Real activities on real projects, real work, or real results are more effective than substitution or preparation work.
Some examples include:
However, there are arguments against doing the real thing.
Discovery learning is the idea of not giving any instructions - simply present the problem to the pupil and let them figure it out for themselves.
But, discovery learning is less efficient than telling people what they ought to do and then letting them do it. What counts is practising the right skills often and early. You don't get a bonus for figuring it out for yourself.
Cognitive load theory states that problem-solving is often not enough. We need to keep the details of our goal in our working memory, adding extra load that can interfere with schema acquisition.
But, replacing all problem solving with worked-out examples is based on the assumption that we already understand what skills we need to solve a problem.
Deliberate practise and doing the real thing address different problems.
Direct practise cannot be a substitute for studying theory. Doing the real thing should be combined with studying theory.
If you keep getting stuck on a problem, practising more is unlikely to solve the problem. But exposing yourself to the broader theory behind the problem is more valuable even if it does not directly answer your particular problem.
❤️ Brainstash Inc.