Learning by Doing *

A description of a training programme, 'Learning by Doing - Applied Economy' (APE), used by a Slovakian grammar school to provide their students with business, economic and financial education through practical experiences and skills development.

Purpose and process

Through practical experience of setting up and running a company, to provide students with the opportunity to work as in the 'real' business world and, in particular, to ensure they learn to take responsibility for their own actions. The school uses a range of methods within the APE programme (which includes a particularly memorable and compelling module on 'learning by doing'), especially brainstorming, role play and project-based learning activities. They follow a process which basically divides into 4 stages:

  1. Production environment;
  2. Creating situations;
  3. Shaping the student;
  4. Making real business.

This could be termed the 'professionalisation of the student' and is in line with the overarching goal of the programme - to transform students into professional businesspeople.

The programme focuses on three key elements:

  1. Creating the background and the business culture;
  2. Creating a standard corporate structure for eaach company, in line with knowledge of members' personalities;
  3. Defining company names, logos and business plans in preparation for starting production.

Learning outcomes

Students can:

  • Develop educational, communication, personal and professional competence, including a 'can do' attitude;
  • Improve their ability to take responsibility for their own learning as well as for their actions - recognising and dealing with the consequences for their company, for other workers and their customers, and for themselves;
  • Improve their financial capability;
  • Learn to deal with real business dilemmas in a professional manner;
  • Build effective leadership and teamwork skills.

Curricular or thematic relevance

The APE Programme is compatible with the national curriculum. It is particularly relevant to business, economic and financial education but can be adapted to fit in with many other subject areas.

How to organise:

Can be run within timetabled lesson time or as an extra-curricular activity linked to a specific subject, or using a combination of the two approaches. Projects need to be developed over several months in a real context.

Assessment and evaluation approaches

Built into the process of learning by doing via discussion, reflection and presentation of ideas to others.

Volunteer involvement

The programme can be enriched by involving contact with business partners who are willing to act as positive role models for the students.

Provider country


Files for download:

learningbydoing.doc / 44kB

helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)

helper do TM detail right side (TM June 6th, 2nd half)

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