The Germ Theory of Learning is that students learn primarily by “catching” and remembering what they hear in lectures and read in books. Now, the Germ Theory works fine for learners already familiar with a subject and presented with a very limited amount of new facts, ideas, and methods.

If a student has lots to learn, the Germ Theory fails. Listening, watching and reading are not enough. It takes practice to learn math, writing, a foreign language, and other subjects. Teaching gets students started. Then most of the learning happens when they practice what they are learning to do.

Of course, teachers know that student success depends primarily on practice. They try to get their students to study—to do their… Continue reading