About Active Learning
Active learning is an approach where students participate in the learning process - building knowledge and understanding. For students to make sense of new information and ideas, they need to make links with existing knowledge, so that they can process and then understand new material. This ‘sense-making’ is an active process which can take place during a wide range of learning activities.
Active learning requires students to think critically and to practise using new knowledge and skills in order to develop long-term recall and a deeper understanding. This deeper understanding will also enable learners to connect different ideas together and to think creatively, once the initial knowledge base is secure.
Active learning fosters understanding, which students can then apply to diverse contexts and problems.
It is this understanding and problem solving approach that employers and universities seek.
Learners will be better able to revise for examinations in the sense that revision really is a re-vision of the ideas that they already understand.
Active learning encourages student autonomy, giving them greater involvement and control over their learning and equipping them with skills to foster life-long learning in the future.
Why is active learning relevant to Montessori and Cambridge?
Assessments do not simply test recall of knowledge but ask learners to draw on their understanding in order to analyse, evaluate and synthesise ideas. In this way, Cambridge programs and qualifications are best taught using active learning approaches which are also more engaging for students and follow the Montessori philosophy of “follow the child”. Encouraging active learning enables learners to attain higher grades, based on their enhanced understanding, and better prepares them for further education and the workplace.