In the Spotlight: Practical or Theory?

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Why do we need education? What form should it take? This is something that many students and pupils ask themselves on a daily basis. When it comes to teaching, it can be difficult to strike a balance in accommodating both practical and traditional theoretical teaching methods to the best advantage.

Some lessons require more practicality than others. Science for example includes the use of equipment and apparatus to help facilitate learning and development, whilst subjects such as Religious Studies and History traditionally use textbooks as a teaching aid. When coupled together, practical and theoretical lessons can greatly heighten the learning experience for both students and teachers.

Practical investigations, designing and making, utilising different visual media – all of these activities present opportunities for children and young people to ‘enjoy and achieve’ at school and higher education. Without the opportunity to learn the theory behind the practice, these lessons would predominantly just be an hour or so of fun for students.

Having the ability to deliver core learning in ways that engage young people is very important – and a curriculum focused around a variety of practical and theoretical activities with tangible outcomes hits the nail on the head. It improves attainment and engages pupils to the point where they enjoy the learning experience.Engagement is key in education and including both practical and theoretical elements in lesson plans will maintain a balance which is informative and exciting, educational and fun.