I hear this all of the time and for the most part, I agree with. We all do in a sense. No its not your learning style. We know that learning styles are not real. Its not even your learning preference. Its much simpler than that…so why?
It all comes down to learning taxonomies; the order in which we learn. Doing, is a high order task – meaning when you are doing, you are problem solving, thinking critically. Its high level learning. Its our end goal – to be able to problem solve and use (transfer to new situations/jobs). So shouldn’t we just ‘do’ then and bypass other types of learning? Absolutely NOT! Let me explain…
If my end goal was for you to be able to build a car engine, I couldn’t just say ‘go build a car engine’. You couldn’t do it. This is is especially true for learners with little to no prior knowledge. How can I teach you how to build a car engine when you might not even know what a wrench is? You might not know what a spark plug is? You see, I first need to teach you basic information, think factual information where you learn definitions, learn to identify, etc. Once you learn that information, like what a wrench is and what a screw is, you can learn to use the wrench to turn the screw. Now we know how to use the wrench!
Next we learn how to use that wrench to build a section of an engine…but first we need to lean about all of those parts to the engine. You see, this is how we learn. First we learn the basic facts, then we start learn concepts and how to apply that information. Only then can we really start to do! And once we start doing, we start to really learn the ins and outs – problem solving/high level learning! So you see, its not that you learn by doing, you learn many different ways. Learning by doing is how we perceive learning ‘best’ but only because its high level learning.
See video where I explain this further: