Rethinking The Active Learning Movement

1603 Words Sep 21st, 2016 7 Pages
Rethinking the Active Learning Movement – It was Never All or Nothing

Over the past 25 years the movement to adopt learner-centered pedagogy has gained main stream acceptance, to the point that all higher education faculty are expected to include such methods in every class. Educational critiques, opinion editorials, research and data have driven policy and practice towards the universal application of active learning techniques in place of traditional lecturing. In the Report to the President (2012) the executive summary committed to evidence-based teaching strategies, namely active learning strategies, to increase student learning. Although this report drives the curriculum for STEM disciplines, this same push is occurring across disciplines. The commitment to adopt active learning has become a mantra reverberating across disciplines “lecture less”/ “include more activities” in your classroom. The realization that learning increases with the incorporation of student engagement activities (CITe the CHART RESEARCHER) was just that: evidence that student involvement in the learning process increases learning. It was not a prescription to abandon the lecture, entirely. Yet somehow over the years professionals have taken to the practice of thinking dichotomously about teaching falling into one of two categories: 1) passive learning and 2) active learning. Furthermore in such instances we are lead to think that all passive learning is bad teaching and to the…
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