Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Active Learning

Though i have never had the desire to be a teacher, i did work at a childcare centre for two years. Though the experience did nothing to persuade me to change my mind, it made me realise the importance of having a learning plan, and being able to capture children's attention and hold it. This is the same for primary school students, high school students and university students. People have to be involved in whatever they're learning or nothing will be retained and the desire to learn wil be lost.
Also, i am not naive enough to believe that the learning and teaching will stop at university; any job that i go into i will have to learn how to do what i'm supposed to and be the best i can be. i may even eventually have to teach others.

To be able to teach others it is good to have an understanding of the different ways that people learn; these are called learning styles. The three most common types of learning styles are Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Visual learners learn the best through watching and viewing, Auditory learners learn the best through listening and hearing things, and Kinaesthetic learners learn the best through hands on participation.
It is possible to be more than one of these types of learners, a person is not necessarily restricted to one learning style; i myself am a Visual and a Kinaesthetic learner. i've found that just listening to someone talk makes me lose interest and i tend to drift into my own little dream world, but when i have something to read or look at, or when i have to participate in an activity i manage to retain the information.

A lot of the time it is hard to cater for all the learning types in a single lesson. i remember when i worked at the Childcare Centre it was hard to have activities that keep the children interested because their attention spans were small, especially if they became disinterested. However because they were as young as 3 or 4, the activities didn't have to be based around anything intensly difficult, which made it easier to have activities that catered to the learning styles; for example, there could be painting (visual/kinaesthetic) and reading a story (auditory) and a singing/dancing game (visual/auditory/kinaesthetic).
I also taught a few lessons at a primary school for some experience, and the difference was quite big. These kids were not so easily amused and they lost interest easily, especially if their learning style wasn't being utilised. it was far more difficult to cater to these older students than to the younger ones of the Childcare Centre.

The idea that technology can help all students actively engage in the content and learn better is one that i agree with. There are unlimited rescourses available to teachers that will enable them to incorporate technology into their lessons. Getting the children to create a simple power point presentation allows them to work together and incorporate text, pictures, music and anything else that they want, anything that appeals to their interests and their particular learning style.

Technology is continuously advancing, along with it opportunities for teachers and students to take advantage and benefit from the many programs that will help students be actively involved in their learning.


Kearsley, G. (1997). The Virtual Professor: A Personal Case Study. [ ]

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