I recently watched a TEDTalk given by Gever Tulley about Tinkering School, the camp he created in order to let kids tinker, explore, build, take risks, learn, and have the time of their lives doing it.
Learning by doing is extremely undervalued in our schools! Students are asked to think abstractly and learn primarily through visual and auditory input. While this method is thought to be the most efficient for classrooms of 25 plus students, it is far from the best way to learn! Students who learn better by doing are often marginalized or called hyperactive. But the brain receives information in a variety of ways -- auditory and visual channels are only two out of several possibilities! Learning by doing activates centers of the brain that help us solve problems and learn from failures and setbacks.
At his summer camps -- and now his San Francisco school, Brightworks -- Gever Tulley and his talented staff help students take creative risks and build their dreams. I wish I were between the ages of 7 and 17 so that I could sign up for one of the summer sessions and learn how to plan, manage, and fulfill a project in the way Tinkering School participants do!