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Experience-Based Learning

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand. (Chinese Proverb)

Boy at grocery store. An adult is helping him explore what melons feel like. She has her hand under his.

Much of what most people learn comes from what they take in effortlessly through the distance senses of hearing and sight. This “incidental” information may seem trivial, but it guides individuals’ interactions with their environments and increases the knowledge and experience base upon which further learning occurs (Prickett & Welch, 1995, pp. 28-30).

To compensate for a lack of effortless access to information, children with deaf-blindness need highly motivating real-life experiences, instruction, and environments that help them directly experience the people, places, and things that are not readily available.

See also: Concept Development

Leslie Buchanan, Teacher of the Deaf-Blind at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, explains why it's important to create environments that provide motivation for children to explore.


Prickett, J. G., & Welch, T. R. (1995). Deaf-blindness: Implications for learning, In K. M. Huebner, J. G. Prickett, T. R. Welch, & E. Joffee (Eds.), Hand in hand: Essentials of communication and orientation and mobility for your students who are deaf-blind, pp. 25-60). AFB Press.


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