PSJA Early College Express
November / December 2015
This month: Active Learning
COMMON INSTRUCTIONAL FRAMEWORK
The six strategies of the Common Instructional Framework mesh perfectly with active learning. Classroom talk, scaffolding, collaborative group work, literacy groups, questioning, and writing to learn are all active learning strategies.
WHY ACTIVE LEARNING?
Numerous studies have shown evidence to support active learning, given adequate prior instruction. (For more information or for full bibliographic references, please contact Scott Hollinger.) Following are several examples:
Richard Hake (1998) reviewed data from over 6000 physics students in 62 introductory physics courses and found that students in classes that utilized active learning and interactive engagement techniques improved 25 percent points, achieving an average gain of 48% on a standard test of physics conceptual knowledge, the Force Concept Inventory, compared to a gain of 23% for students in traditional, lecture-based courses.
Similarly, Hoellwarth & Moelter (2011) showed that when instructors switched their physics classes from traditional instruction to active learning, student learning improved 38 percent points, from around 12% to over 50%, as measured by the Force Concept Inventory, which has become the standard measure of student learning in physics courses.
Michael (2006), in reviewing the applicability of active learning to physiology education, found a "growing body of research within specific scientific teaching communities that supports and validates the new approaches to teaching that have been adopted."
In a 2012 report titled "Engage to Excel," the United States President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) described how improved teaching methods, including engaging students in active learning, will increase student retention and improve performance in STEM courses. One study described in the report found that students in traditional lecture courses were twice as likely to leave engineering and three times as likely to drop out of college entirely compared with students taught using active learning techniques. In another cited study, students in a physics class that used active learning methods learned twice as much as those taught in a traditional class, as measured by test results.
What is active learning?
PSJA December Professional Development Schedule
Yzagguirre MS: Tuesday, December 1, during Team Time
PSJA ECHS: Wednesday, December 2, during CLCs & POP
Alamo MS: Wednesday, December 9, during CLCs
Murphy MS: Friday, December 11, during Team Share
Austin MS: Wednesday, December 16, during CLCs