Active Learning Teaches Better

Do you recall in high school that one class that you absolutely hated? Of course there were other factors such as your level of interest and ability to focus that influenced your dislike of the class. Yes, you remember. This was the class that was so painfully boring that you thought you would die before the bell rang. You painfully tried to stay awake and you would develop a splitting headache or daydream about lunch while the teacher went on and on with the lecture.


Actually this scenario is pretty normal according to the experts. The experts have determined that people do not learn well in the "passive" way. Learning by just listening to a lecture or watching someone else really does not work in the experts' opinion.


However by doing the activity being lectured on, experts have found it to be a much better and more effective way of learning. It has proven to be much better than by watching, listening, or reading.


They are not advocating that we get rid of the classroom but that we supplement classroom learning with hands-on learning. Sometimes classroom learning is the only option available however we now realize that learning takes place by reading about a subject,discussing a subject, hearing others speak on the subject, watching audiovisual presentations, studying real life experiences or by doing the task itself.


Different presentation methods result in different retention rates. For example, it has been discovered that as adults we expend 90 percent of our focus in the first five minutes of a class.


The next best method of learning, after the reading or hearing methods, is seeing something done. And finally the best method is by doing.


Some old school teachers treat students like they are totally empty and it is up to them to fill them up with some amount of the world's knowledge. However we are seeing "interactive" learning becoming more and more popular today. This type of learning recognizes the experiences that each student brings to the table and utilizing these experiences to achieve effective learning.


We must take into account the differences in personalities as they have an affect on the individual's preferred learning style. No two people learn alike. Next time you attend a meeting at work, try your best to be an active participant in it instead of just soaking everything in. You will find that you may learn something and you will come away with a sense of achievement.


You will discover that when you take an active part in learning that the time will pass by much quicker and you may just get your tasks done earlier.


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