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Cultivating Student Engagement Through Hands-On Learning

 

In an era where practical skills are paramount, schools must create environments that actively engage students and prepare them for the real world. One powerful approach emphasizes project-based learning (PBL) and hands-on activities integrated across the curriculum.

Sandro Cuzzeto, who formerly served as CEO and principal of a Christian school in Kamloops, BC, Canada, shared his insights on this philosophy during a guest appearance on the School Success Podcast.

The school “took project-based learning to the nth degree,” he stated, establishing spaces like a makerspace where students could showcase their math, physics, and artistic abilities through woodworking, metalworking, robotics, 3D printing, and more.

 

Applying Concepts Tangibly

Cuzzeto explained that the value of PBL lies in enabling students to apply concepts tangibly and build a more profound understanding. While some may struggle to articulate knowledge on paper, they could demonstrate mastery through finished products and real-world applications of skills.

 

Catering to Diverse Talents and Interests

To cater to diverse talents and interests, the school offered specialized programs beyond traditional academics, including an outdoor kindergarten program. Young learners spent roughly half their time exploring nature, investigating ecosystems, and doing inquiry-based learning outdoors. Cuzzeto remarked that kids were “learning exponentially” through their excitement at observing animals and habitats firsthand.

 

Fostering Curiosity and Creativity

By prioritizing PBL, hands-on programs, and dedicated learning spaces, the school cultivated an atmosphere ripe for curiosity, creativity, and active participation. As Cuzzeto summarized, “Don’t be afraid to push in directions other schools might not if it aligns with your vision for providing the best possible education.”

 

Conclusion

Empowering students through engaging, hands-on learning can transform their educational experience and achievement. When schools commit to innovative models like these, they open up powerful pathways for developing real-world skills, problem-solving abilities, and passion for lifelong learning.

Hands-on education allows students to apply knowledge in tangible ways, building deeper conceptual understanding. It taps into their diverse interests, unleashing potential often overlooked in traditional classroom settings. Most importantly, it fosters an environment of active curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

 


 

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