The Instigator
Jovison
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
AdamKG
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Hands on learning should be mandated in every school

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
AdamKG
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 444 times Debate No: 54793
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Jovison

Pro

I apologize for the late redo of the debate. I tried to do it before but it appears that I made a mistake and caused the debate to be opened to public and therefore, I didn't have you as the opponent. Hopefully, this one is right. Without further ado, let's start.

As a student, I believe that the current education system is not very effective. As of now, the education system seems to focus mostly on getting students to know the theories, not to get help them understand and apply it in real life situations. This has resulted to several problems such as unskilled college graduates and individuals who are not fond of learning which prevents optimal growth both to the individual and to the economy.

For example, in psychology classes, students are taught positive reinforcement, a method to increase the rate of behavior by rewarding an individual every time they engage in that behavior. While many students do understand the concept, it seems that the majority of the students are incapable in applying such technique to improve their lives and relationship with other people.

Another example is business classes. While business students do know the theories of advertising and do really good in case studies, many of them are incapable of actually advertising products when they are told to.

As students spend most of their time listening to theories without any experiential learning in schools, it has caused the lack of skilled workers in the workplace:

the Business Intelligence Congress recently revealed that universities are not producing qualified graduates skilled in business intelligence. According to the 2012 IBM Technology Trends report, only one in 10 organizations has the skills needed to benefit from advanced technology such as social software, and nearly half of the educators and students surveyed indicated there are major gaps in their institutions' ability to meet current and future IT skill needs in such areas as social technology and practices. A third industry report indicates that, over the next seven years, the need for highly skilled business intelligence workers in the U.S. alone will dramatically exceed the available workforce--by as much as 60%.

http://www.fastcompany.com......

Schools are said to be the institution that will broaden our knowledge and prepare us to face upcoming problems in the future. While it is doing a pretty good job in broadening knowledge, it is not preparing us well for the future. Hands-on learning will not only prepare students to cope with the future, as it allows them to apply the knowledge they have, but also to broaden their knowledge even further. David L. Haury and Peter Rillero asserts that the following are some benefits of hands-on learning in terms of education:
1. increased learning
2. increased motivation to learn
3. increased enjoyment of learning
4. increased skill proficiency, including communication skills
5. increased independent thinking and decision making based on direct evidence and experiences
6. increased perception and creativity

http://www.ncrel.org......

Under these reasons, I believe hands-on learning should be mandated in every school regardless the age.
AdamKG

Con

I look forward to our redo on this debate. I agree with you in some areas of your opinions but I will play devil's advocate when necessary.

"As of now, the education system seems to focus mostly on getting students to know the theories, not to get help them understand and apply it in real life situations."

I attend a technical institute and it focuses on a project-based curriculum. That type of education is about the best you can get for applied training. This school grants Associate's in Applied Science degrees so it is intended to be applied education. You cannot expect your higher education to mold you into the perfect individual for any career. The education can only take you so far; it is up to the individual to actually adapt and apply it themselves when they join the workforce. That is being a professional which schools of higher learning attempt to teach you as much as possible. Additionally, the company that hires you will train you for a short period to teach you their system. My school, along with many others, offer internships for some programs which help out even further. You can also find internships on your own with many companies.

"While many students do understand the concept, it seems that the majority of the students are incapable in applying such technique to improve their lives and relationship with other people."

I would like to see the source you used for this subject in your paper for reference. I have not taken psychology yet (I will next semester), but I understand the concept and will take your example. Again, it is up to the graduate to adapt to the given situation and apply the knowledge they acquired in their education. It is a well-known fact that higher standard of living correlates with higher education so that backs up my argument. Standard of living covers a vast area of topics including pay, personal/professional relationships, family, environment, etc.

Source: http://www.nwitimes.com...

"While business students do know the theories of advertising and do really good in case studies, many of them are incapable of actually advertising products when they are told to."

I would like to see the source you used for this subject in your paper for reference. I am a business student, although marketing isn't my favorite subject I still feel fairly confident in it. This goes back to my basic argument that it is mostly up to the graduate to adapt and apply what they learned in their education. In this case a marketing major should definitely be able to adapt to a marketing career, especially if it is what they are passionate about. Also, marketing majors often include internships.

"the Business Intelligence Congress recently revealed that universities are not producing qualified graduates skilled in business intelligence."

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of theories, methodologies, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes. This is a complicated area of business administration. From what I could find an actual business program with an emphasis in business intelligence is hard to find and few colleges and universities seem to offer it. I only found a few universities that had such a program in the United States. That could explain the reason for that lack of professionals. I could imagine a person without business intelligence specific training would have a hard time fulfilling that profession. I would also like to point out that your link does not send me to the article you seem to be referencing so I am unable to go in any further detail.

"Schools are said to be the institution that will broaden our knowledge and prepare us to face upcoming problems in the future. While it is doing a pretty good job in broadening knowledge, it is not preparing us well for the future. Hands-on learning will not only prepare students to cope with the future, as it allows them to apply the knowledge they have, but also to broaden their knowledge even further."

That is an excellent assertion, but lacks in how to do this. Hands-on training only works if there is available resources and methods to do so. Take psychology for instance, how do you make that hands-on? A psychology major can only learn the concepts in a classroom in a basic lecture-style and textbook fashion. Many business courses do not have the ability to make much of the education hands-on. Marketing is made up of philosophies and concepts that are intangible and can only be learned in lecture-style fashion with probably just a few classroom projects. Business law is also a good example of a business course that is intangible and made up of philosophies of law. Business is not like engineering where many of the concepts can be made tangible and physically worked with. Business simply has little capability to be made a hands-on. I also like to point out again that your source does not send me to the specific article you seem to be referencing.
Debate Round No. 1
Jovison

Pro

I apologize for the broken link. Here is the right one.
http://www.fastcompany.com...
http://www.ncrel.org...

Quick off topic question, where do you study?
Back to topic.

" You cannot expect your higher education to mold you into the perfect individual for any career. The education can only take you so far; it is up to the individual to actually adapt and apply it themselves when they join the workforce.That is being a professional which schools of higher learning attempt to teach you as much as possible. "

I cannot agree more to this. It is true that higher learning can only take us up to a certain degree and it is up to us to adapt to the workforce; however, the problem is they fail to teach us to be adaptable. At least, they can be a lot better in doing that. The current system uses standardized test to measure student's learning. This system is flawed in a lot of aspects. Standardized test tend to fail to teach critical thinking: "Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, according to the study. And after four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in these so-called "higher-order" thinking skills." (source:http://hechingerreport.org...)

In addition, the current system tend to teach students to memorize and also pushes teachers to teach to the test rather than teaching the knowledge. (source: http://www.wisegeek.org...)

"Take psychology for instance, how do you make that hands-on? A psychology major can only learn the concepts in a classroom in a basic lecture-style and textbook fashion. Many business courses do not have the ability to make much of the education hands-on."

While this is true, I believe this is not a good excuse for schools to not apply hands-on learning. It is indeed hard to find new examples of hands-on learning for some classes, but we have to face the fact that some studies have been done. When schools have the chance, they can just replicate the study and have the students as the participants in an experiment. This in itself will help students to learn so much rather as they experience it rather than just listening to people. It is also to possible to create a scenario and have students act it out and respond based on what they have learned. For example:
Business law classes can have a scenario in which a group of students become a company that will establish a new policy. Let them decide what policies the have. Then have another group act as society to respond to that new policy. Then another group will act as government and non-profit organizations that will either support or disprove the policy. Then let them interact and try to apply the theories they have learnt.

There are also other examples that I can think of if you will give me the subjects of the class and the goal of the class. I believe it is possible if students and teachers will cooperate and learn to attempt new approaches to learning.

PS: I will be flying soon and the flight might take me 24 hours total before I can get back to this. So I would like to apologize in advance if I fail to post the next one in time. :D
AdamKG

Con

"Quick off topic question, where do you study?"

I study at Southeast Technical Institute: http://southeasttech.edu.... My majors are business administration and financial services.

"The current system uses standardized test to measure student's learning. This system is flawed in a lot of aspects. Standardized test tend to fail to teach critical thinking:"

There is evidence that standardized tests fail to meet all of the desired affects. However, the standardized tests are also important in how schools get their accreditation and endowments. The government requires test scores to work with to make these judgments in performance. The idea of eliminating tests is in its infancy and would be extremely and unnecessarily risky to make the leap to eliminate standardized tests from our education system. Finland has seemingly successfully done this in their public schools, but that system would be impossible to apply to the United States conventionally. Project-based curriculum is a new idea that is being done today in some schools. There is one such high school in the city where I live and it is moderately successful but not significantly compared to their test-based counterparts. I agree with you that critical thinking is better taught in a project-based curriculum, but it would be very difficult if not impossible to successfully make such a transition and could lead to other issues that we will debate out later like we are now.

In regard of your hechingerreport article there are many aspects that it brings forward. While a project-based curriculum may solve some of the issue you have to consider that it may bring with it other issues. There are many reasons that could explain why students are not learning important critical thinking and "higher-order" thinking skills. While the method in which it is being taught be a part of it, I believe the larger part of the issue is our relaxed culture that many (if not most) students take part in. Many people simply do not take their studies seriously enough and changing the learning style may not necessarily solve that problem.

"In addition, the current system tend to teach students to memorize and also pushes teachers to teach to the test rather than teaching the knowledge."

I believe this to be more of a teacher issue. If the teacher is unmotivated, lacking in enthusiasm, or simply unknowledgeable they will simply take the easy way out and just teach the test. There are other issues as well in some schools where they are desperate to get their accreditation so they will just purely teach the test to their students. That happened in schools in Atlanta, GA and some other places. That is only an issue with K-12 schools, not in colleges or universities. I have never seen the issue of unskilled instructors or professors in my college so I have always managed to learn and retain information quite effectively from my courses. Colleges usually only hire instructors who are not only educationally qualified but are also extensively experienced in their field so they truly know what they are teaching and are probably enthusiastic about it.

" It is indeed hard to find new examples of hands-on learning for some classes, but we have to face the fact that some studies have been done. When schools have the chance, they can just replicate the study and have the students as the participants in an experiment. This in itself will help students to learn so much rather as they experience it rather than just listening to people. It is also to possible to create a scenario and have students act it out and respond based on what they have learned."

There are issues with applying hands-on learning at the college level. Many students can find many activities to be trivial and quickly lose interest (I experienced that a few times), focusing on making the activities fun can actually hamper learning, failing to reflect on activities academically (usually in a lecture) ultimately makes the whole activity educationally pointless, and many abstract topics simply does not invite the idea of activities.

Source: http://www.educationspace360.com...

I hope you get back in time to respond in this round!
Debate Round No. 2
Jovison

Pro

"There is evidence that standardized tests fail to meet all of the desired affects. However, the standardized tests are also important in how schools get their accreditation and endowments. The government requires test scores to work with to make these judgments in performance. The idea of eliminating tests is in its infancy and would be extremely and unnecessarily risky to make the leap to eliminate standardized tests from our education system."

Yes, and this indeed is the problem with the current system. It is so inefficient, yet people are reluctant to change it. Of course, a complete change in system will takes years if not decades, doing it in a matter of days or months is outrageous; nevertheless I am sure that it is necessary. In the beginning, schools should start small. Incorporate hands-on learning while still covering topics for the tests. Gather data regarding the effectiveness of hands-on learning then when enough data is gathered, a bigger change can be made. Deciding not to try applying hands-on learning at all just because it is difficult when the benefits are very clear is insane.

"here are many reasons that could explain why students are not learning important critical thinking and "higher-order" thinking skills. While the method in which it is being taught be a part of it, I believe the larger part of the issue is our relaxed culture that many (if not most) students take part in."

It is true that there are several reasons, which includes lack of reading and too much messing around, but keep in mind that often, students mess around too much because they think they are not learning anything from class or can get away with skipping classes because they can still do tests easily. I've had friends and classmates that skip classes and still get As. Study also shows that part of the reasons why students are not taking part in classes because they find the class boring or that they can learn it better without participating in class.
http://www.browndailyherald.com...

"There are issues with applying hands-on learning at the college level. Many students can find many activities to be trivial and quickly lose interest (I experienced that a few times), focusing on making the activities fun can actually hamper learning, failing to reflect on activities academically (usually in a lecture) ultimately makes the whole activity educationally pointless, and many abstract topics simply does not invite the idea of activities."

I can say the same with lecture based classes. Many students find them dull and students who are non visual and auditory learners will suffer in classes like those. I am not saying to treat learning as a game. While it can still be fun, it should be emphasized that the activities are part of the learning process and should not be taken as a joke.
AdamKG

Con

"In the beginning, schools should start small. Incorporate hands-on learning while still covering topics for the tests. Gather data regarding the effectiveness of hands-on learning then when enough data is gathered, a bigger change can be made. Deciding not to try applying hands-on learning at all just because it is difficult when the benefits are very clear is insane."

While, obviously, it would be outrageous to attempt to make this massive transition in a mere several years I would like to ask is it truly necessary? Tampering with an education system, especially K-12, is risky because you are suggesting putting their future at risk to educational failure. With the failure of the educational system you now have a domino effect that flows into every aspect of our society when these people move into the workforce with their practically failed education. While our current system does need upgrading, is your method really the correct choice? Making a drastic transition to test-based learning to project-based learning, even over a long period of time, could potentially be disastrous. The current system, while flawed, is designed well for the general populace and could be improved along those same lines rather than making a major transition to a whole new project-based system.

I would like to thank Jovison for an enjoyable debate. I would also like to remind everyone that I actually agree with much of what pro brought forth and that I was playing devil's advocate for most of this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
RFD:

Basically, Pro's major contention is that hands on learning is good for learning, therefore should be mandated in every school. Con concedes that hands on learning is good, but says that it is not the school's responsibility to provide it. I think both sides of the argument, overall, were well-though and had good depth. Although overall, I found the debate difficult to follow, as without headings, merely responding to quotes doesn't necessarily help make your argument clear. This debate seemed more like a discussion than anything else. But both sides seemed to oblige, anyway.

Arguments: Pro begins to concede the debate with: "I cannot agree more to this. It is true that higher learning can only take us up to a certain degree and it is up to us to adapt to the workforce; however, the problem is they fail to teach us to be adaptable." Failing to teach adaptability does not lead to mandating that hands on, hence Pro's defence essentially concedes the point.

The contention about standardised tests doesn't really seem to relate to the debate all that much. Tests are largely conducted to gauge where a student is at, in terms academic understanding. I know that it was mentioned that tests can be done as (student) learning, but that is significantly more rare than the alternatives (testing of learning and testing for learning).

The psychology example of Con's provided an instance wherein a school might want theory over hands on work. However, unless the school teaches only psychology (I'm not sure of any that do), then there will be other subjects where hands on will be preferable, hence Pro drew points back here.

Con's resources argument also stood out as a major point. Do colleges have the resources to afford to induct hands on learning into every school? Pro never really addressed this point.

I might have another read of this debate, but as it stands, I think Con's counter-arguments were stronger, hence arguments to him. I think all other points
Posted by Jovison 2 years ago
Jovison
Very interesting paper. Although I argue some of the issues that he presented also exist even in lecture based learning., it still is interesting. But yeah, I do think it is best to integrate hands-on with lecture rather than just focusing on one of them
Posted by Jovison 2 years ago
Jovison
Very interesting paper. Although I argue some of the issues that he presented also exist even in lecture based learning., it still is interesting. But yeah, I do think it is best to integrate hands-on with lecture rather than just focusing on one of them
Posted by Jovison 2 years ago
Jovison
Thank you very much Adam for the very interesting debate. I forgot I should've concluded my point on the last round. I thought I had another part for the conclusion hahaha
Posted by AdamKG 2 years ago
AdamKG
I forgot to add this reference and suggested reading in my last debate argument: http://dspace.mit.edu...

I think you may enjoy reading this paper, Jovison.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
JovisonAdamKGTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments