Friday, January 20, 2012

"Lehr und Kunst" or "Theory and Practice." - what we strive for in education

"Lehr und Kunst" or "Theory and Practice." (Learning and Skilled Arts) is the motto for my alma mater, WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). I really like this as a motto for all education. 

The motto appears in the ribbon above the shield. The books represent theory and the arm and hammer represent the practice or skilled art.

We are trying to teach our students facts, knowledge and information, but they also have to be able to apply this to different situations. The practice of applying knowledge is so important. 

We talk about 21st century skills, like communicating, working in teams, life-long learning, analysis, applying, critical thinking, and problem solving. This is what we need to teach our students. They need to be able to learn skills and knowledge and then apply them to a situation. 

How do we do this? Project Based Learning, Contextual learning, internships, practicals, scenarios all help students learn theory and then apply it in practice. To help our students be successful, we need to help them learn theory and how to apply that theory.


WPI Plan - a great educational model for all schools


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