Research-Based Practices


At Wholesome Learning we believe that having research to support our practices is of the utmost importance..

Hands-On and Student-Based Learning

At the beginning of the twentieth century John Dewey criticized “old school” habits of teacher-centered lecturing and suggested that learning is characterized by continuity and interaction when it is based on experience (Leshkovska & Spaseva, p. 59, 2016). The Italian pedagogy advocate, Maria Montessori, situated the importance of incorporating the senses in intellectual activity (Frierson, 2014). The common theme that is found when comparing the work of John Dewey and Maria Montessori is the art of allowing students to engage with learning. Initiating curiosity can be engaging, even during learning. Individuals come to know something by the doing of it and exploring it for themselves (Blakely & McFadyen, 2015). Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered approach of instruction that gives students autonomy in the classroom (Kokotsaki, Menzies, & Wiggins, 2016). PBL allows for engagement and learning to occur using all learning modalities, kinesthetic, auditory, verbal, written, and related forms. The goal of the curriculum framework is that the use of hands-on learning, using PBL, will allow students to achieve engagement, knowledge, and ultimately learning. Within the progression of programs at Wholesome Learning, from elementary to post secondary, ultimately, using the Florida standards and community support, the goal is to assist students in giving back to the community with their skills and abilities, using the academic and community-based skills they are taught.

At Wholesome Learning PBL is heavily used because it uses hands-on learning, presentations, and various learning modalities to meet the needs of each learner. It is distinguished by its student-centered instruction, autonomy, investigation, collaboration, transmission, and reflection (Kokotsaki, Menzies, & Wiggins, 2016). Simply stated, PBL is “learning by doing” (Licht, 2014, p.49). Licht (2014) argues that by changing traditional roles of students and teachers, students are put in the driver’s seat and allowed the opportunity to explore real-world problems, rather than paper-based, rote memorization, and teacher centered styles of learning. Students develop independence and creativity by not being told exactly what to do or how to do it (Licht, 2014).

Despite many contemporary beliefs, students will make mistakes, and making mistakes has positive effects. Students’ missteps give them the greatest and deepest learning opportunities (Licht, 2014). The Wholesome Learning family assist students in learning through their mistakes and their successes. We believe that every moment is a moment in which learning can occur. Unlike other models of tutoring and student assistant, we put the student in the driver seat and design an individualized learning plan that is unique and individualized for each student.


Achkovska-Leshkovska, E., & Spaseva, M. (2016). John dewey’s educational theory and  

          educational implications of howard gardner’s multiple intelligences theory.

 Almalky, H. A. (2018). Investigating components, benefits, and barriers of implementing

          community-based vocational instruction for students with intellectual disability in saudi arabia.

          Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 53(4), 415-427. Retrieved from

Blakely, S., & McFadyen, J. (2015). Curiosity over conformity: The maker’s palette–a case for    

          hands-on learning. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 14(2), 131-143.

Frierson, P. R. (2014). Maria montessori’s epistemology. British Journal for the History of           

          Philosophy, 22(4), 767-791. doi:10.1080/09608788.2014.960794

Kohler, P. D., Gothberg, J. E., Fowler, C., and Coyle, J. (2016). Taxonomy for transition

          programming 2.0: A model for planning, organizing, and evaluating transition

          education, services, and programs. Western Michigan University. Available at

Kokotsaki, D., Menzies, V., & Wiggins, A. (11/01/2016). Project-based learning: A review of the

          literature Sage Publications. doi:10.1177/1365480216659733

Licht, M. (2014). Controlled chaos: Project-based learning. The Education Digest, 80(2),


Wholesome Learning is not a franchise. We are a locally owned and operated business. When you speak with a tutor or someone from the Wholesome Learning family you are speaking to someone who works in the same community as you and your child.

“Mrs. Elliott takes the time with me as a parent to address any concerns I may have and keeps me informed on DJ’s progress.”



“I not only get to work on what is hard for me, but I get to work on things I enjoy too, which helps me stay focused.”



“Mrs. Katlyn has a heart of GOLD. She is so kind and patient. She always has a way to challenge my kids and makes them want to work harder! We LOVE her!!!”



“Mrs. Katlyn is fun, loving and caring. She helps me with things I don’t understand.”