In today’s society, for current and future teachers, an active learning approach to teaching is essential for students’ success in the classroom. Learning that contains student-based inquiry versus teacher-based inquiry allows the students to develop their own understanding of the content with little facilitation from the teacher. Unfortunately, active learning in many classrooms has always consisted of the teacher directing the learning, which inhibits each student’s growth and potential.
Active learning refers to a method of learning where active student participation is encouraged through project-based exercises. Research studies indicate that teachers typically dominate classroom conversation, consuming nearly 70% of classroom time (Northeastern Illinois University). This happens even though other research studies have shown that student learning correlates with the quality and quantity of student involvement (Cooper and Prescott, 1989). Instead of students listening to lecture over large amounts of time, active learning:
• allows students immediate feedback from their teacher
• engrosses students in activities (reading, discussing with peers, writing)
• builds self-directed learning skills
• teaches problem-solving and critical thinking skills
• develops student’s own inquiry and heightens interest in the material which tends to improve their motivation
• engages students with other peers
The practice of active learning techniques in the classroom is critical because of the remarkable impact on the student’s learning.
Active learning is a helpful method to use in the classroom for a va...
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...all share their thoughts.
Other excellent ways to include active learning into classrooms is through group work, various forms of writing activities, and even educational games (Davis, n.d.). Group work is a productive way to give every student the chance to speak and share their ideas. A convenient way to include this in lessons would be to give each group their own topic. Have them read the material, answer questions and find information in which later they can share and teach to the rest of the class.
Students’ success in the classroom is dependent upon the amount of active learning they are involved with. Educational classrooms should be moving their courses beyond lecture and into learning spaces that allow for this to happen. Therefore, educating our future teachers is critical so they can, in return, help students to display academic growth and achievement.
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