With active learning, the term speaks for itself, students are actively involved in the learning process. There is no chalk and talk at the front of the classroom by a teacher, but an entire class of students engaged in the lesson.
They discuss, listen, read, write, collaborate, analyse, synthesise, solve problems, and evaluate. The materials used cover the four learning styles which are visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic. While they learn, they have fun doing so.
How can active learning help challenged students
An active learning environment is ideal for a student who is considered to be challenged in a classroom. The delayed student who may be challenged mentally, physically, or behaviourally uses his or her senses to identify, read, listen, ask, feel, smell, taste, think, write, draw, build, analyse, synthesise, and evaluate the lesson presented. A distracted student is encouraged to focus on his or her part in a group project rather than stare out the window, draw in a book, or browse his or her cell phone.
The undisciplined student who usually disrupts an entire class with nonsensical comments, and gets a laugh out of the easily distracted students, would not have an audience to entertain when he or she is grouped with the focussed and disciplined students. The lazy student who hides at the back of the classroom to sleep gets exercise for the mind and body with alert games like Pictionary, Scrabble, team debates, and charades.
Who else needs an active learning environment
All students need active learning. The accelerated student who loves a great challenge contributes his or her brilliance towards group activities like dramatisations and would not hog the spotlight. The outspoken student who is very talkative and has an opinion about almost everything will contribute his or her numerous ideas to group projects rather than interrupt the teacher every minute.
The attentive student with an eye for detail is presented with instructions, clues, puzzles, and diagrams that have to be studied carefully in order to move forward. The disciplined student interacts and collaborates with his or her classmates to solve mysteries rather than be the perfect teacher’s pet. The focussed student with eyes on the ball can actually do activities where his or her eyes can really be on a ball.