The Importance Of Active Learning

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It is largely debated in the educational world whether active learning is a better way of teaching students than lecturing. Active learning is defined as “the process of having students engage in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they are using those ideas.The attainment of knowledge by participating or contributing” (Edwards 1). Although it is hard to enact there is evidence that students learn more from doing than just listening. Some teachers argue that the traditional lecture is better because it uses time more efficiently and rewards student’s hard work. Eric Mazur, a Harvard professor, conducted a study that showed that students were still confused on the same topics they had been when they started school. …show more content…
Students learn more when they discuss content out-loud and with others. This leads to reason that class time should be used for discussions not listening to lectures or reading information (Khan 2). Studies show that you might as well listen to lectures from the comfort of your home because the amount of information you would retain is equal to the amount you would retain from attending a classroom lecture (Bajak 4). Science Magazine claims that there is direct correlation between the amount of involvement students have in the classroom and the amount of information they remember. Students also are better problems solvers and more likely to be able to apply what they learned to day to day life if they are more involved in the classroom. Another advantage to active learning is that students are less likely to change their major from a STEM major (Bajak 3). It is common for students to start college intending to major in math, science, or engineering and then switch over to a different major says Freeman. If students are not just in lectures all the time they are more likely to stick with the STEM field (Bajak 3). All of these points support Wieman’s statement that “this [active learning] is clearly more effective learning, everyone should be doing it” (Leclaire 2). It has often been pointed out that difficulty implementing active learning is the main reason more students are not being taught this way. Ertmer and Simons say the barriers to implementation can be overcome through hard work and persistence; teachers also need support and resources. It will pay off in the end. Active learning has many benefits for both students and teachers (Ertmer and Simons

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