“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.
Arguably a Chinese proverb and quote that I was first introduced to in my High School Biology class by a teacher who had a penchant for quotes on his door (that always closed promptly at the ringing of the second bell). Thought and natural consequences; two threads that resonated at that time, and that have followed throughout my life.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons that my life has vascillated between field science geek and rescue geek—the requirements of both involve not just conceptual grasp of material, but understanding and mastery of material in challenging environments. There is a comfort in natural consequences of actions. This real and unforgiving feedback makes sense to me.
Wilderness Medical Associates' concept-based teaching style was one of the driving forces that lead to a strong preference as the training provider for Cornell Outdoor Education's student leaders and staff nearly two decades ago. Plenty of hands-on skill, drill and scenario time allows for integration of information and skills. Once the basic skills are acquired, they are then stress-tested in emotional, graphic and environmentally challenging settings. Unlike many first aid trainings, these courses are not relegated to the realm of videos and "monkey see monkey do".
We ask students to DO in hopes that they UNDERSTAND and can apply these concepts and skills in the real world with all of its infinite variables