Consider this statement:
Education comes not from books but from practical experience.
Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statements means. Describe a specific situation in which books might educate students better than practical experience. Discuss what you think determines when practical experience provides a better education than books do.
Education is the transmittance of knowledge or skills from a source to the students. The statement suggests that in order to achieve this, one must rely on practices or other hands-on experiential learning rather than books. Unlike the practical experience that hands-on activities provide, books are more passive and the authors tend to transmit their knowledge or skills unidirectionally to the readers.
Experiential learning is superior in most instances of education, because of the higher level of engagement of students that leads to better retainment. For example, one cannot learn to swim or do math by reading a book; one must practice, make mistakes, and learn from the errors. Only when students apply the skills or knowledge they learned in a practical setting such as swimming laps or doing math problems can these skills truly be learned.
However, some subjects must be learned from reading books. The study of ancient civilization, for example, may be more clearly laid out, more fully explained, and quite possibly more rigorously researched in books than in any forms of practical experience. This is because well-written books are more carefully written and reviewed than, say, an interpretive drama or televised documentary about the same topic. In the case of anthropological study of ancient civilization, where education through practical experience such as visiting the museum or forming discussion groups may be insufficient to replace the rigorous description and explanation books provide.
This is not to say experiential learning is not beneficial in subjects like anthropology. Visiting the museum will certainly help with the students’ understanding of the civilizations they are studying. But if the students visit the museums without reading any books on this civilization, the exhibition would be nothing more than odd looking objects and mysterious texts.
Educators must be holistic in their approach to education. To claim that education comes not from books is too aggressive towards the traditional methodology, which may be less lively and engaging, but often more rigorous and informative. Practical experience provides a better education than passive reading of books when the material being taught is essentially a skill that can be learned through practice. However, for most cognitive, academic subjects, a strong background knowledge in the often abstract topics can only be obtained through books. In this case, practical experience may enhance the education, but it cannot replace books.