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by Phil Bartle, PhD

6. Learning by Doing Is More Effective than Learning By Watching or Listening:

We learn skills in many ways, listening to lectures, listening to recordings, watching videos and films, watching live presentations or performances, and by doing. See the training methods module. Many methods that are effective for training mobilisers are also effective for training in literacy.

Note that "doing" covers a wide range of activities, from practice and simulation sessions in the class room, through supervised and unsupervised activities in the field. Generating interesting, relevant and useful ways for the participants to learn by doing is an important responsibility for you. Planning such sessions will benefit by involving your participants in designing and setting them up.

Here is an example. You do not have classroom teaching. You have planning sessions and field trips. In the planning sessions you have done a needs assessment with the participants It is a fishing village. As a group, you decide on a project to prepare a booklet listing all the types of fish, and their sizes, and their prices, brought in to the village. You set aside two hours for a field trip and, as a group, go to the shore where the fish are brought in, and write down the names of the fish and their prices. You take the list back to the planning room, and from the list, you prepare a booklet listing all the prices. ll the members of the group are given an opportunity to write the name or some fish, and their prices, thus having practical experience in writing, with a meaningful purpose in doing so. You use the booklet with each participant in reading the list.

In the various phases of the project, you identify how recording and reporting are helped by writing and reading, and how the participants are doing it, not you.

Notes on all of the above (long document)

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