In his article, "Active Learning: Does it work?" Prince defines Active Learning as "any instructional method that engages students in the learning process." It requires students to
Prince indicates that in practice active learning refers to activities that are introduced into the classroom. Core elements of active learning include student activity and engagement in the learning process, and it is often contrasted to the traditional model of education, where students "passively receive information from the instructor."
Creating Excitement in the Classroom - ASHE, Bonswell and Eison
In 1991, Bonswell and Eison published the report, Active Learning:Creating Excitement in the Classroom, as a response to calls from numerous leaders in the field of higher education and a series of national reports that were urging college and university faculty "to engage students in the process of learning." The report discusses:
According to Bonswell and Eison, summarizing existing literature, students must do more than just listen in order to learn. Instead, "they must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems." Additionally, the must engage in higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Please see chart below for Bloom's Taxonomy. According to the authors, strategies promoting active learning should be defined as "instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing."
Research studies evaluating students' achievement have demonstrated that many strategies promoting active learning are comparable to lectures in promoting the mastery of content but superior to lectures in promoting the development of students' skills in thinking and writing. Cognitive research has shown that most individuals fall into a category of learning styles that do not fit into traditional lecturing.
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