This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2017)
Learning by doing refers to a theory of education expounded by American philosopher John Dewey. He theorized that learning should be relevant and practical, not just passive and theoretical. He implemented this idea by setting up the University of Chicago Laboratory School. His views have been important in establishing practices of progressive education.
"I believe that the school must represent present life – life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground."— John Dewey (My Pedagogic Creed)
"… The teachers were to present real life problems to the children and then guide the students to solve the problem by providing them with a hands-on activity to learn the solution ... "Cooking and sewing was to be taught at school and be a routine. Reading, writing, and math was to be taught in the daily course of these routines. Building, cooking, and sewing had these schooling components in it and these activities also represented everyday life for the students.— Peggy Hickman
He expanded upon these principles in Democracy and Education.