Learning by doing (1962)

Learning-by-doing refers to the hypothesis that labor learns through experience in the production process, thereby allowing economies of scale in future output.

The increase in productivity diminishes over time.

The first theoretical model of this kind was constructed by American economist Kenneth Arrow (1921- ), but many empirical studies had been carried out in the early part of the 20th century.

K J Arrow, ‘The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. xxix (1962), 155-73

Learning by doing refers to a theory of education expounded by American philosopher John Dewey. It’s a hands-on approach to learning, meaning students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn.[1] Dewey implemented this idea by setting up the University of Chicago Laboratory School.[2] His views have been important in establishing practices of progressive education. For instance, the learn-by-doing theory was adopted by Richard DuFour and applied to the development of professional learning communities.[3]

“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.”

— John Dewey (My Pedagogic Creed)

“… The teachers were to present real-life problems to the children and then guide the students to solve the problem by providing them with a hands-on activity to learn the solution … Cooking and sewing were to be taught at school and be a routine. Reading, writing, and math were to be taught in the daily course of these routines. Building, cooking, and sewing had these schooling components in it and these activities also represented everyday life for the students.

One thought on “Learning by doing (1962)

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