active learning

Quick Reference

Learning which encourages the pupil or student to engage actively with what is being learned through activities such as group discussion, role play, or experimentation, rather than passively receiving and memorizing knowledge or instruction from the teacher in order to be able to repeat it accurately, as was the practice in many 19th‐ and early 20th‐century schools. Active learning became the norm in most schools, as the value of being able to reproduce information uncritically and ‘parrot fashion’ came increasingly under question in the 20th century. However, the facilitation of active learning becomes more difficult the larger the class size. The implementation of an active approach to learning, therefore, can depend as much on pupil–teacher ratio as on beliefs about effective approaches to learning.

Subjects: Education.

Reference entries