Hands-on approach spurs learning at Pleasant Hill High School - KCTV5

Hands-on approach spurs learning at Pleasant Hill High School

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Do you remember your old science class? It probably wasn't much like Johna Geist's classroom. (KCTV5) Do you remember your old science class? It probably wasn't much like Johna Geist's classroom. (KCTV5)
PLEASANT HILL, MO (KCTV) -

There's a trend in teaching that goes well beyond textbooks, and some say it makes all the difference.

Do you remember your old science class? It probably wasn't much like Johna Geist's classroom.

"It's just this idea of putting these students in all these real life scenarios and piquing their interest," Geist said.

Gone are the textbooks, and even the teacher is more of a guide. There is no lecturing and no students dozing.

Recently, students at Pleasant Hill High School were learning about diabetes.

"They get to do the lab. They get to experiment. They get to do blood glucose testing and insulin testing," Geist said.

It's an active learning environment, and one that's gaining popularity across the United States.

"Their curiosity is driving the class, and they're learning the same thing. They're just learning in a really different way. They're more engaged so they can relate to it," Geist said.

Brain scans were recently compared during a study at the University of Chicago...

One scan showed a student thinking about an action he or she learned in a hands-on environment. It activated the student's sensory and motor-related parts of the brain versus another student who just watched the activity.

Teachers say the difference is clear:

"It's a group of kids you can literally walk away from and come back in five minutes and they're doing exactly what they're supposed be doing, and they're still learning," Geist said.

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