo­tion is a key fac­tor in mem­o­riza­tion! The emo­tion expe­ri­enced dur­ing train­ing that the learn­er relives in a pro­fes­sion­al sit­u­a­tion will trig­ger the mem­o­ry. The knowl­edge and skills acquired will then be deployed and used effectively. 




Final­ly, “learn­ing by doing” allows for greater pro­jec­tion, always with a view to stim­u­lat­ing assim­i­la­tion. Receiv­ing infor­ma­tion is much more effec­tive when the learn­er knows they will have to apply it imme­di­ate­ly after­wards! When you look at a recipe, you are gen­er­al­ly much more atten­tive to the ingre­di­ents or the steps if you have already tak­en out your whisk than if you had to make the recipe next week! 



As the great Albert Ein­stein once said: “Knowl­edge is gained through expe­ri­ence, every­thing else is information”.