Practice-Based Learning

In various professions, the discord between the knowledge that you acquire in class, and the actual requirements and demands of the job can be shocking. Nowadays, there is a wide array of theoretical frameworks that exist in educational institutions. 

However, when you’re dealing with the reality of a particular job, you can often realize that there’s no replacement for knowledge that can be gained through experience. So how is this gap between educational and professional reality bridged then?

What is Practice-Based Learning?

The answer is practice-based learning. In contrast with theory-based learning, which requires only theoretical knowledge without practical application, the framework of practice-based learning has a different approach to learning. From the beginning, it demands the student to learn the theory and then make use of that knowledge in an actual work situation.

Through practice-based learning, students merge theoretical knowledge and professional experience along with the necessary, contemplative process, which allows them to examine their performance, mistakes, and overall use of the theory. 

The Importance of Practice-Based Learning

This approach is imperative, especially for professions that demand substantial theoretical knowledge, but even more importantly, an impressive application of that theory in the practical context. 

Surgeons, for example, don’t operate merely with their knowledge of human anatomy. They have to spend months on end observing operations and procedures before they can hold a surgical knife.

The Goal of Practice-Based Learning

Therefore, practice-based education is not about solely learning the theory and then applying it. Preferably, it outlines a comprehensive educational process that includes implementing the theory as you learn it, evaluating its effectiveness, and finally, revisiting your starting point so that you can determine what can benefit you in reality.   

The ultimate goal of practice-based education is that students become independent professionals who can improve, evaluate, and regulate their knowledge attainment and their results over time. That is, to prepare and equip individuals to act self-sufficiently and responsibly within their respective professions. 

[1] “Discover 3 Reasons Why Practice Based Learning Is a Great Model for Educators.” Torrens Blog [Online] Available at: [Accessed on: 4 May 2020]

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