Archive for July, 2012

The Social Artist – Active Learning

Posted in eci831, Online, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 18, 2012 by onepercentyellow

Active learning, while a contentious term, stands against what Paulo Freire calls the “banking model” of education.  At one time it was enough for the professor to stand at the front of the room and simply lecture at students, trusting that the carefully prepared packages of knowledge were properly transferred to the willing participants.  While there is a level of success that accompanies this type of instruction, other pedagogical practices are changing the focus from the instructor to the learner.  Active learning asks students to become actively engaged through dialogue – dialogue with the instructor during class time, with fellow students both during and after class, with themselves through journaling, and with the larger world through experiential education (including community service-learning and fieldwork). In editing the reflections on active learning I was reminded once again of George Siemens and Stephen Downes theory of Connectivism.  When we encourage active learning, we are pushing students to develop their own connections to people, to ideas, to theorists, to disciplines.  We demystify knowledge, adopting the humility of fellow discoverers and allowing students to find their own significant connection to the material.  Walking along beside students we show how we have adopted the knowledge into our own lives and turn to them to say – Ok, now it’s time to make this your own.

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