Active Learning

Today, I have experienced another good training. This training is held in our foundation which is attended by all teachers in al muslim foundation. This kind of training, or teacher upgrading, is given each semester, usually at the end of the school holiday. It really helps the teachers to refresh their knowledge in teaching and sometimes maintain what they have done in their classrooms.

In today’s training, we have Mr. Dr. H. Supriyadi Ahmad, M.A. from CTLD UIN Syarif Hidayatullah (Center for Teaching Learning Department) as our speaker. Actually, he didn’t just make us see or listen to his explanation, instead he made us do the activities in order that we do not forget the lesson easily. Just like what he quoted from Confusius:

I hear, I forget I see, I remember

I do, I understand

and from Mel Silberman in his book Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject, 1996:

I hear, I forget I see, I remember just a little

I hear, see, and discuss, I understand

I hear, see, discuss and do, I get knowledge and skills.

I teach, I master

So, by using the “do” activities, the speaker made us experience some active learning strategies.

Those strategies are:

1. The Power of Two = In this strategy, students are paired in order to give them experience in working with partner.

2. Snow balling = Here, we group the pair of students into 4 persons, and then make the bigger group into 8 persons. Usually, the students are asked to discuss again what they have done with the smaller groups.

3. Presentation = After a discussion, ask the students to present the result of their discussion, choose one of the group as the speaker. We can choose it in random by throwing something light to the group and the one who catch it, she/he has to do the presentation.

4. Active Debating = In a presentation, other groups are given the opportunity to ask them. It can be an active debate when the questions is quite an issue.

5. TPR (Total Personal Response) = Students are making a line and facing each other. This strategy is very useful for teaching conversation in language teaching.

6. Peer teaching = The good student will help the teacher by teaching their friends.

7. Information search = It is used by giving the students a passage to read and they are to find the specific information from the passage.

8. Reading Guide = This one is following the Information Search strategy. Ask the students to make up one or more questions based on the passage and let another student to answer their questions.

9. Everyone is a teacher here = It means that students can get the material/knowledge from their own friend by taking turns explaining what they have read from a passage or a book.

10. Jigsaw = This is a very popular strategy in which the students are grouped and discussing different kind of topic. After they finish the discussion, each member of each group will be sent to other groups to explain what they have. So, at the end, everyone will have all the topic from the messenger of each group.

11. Pro-Cons = Teacher gives an issue to discuss, and let the students decide whether they agree or disagree or even do not take side. Then, the teacher groups the students into “pro group”, “cons group” as well as “abstain group”. The students then discuss the reasons why they are in that opinions.

12. SGD (Small Group Discussion) = It is a discussion in a small group first and then each of the speaker in each group will present their discussion.

Anyway, these strategies are to be used wisely. We have to be able to know the characteristics of the students, the lessons, and the goal of our lessons before we apply each of the strategy. We also can combine some strategies in one lesson as long as they are used properly.

So, there are some active learning strategies that we can apply in our classrooms. There are so many other strategies that we can learn. But for today, let us stop here and continue in the next posting. šŸ™‚

Happy teaching….