Active Learning: Why it Works


The term ‘active learning’ means learning through games, activities and projects; rather than passively receiving oral tuition from the teacher, the students work together in small groups and collaborate with a single goal of presenting their project to the rest of the class. This develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while the presentation hones the students’ communication skills, which are essential in the adult world.

Active Learning - Why it Works

Learning by doing: Experiential learning

Both these terms accurately describe the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, a 19th century educator that discovered children learn best when they are involved in activity. If a school employs teachers to deliver a written curriculum in a traditional classroom where the kids sit at desks, in rows, then the students are passive and only need to remember the information and pass the tests. If, on the other hand, student groups choose a topic they wish to learn about, then they use the Internet to gather the information they need to create a project, which they will present to the teacher and classmates.

Learning must be fun

You can lead a horse to water…. and when it comes to children, the motivation for learning should be fun. If a child develops a dislike for learning due to strict control, this could be a major barrier to their development; indeed, many parents set up their own learning environment with home-schooling; check out for the best furniture and equipment at trade prices. The child-centered teacher knows how to keep the fire of interest kindled within the young learners and using prepared activities and projects, students are not graded by exam results, rather they are graded by their project assessment and other active learning criteria.

Child-centred learning

This means the learner is at the centre of everything; from the topic they study to the way in which they will present their work, they decide who does what within their group, which develops social and communication skills. Think about it another way, if you are trying to teach a child something they are not really interested in, how do you think it would go? The core subjects can be integrated into projects and a skilled active learning teacher becomes a facilitator, guiding the learners when necessary. Some parents have kids with special needs and have to find a special school.

Cementing new knowledge

So, a 3rd year student is part of a group that chose English history and during the process of creating the presentation, the student would gain new knowledge, and by presenting that new knowledge to others, this cements the data into their mind and they will never forget what they learned. The act of presenting reinforces the neuron pathways and that is one reason why project-based learning is so popular.

If you are unhappy with your child’s education for any reason and you have the time on your hands, consider home-schooling, which guarantees your kids will learn the values you see as important. It is easy enough to register your child for home schooling and you can buy the equipment you need from an online supplier.


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