Your community for active learning strategies
Teacher’s Center was developed to help educators understand how to use active learning strategies in the classroom. “Active learning” can be defined as an approach to learner-centered education that uses instructional techniques that involve students in reading, writing, discussing, reflecting, and creating in order to help them learn. Since Teacher’s Center was created, we have presented information on active learning strategies in variety of contexts: active learning in higher education, in advanced placement classrooms, and as it relates to 21st-century education. We presented INTERACT simulation product reviews with ideas and suggestions on how active learning will enhance your students’ educational experience.
Over the next several months, I will be blogging on how active learning strategies can change the way we teach and the students we prepare for the future. Topics will cover ways to integrate technology and active learning into the classroom, how to use active learning strategies to prepare students for a 21st-century education, and ways to integrate active learning strategies into the specialized classrooms of talented and gifted students and English-language learners. We invite you to check back with us at Teacher’s Center in the coming months and share your thoughts on these topics.
To get things started, I’m presenting two online articles to whet your imagination. The first is a YouTube video created by Tom Woodward of Henrico County schools in Virginia, which presents challenges in preparing students for a 21st-century education in a “flat world.” This film aptly summarizes the message of my May, 2011 blog on a “21st-Century Education” and takes to task American education’s traditional instructional methods against the daunting task of preparing students to be competitive in the 21st-century global economy.
The next story, from NPR, addresses some of the challenges posed in the Woodward YouTube. Most of us understand that the lecture technique is not the most effective instructional method. Even when students show the behaviors of being actively engaged in a lecture or digital slide presentation—intently listening, nodding their heads, taking notes—this doesn’t account for what might really be going on in their heads: monitoring the clock or the cute student next to them or worrying about being prepared for their next class. In a story by Emily Hanford, we learn about how a college physics class at the University of Maryland is integrating active learning strategies and finding greater success than with the traditional lecture model.
We know many of you are on vacation for the next several weeks and hope these stories stimulate your imagination and promote discussion on the site. Happy reading, and enjoy your time off!