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close this bookHow Children Learn (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 32 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Academy of Education
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. Active involvement
View the document2. Social participation
View the document3. Meaningful activities
View the document4. Relating new information to prior knowledge
View the document5. Being strategic
View the document6. Engaging in self-regulation and being reflective
View the document7. Restructuring prior knowledge
View the document8. Aiming towards understanding rather than memorization
View the document9. Helping students learn to transfer
View the document10. Taking time to practice
View the document11. Developmental and individual differences
View the document12. Creating motivated learners
View the documentReferences and further reading
View the documentThe International Bureau of Education - IBE

1. Active involvement

Learning requires the active, constructive involvement of the learner.

Research findings

Learning at school requires students to pay attention, to observe, to memorize, to understand, to set goals and to assume responsibility for their own learning. These cognitive activities are not possible without the active involvement and engagement of the learner. Teachers must help students to become active and goal-oriented by building on their natural desire to explore, to understand new things and to master them.

In the classroom

It is a challenge for teachers to create interesting and challenging learning environments that encourage the active involvement of students. The following are some suggestions as to how this can be done:

· Avoid situations where the students are passive listeners for long periods of time.

· Provide students with hands-on activities, such as experiments, observations, projects, etc.

· Encourage participation in classroom discussions and other collaborative activities.

· Organize school visits to museums and technological parks.

· Allow students to take some control over their own learning. Taking control over one's learning means allowing students to make some decisions about what to learn and how.

· Assist students in creating learning goals that are consistent with their interests and future aspirations.

References: Elmore, Peterson & McCarthy, 1996; Piaget, 1978; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1991.