Active or Passive Learning: Which is Best?

Many parents are not completely sure what active and passive learning means, and if you happen to fall into that category, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explain the many differences between active learning and passive learning, which will help you to choose the best type of education for your child.

What is Passive Learning?

This is the traditional system where the students sit in rows in the classroom, while the teacher stands at the front of the class and basically instructs the students. Passive learning, therefore, only requires that the students be present and attentive, while they memorise specific facts that can be recalled in a test or examination. Rote learning (learning through memorisation) is at the heart of some third world education systems, such as in Thailand, and this system of learning does not create thinkers, rather it suppresses any form of creativity or individualism.

The Disadvantages of Passive Learning

When a class of students learn passively, they are not developing in certain ways, such as problem solving and critical thinking, while it is widely accepted that this type of learning does not encourage students to ask questions. It is often the case where a student does not fully understand a process, and rather than asking the teacher, the student remains silent, and as they did not understand, this makes things more complex than they actually are.

Learning Outcomes

Sadly, the main objective of the passive learning system is to pass written examinations by repeating facts that have been memorised, and while there’s nothing wrong with passing exams, education should help the child to develop analytical and critical thinking skills, along with initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills. Children who study with the rote learning methods are generally not good leaders, and usually require some direction when working on something, whereas children who are the product of hands-on learning will have the essential life skills that are needed to be successful.

What is Active Learning?

Learning by doing or active learning, is a hands-on approach when the students are required to actively participate in activities, which often involves a project-based approach, and this gives the learner some hands-on experience. If you are looking for such a school in Bangkok, take a look at the established, which is one of the city’s most famous international schools. This approach to learning enables the learner to develop critical thinking, along with problem-solving skills that will prove invaluable in the real world.

Develop Teamwork & Collaboration

When the students are responsible for their own learning, this instils a sense of responsibility into the children and the sooner the students take the lead regarding their own learning, the better. One of the main goals of an active learning system is to develop a lifelong love of learning, and great pains are taken to ensure that learning is fun, especially in the younger grades. Peer learning plays a big part in active learning strategies, and expect to see children on varying ages working together on projects. If you are preparing your child for a relocation, here are some useful tips.

Sourcing the Right School

The best type of school is one that follows an international curriculum, with the British being the most popular of all, and if you are looking for a suitable international program, the best place to start is a Google search, which will provide you with a list of local international schools. Then you can browse the websites and narrow down your choices to 2 or maybe 3 schools that you will visit. It is always a good idea to prepare a list of questions to ask the principal when you are touring a school. Here is some information about the British curriculum, which is generally regarded as the best in the world.

Observe Activities

While you are visiting a school, ask if it is OK to sit in on a class, which will give you the chance to see how things work from the student’s perspective, plus you should find the time to talk with some of the parents to gain an insight into how they feel about the school. Ask the school principal about their mission statement and vision, as this will tell you about the school’s value and beliefs regarding learning outcomes.

Parental Participation

Every good school will actively encourage parental participation, as from the school’s perspective, it is vital that parents understand how active learning works and can therefore promote the same aspects as the school, providing consistent input. Parents should be invited to attend learning workshops, where they will learn how to encourage and stimulate their kids in the right way.

In conclusion, active learning offers the child a lot more in terms of a balanced education, as this approach encourages the learner to be responsible for their own learning, plus they get to solve real-world problems in a suitable learning environment.

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