with guest Shawn Goldsmith #FranchiseSecrets Ep 45
I was really impressed with Shawn’s model of hands on learning that he is building with Tutor Doctor. So much so, in fact, that I decided to go down the rabbit hole and research the benefits of it myself. What I found seems so obvious and intuitive it’s a wonder that this type of education does not play a larger role in our school system. It just makes sense to learn by doing.
How do you think a 16th century blacksmith learned his trade? By sitting in a classroom listening to people talk about the challenges of blacksmithing? No! They found an apprenticeship, often with a family member, and got to work. They got to witness and be a part of the actual work of blacksmithing and see products developed from scratch. What could be a more powerful education than that?
Students should try to seek this type of learning out as often as possible, and teachers should look to incorporate it in their classrooms. For anyone who has become disillusioned with modern education, and even for those who haven’t, consider the following advantages that hands on learning has to offer.
- Retaining more information
By learning on the job, or in a project based manner, students retain more information than they do in a more traditional approach to education. That’s because as students actually practice what they are learning they are experiencing it first hand, thinking about it from a new perspective, and building new neural pathways in the process.
The brain keys in on novel experiences, and while a lot of classroom learning can essentially become rote memorization, hands on learning provides a new, more interesting activity that lets students connect with the material and soak up knowledge like a sponge.
2. More engaging & rewarding atmosphere
Teachers know how hard it is to get an entire group of kids to sit still and pay attention to something, and most of us remember finding at least some of our lessons to be mind numbingly boring. However, if you take that same group of children and put them in a different environment — like playing a game or in gym class — it’s much easier to get them to focus.
That’s because they are physically active and engaged in an activity. Keeping students entertained is 90% of the battle. Most students who have trouble paying attention are simply not being given material that they find interesting. Hands on learning can reign in the attention of even the most rambunctious students by giving them something to do that isn’t boring.
3. Builds ‘on the fly’ problem solving skills
Anyone can go through steps that have been laid out for them or mimic someone else’s approach to solving a problem, but by putting students in situations where they have to think on their feet, they are forced to work through problems in their own way.
You probably remember memorizing a lot of facts for a test, only to instantly forget them as soon as the next subject came into focus. But what about the research projects you worked on? Those were probably much more engaging and stuck with you longer because you were more active, involved and independent. You had to conduct your own research and find the answers you were going to present on rather than simply being given them.
Shawn’s Tutor Doctor program takes this to the next level by placing his students in a real world situation with real stakes rather than in a project based environment. Each individual must be able to problem solve on the go in order to grow their business and make sure it’s running properly.
Failing to perform their duties not only fail themselves, but there will be consequences. Conversely, each student has the opportunity to build a business they can actually take ownership of and make income when their program ends.
By experiencing not only the day-to-day activities, but also the stresses and the triumphs, everyone graduates Shawn’s course battle tested, with a genuine understanding of what it takes to succeed.
4. Builds self confidence
Imagine you’re in the Tutor Doctor program. Shawn gives you 15 tutors and a bunch of students. You have to coordinate schedules, adjust on the fly as a student cancels last minute or a tutor has a bike accident and can’t make it to their lesson. At first these problems seem massive, especially since you have a limited amount of time to solve them and the possibility of extremely angry parents or tutors to deal with if you can’t manage to keep on top of everything.
Each week handfuls of problems arise. You rise to the occasion on many of them, but fail to do so on others. But by the end of the semester you’re starting to know what to expect before it happens and you’re prepared. You are able to solve almost every single problem that arises, and although there are occasional hiccups, you are getting to understand that it’s just something you haven’t learned yet. You know that each small failure is not going to bring you down, and in fact it’s actually going to make you stronger.
When you finish this course you are ready for a bigger challenge. You know not only about running this business, you know what it takes out of you, how you respond, and most importantly, that you can solve problems as they arise. What could be more valuable than that?
5. Easier transition to the “real world”
Now imagine you’re an employer and 2 resumes cross your desk. One has graduated from a top business school, the other went through the story we just described. They’re battle tested, have real world experience, and you know you can trust them to think on their feet and get the job done. Who are you going to choose?
Not only does this type of education give you an actual resume to present to employers when you graduate, it makes the transition to the next stage of life that much more simple. You’ve already been there, you know what to expect and how to manage the problems as they arise. No classroom based education can replace that kind of value.
Wherever you can, I’m sure Shawn would be just as emphatic as I am that you should seek out hands on learning. These programs are less common, but you may be able to find apprenticeships or similar programs if you’re dedicated.
You’ll learn more, retain most of it, and most importantly… who wants to graduate 100k in debt anyway?