Teaching based on active methodologies is student-centered. In it, learning is conceived as a constructive process and the student as an active agent in it. Learning is not considered a reception and accumulation of information as in other methodologies. Students are required to actively participate in the process and think about what they are doing. This is perhaps the main immediate purpose of active methodologies: to make students think.
A key element in this type of methodology is that it promotes the development of metacognitive skills, which allow the student to judge the difficulty of the problems; identify if you have understood a text; knows how to use different strategies to understand it and can evaluate her progress in acquiring knowledge. This type of learning is known as self-directed.
In addition to metacognitive skills, students improve their self-confidence, self-discipline, and self-control; they become more autonomous.
In this type of learning there is also teamwork, students have discussions and evaluate what they learn frequently. At the same time, they develop a variety of social skills.
These methodologies highlight the need for teaching to take place in the context of real-world problems; situations as close as possible to the context in which the student will develop in the future. Contextualizing teaching generally motivates students and causes them to have a positive attitude towards learning, which also makes it more meaningful and memorable. From these three principles, the components that all active learning methodology has and that were described by three researchers from the University of Minnesota, in the United States: David Johnson, Roger Johnson and Karl Smith in the year 2000, emerge. These are:
What are they?
•Stage: Gives the context of the problem, project or case. This includes establishing roles for students.
•Team work:Students work in small or large groups in which they must share tasks and roles to complete the task.
•Problem solving: These problems are often complex and require students to investigate and engage in complex thought processes.
•Discovery of new knowledge: Students should reflect on what they know and what they need to know to solve the problem. In this way, they will seek new knowledge to finish the task.
•Problems based on the real world: This will make learning more meaningful for students and make them understand that there are several paths that can lead to the solution of a problem.
Each methodology presents in any way particular characteristics that emphasize more some area of knowledge.
Active learning is effective because it engages students in their learning process; it gives the teacher the opportunity to “personalize” learning and makes it inclusive.
Among the most popular active methodologies we find: Flipped Classroom, Cooperative Learning, Project-Based Learning and Thought-Based Learning. You can find more information about this topic on our Facebook: Richmond Solution.