If we want a better understanding of how people learn, we should start by observing our children as they play.
A child playing with blocks knows only that they’re having fun. In fact, what they’re doing is practicing skills they’ll use throughout their lives: problem solving, spatial awareness, fine motor skills and more. They are acquiring knowledge that can only be gained through first-hand experience.
Though young people eventually grow out of playing with toys, their capacity to learn by doing never diminishes, and this is an idea we have fully embraced in the Hankamer School of Business.
When I arrived at Baylor, I was encouraged to see the range of experiential and innovative learning opportunities in the Business School. Many of our departments already offered courses and programs that gave students hands-on experience and chances to interact with industry experts.
Building on that foundation, we have worked to expand our experiential learning offerings. During the past year, the Business School has introduced a new undergraduate research assistantship program and a Business Analytics graduate degree, and it has announced the creation of an office for advancing experiential learning and industry relations. This issue of Baylor Business Review highlights these accomplishments and other examples of our experiential learning efforts. There is still much to be accomplished, but I am excited about our progress, and I am grateful for the support our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends have shown as we pursue these goals.
As you read about our ever-growing use of experiential learning, my hope is that you will be inspired—no matter your age—to continue to learn through new experiences.
William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean, Hankamer School of Business
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2023