We might think of active learning as an approach to instruction in which students engage the material they study through reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting. Active learning stands in contrast to “standard” modes of instruction in which teachers do most of the talking and students are passive. (University of Minnesota)

Reasons to use active learning:

  • Learner centred
  • It’s fun! Pupils enjoy it
  • Adds variety and allows discreet differentiation
  • It is naturally reflective
  • Breaks down difficult concepts and methods into bite sized chunks

 Issues and problems with active learning:

  •  Classroom management issues. It is fun but needs to be carefully controlled
  • Pupils need to be used to it for it to work at its most effective. Starting with a large, ambitious Active Learning lesson may not work if the class are not used to the style
  • Disruption to other lessons. Some Active Learning activities can get loud – in a purposeful way. Not ideal if the class next door are trying to concentrate!

Have you used active learning activities in your classroom? Share your experiences in the comments below!